Hotel suggestions for Cartagena, Colombia?

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  • Jan 27th, 2019 12:51 am
Jan 5, 2013
46 posts

Hotel suggestions for Cartagena, Colombia?

Will be travelling through a few cities (Bogota / Cartagena / Medellin) in Colombia in January and would appreciate recommendations for hotels (Walled City etc) and day trip ideas for Cartagena. I have researched on TripAdvisor but no hotel or location in Cartagena has really stood out. Anyone stay there recently?

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May 10, 2005
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I have been to Cartagena twice, during cruise stops and only one day each time so certainly not an expert but, my impression is not a good one. We did private tours both times and got to see all parts of the city. There is no way I would choose to go there for any amount of time otherwise.
Yes, there is the "walled city" tourist attraction, also the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas but then, that is it.
There is the Getsameni (?) district , where I would stay, if staying there at all. A hotel there is quite modern and looked clean. There are some beaches around them as well.
The rest, to me, was dangerous looking and very dirty.
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Jul 9, 2017
28 posts
Titan17 wrote: Will be travelling through a few cities (Bogota / Cartagena / Medellin) in Colombia in January and would appreciate recommendations for hotels (Walled City etc) and day trip ideas for Cartagena. I have researched on TripAdvisor but no hotel or location in Cartagena has really stood out. Anyone stay there recently?

I took the family there last summer and we absolutely loved it. There is a ton of competition amongst hotels, so rates are good. We opted for the Hyatt, which is a new build, walkable to the Old City, and with great rooms and amenities. My kids still talk about the breakfast on an outdoor balcony, overlooking the ocean.

If you are there for more than a couple of days, consider a day trip to Palenque, if the history and culture there interest you.
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Feb 10, 2010
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OP, it all depend of what kind of hotel and what area of Cartagena you want to stay, there are dozens of good hotels in Cartagena but my vote is for:

Intercontinental Cartagena
Hotel Sofitel Legend Cartagena
Hotel Bastion Luxury Hotel

Hope this helps
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Oct 18, 2014
2048 posts
Another vote for Sofitel/Hyatt mentioned above.

There is also a Conrad, which is another brand that I personally like to stay at, nowhere as nice as Sofitel however.
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Mar 30, 2009
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I've stayed at the Hotel Las Americas which is just outside the city. It's a resort hotel - great if you are traveling with kids. And it's a really short cab ride to the Walled City.
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Sep 6, 2002
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I spent a few days in Cartagena but it was after some long nights in Medellin so we weren't looking to do much. Stayed at El Viajero hostel in a private room with A/C. Great location and you def need a/c in Cartagena as it's hot. It was the most expensive private room hostel we stayed at if I recall around $100 a night but we were close to xmas at the time and USD=CAD at the time.

We did Playa blanca, it's a morning boat trip but nice. You can rent a small beach shack (a tarp over a basic structure) and chill for the day, the locals walk up and down the beach selling seafood, crafts and beers. If you are good at negotiating you can pick your "favorites" and only work with them and get a good price on cold beer brought regularly and fresh seafood. Low ball the jetski guy at the end of the day, they'll take almost any offer just before the boats start heading back.

The city itself is nice to walk through as it's a unique beautiful old town.

As someone who generally has positive things to say about Colombia, I will say it is one of the more dangerous cities that tourists would go to (there are all sorts of dangerous parts of Colombia that tourists just wouldn't end up). I'd say part of it is that huge cruise ships that dock. I wanted to go to Colombia and Cartagena was one of my destinations. I feel part f the problem is people who are not backpackers but just cruisers (no disrespect) end up wandering the streets and are easy prey. "Oh where we docking today? cart a geee na?" However nothing happened to us and I felt safe, but I'm a backpacker not a cruiser. I only say this because backpackers find themselves transiting through major cities (aka dumps) as part of the bus system or moving around less conventional tourist routes.

It's also one of the more expensive parts of Colombia and as a Canadian tourist the locals will figure you think in USD and price accordingly so it sucks extra for us with the crappy loonie.

There are some tours of the Mangroves you can do which I did not.

If you have time you can bus to Tagagna / Santa Marta and go see Parc Tyrona. I didn't go but it's supposed to be beautiful.

Regardless as I've said before, despite the negative wrap Colombia gets, it is a wonderful place and among my favorites in South America.

Cartagena is also very sweaty hot.
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Jan 2, 2015
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NOT centre of Univer…

We did bogata- le de leyva - cartegena. In cartegena, we stayed within the historical area within the walls. We decided boutique hotels which were very central and beautiful. Since they were in the historical part, we had less access to beaches, but come from lots of beaches from the earlier we part of our vacation. We ended up at two hotels only because extended out trip by a few days, and the first hotel we already booked was full.

Ananda Boutique Hotel
Bantú Boutique Hotel

We loved Colombia more than other South America countries and felt very safe. You just have to be aware, and travel wisely. We had our two kids 9 and 12 and we were all fine. As the locals say, ‘don’t give anyone papaya’. Meaning don’t be a traveller that gives the opportunity to be ripped off.

Couple f others things to be aware of, there an entry feel about $100 for Canadians, if you have another citizenship you don’t have to pay. The exchange rate is AWFUL for US and Canadian, however, if you bring Colombian pesos or use your credit card, you are better off. We got some pesos in Canada to get us gong, and just used an atm to take the it the r st.

Also, you MUST buy Juan Valdez coffee. It is the best coffee we had. One of the highlights I had was going to the flower and fruit market. Colombian fruits are amazing.
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