After reaching the bus terminal in the morning which is located about 11 km from the Old Town (Centro), we took a taxi to the Airbnb host’s residence juts outside of the center in the Gestamani neighborhood.
Unlike Bogota or Medellin, which gets a cool breeze at night, and temperatures tumble down to late-single-digits (in deg. C), being on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena had hot and humid weather. Temperatures in December were 33C at noon to 25C at midnight. So wear loose, comfortable and cotton clothes and don’t forget the sunscreen.
We checked in and headed out to the place everyone goes to – Centro. It was almost noon by the time we were in Centro and the heat was getting on to us, but the small and beautiful alleyways of Centro keeps the air flowing and provides the much needed shade.
Cartagena’s main attraction is its historic old town, called Centro, surrounded by the 500 year old city wall. Main entrance is the Clock Tower building. The coralstone fort and great parts of its walled city are admirably intact and represent some of the finest examples of civil and military architecture of the Spanish colonial times.
The Castillo de San Felipe is a fortress designed by the Dutch engineer Richard Carr and built in 1657 by the Spanish for protection against pirates while shipping gold out to Europe. Open hours are 8am-6pm, entrance fee COP 17,000. Walking distance from the Old City: 15 min.
You can spend all day visiting the Centro’s streets and cafes. The old town lights-up beautifully in the night. Walk up to the fort walls to have a splendid view of the bay and the church.
Walking around the city has its perks – when we reached the central square, there were Caribbean dancers, performing their local steps which was an amazing sight to see.
We stopped by a Cuban restaurant called La Vitrola for some delicious cuisine, before heading back to the airbnb residence.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = COP 2200 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
|Taxi to Airbnb residence from bus terminal||$6.82||COP 15,000 per ride. One way.|
|Cartagena Airbnb||$22.50||Per person, per night for a single bunk bed.|
|Lunch||$29.55||COP 65,000 for two persons.|
|Souvenirs||$4.54||COP 10,000 per person.|
|Tip to dancers||$4.54||COP 10,000 in tips.|
|Dinner||$28.63||COP 63,000 for two persons.|
|Water & snacks||$4.54||COP 10,000 per person.|
|Total Costs||$101.12||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$2,201.39||Per person|
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Walking tour, Pueblito Paisa & bus to Cartagena.
Caribbean city highlights & Centro.
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Bocagrande, Gestemani neighborhoods.