Vacation rentals in Cartagena

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Casa Barbara Cartagena

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Martinique Cartagena /Ocean View & Private Jacuzzi

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The City
Do & See
Bars & Nightlife
Tourist Information


Cartagena is the undisputed queen of Colombia's Caribbean coast and easily the most attractive city in the region – this given its apparent shortage of attractions in the classical sense of the word. Instead, what draws travelers in is the city itself: a microcosm of the Caribbean, walled-in by defensive ramparts built to ward off unwelcome visitors, the likes of Sir Francis Drake, who held Cartagena de Indias captive for months during his 16th century raids on the Spanish New World.

Cumbia music fills the air in Cartagena's absurdly beautiful Old Town, while locals enjoy leisurely chats in inviting town squares, street vendors peddle their wares (look out for the incredibly photogenic palenqueras!), and vacationers explore streets lined with well-preserved colonial buildings, their balconies deluged with striking fuchsia-colored veranera. The first free town in the Americas founded by slave trade escapees – San Basilio de Palenque – is just an hour's drive from here.


971,592 (2016)
National Emergency Number: 123
Tourist Police: (1) 3374413
Information: 113
Centro de Informacion Turistica
Plaza de la aduana 14.5, 32 #30, Cartagena
+57 5 6601583
Daily 9am-6pm

The City

Cartagena's beginnings as a major hub of slave trade in the Americas has had a long-lasting impact on the city's social make-up, creating, over time, a tantalizing mix of cultural influences that manifest themselves in its cuisine and music. Time runs slow in Cartagena's inviting squares, where locals engage in a game of dominoes while tourists hunt for the perfect shot of the incredibly photogenic 'planenqueras' in the background.

Most tours of the city start with an exploration of Cartagena's incredibly attractive Old Town, soon followed by a dive into Getsemani, the best of city neighborhoods to watch local life unfold, both before and after dark. San Diego is another area of the city favored by visitors, in part due to its high number of solid and affordable accommodation options, while the aforementioned Getsemani remeains a top nightlife pick for many, given its abundance of bars and dance clubs that offer a great taste of Cartagena's take on vida pura.

Cartagena is heralded as the most attractive urban destination of the Caribbean, and having walked its beautifully preserved colonial streets, there remains little doubt as to why.

Do & See

There is a great deal of things to do in Cartagena, even if simply taking a stroll through the city's beautifully preserved Old Town with a distinct colonial flare. Some of the highlights include an obligatory visit to the imposing Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a stroll along Cartagena's defensive ramparts, a trip to the chilling Inquisition Palace (which still contains the original torture devices used to extract "confessions"), and a deep dive into the incredibly hip neighborhood of Getsemani, teeming with eateries and bars where locals mix and mingle with guests from far and wide.
Cartagena Walled City
Enclosed within a protective wall reaching up to 20 metres in width, the Ciudad Amurallada (or "Walled City") is Cartagena's old beating heart. Packed with well-preserved colonial buildings, it's a pleasure to stroll through; its streets of colourful low-rise merchant homes marked by iconic balconies are now mostly walked by either tourists or students, who attend classes at the University of Cartagena during the day and linger for meals and nightlife after school is out.

Cafes in Plaza Aduana and Plaza Santo Domingo teem with patrons, forging an incredibly jovial atmosphere; the districts of San Diego and El Centro are two not to be missed. There is plenty of food and shopping to be had, with a mixed bag of world-class restaurants and street food hawkers and the incredibly photogenic palenqueras – black ladies dressed in vibrantly colored clothing selling fruit in the streets – images of whom have become emblematic of Colombia as a travel destination.
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
A feat of Spanish colonial military architecture, the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is one of Cartagena's most prized attractions. The fortress, whose construction finished in the late 18th century, was never seized – and not for a lack of attempted forays. Part of its sophisticated system of underground tunnels is open to the public; a guided tour (audio guides available) is highly recommended.
Bazurto Market
While seasoned travelers may venture into Cartagena's gritty Bazurto Market on their own, those not yet toughened by locals-only markets of the region may prefer to explore as part of a guided tour. This sprawling market, where trade starts before the crack of dawn, features incredibly fresh produce and seafood from Cartagena and beyond; much of it makes its way to the tables of local fine dining establishments within the space of the same day. There is plenty to look at and taste, including local street food and multiple succulent varieties of tropical fruit you're unlikely to have encountered before.
Rosario Islands
Just an hour's boat trip away from Cartagena lie the magnificent Rosario Islands, which belong to Colombia's only underwater natural park (the Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park). Abundant marine wildlife (including over 50 species of corals) and some of Colombia's best beaches draw in many in search of relaxation and active pursuits such as snorkeling and diving. Isla Grande is best for kayaking through unique mangrove forests and seeing the phosphorescent plankton light up the waters of a brackish lake at night, while Playa Blanca is Cartagena's most spectacular white-sand beach (also reachable by land).

It should be said that the company you choose to tour with has the potential to make or break the experience. Low cost tours can mean multiple intermediate stops en route to your destination, as well as unpleasant surprises such as no transfer back to your hotel. Try and choose a trusted company with consistently good reviews, or opt for a private tour. Mind that seas may be rough at certain times of the year, particularly in December and January, when tours on smaller boats may even become dangerous.
Palace of Inquisition
This beautiful example of Spanish colonial architecture contains a small museum dedicated to the Spanish Inquisition's brutal persecution of heretics once carried out in these very chambers. Visitors can still see some of the torture devices used to extract confessions of heresy and witchcraft, along with some of the questions used in "witch" interrogations, which are still displayed on the museum wall. Needless to say, no prisoner could hope to be acquitted of their purported crimes against the Catholic Church, and most met their tragic end at the very guillotine still on display in the courtyard.
Getsemani Neighborhood
The buzzing Bairro Getsemani is, perhaps, Cartagena's most attractive neighborhood, for both its well-preserved colonial architecture and vivid street life. Known as the nightlife hot spot of Cartagena, Getsemani stays up until late at night, with locals and visitors mingling in and around Plaza de la Trinidad over drinks and street food.
La Boquilla and the Mangroves
The mangrove tunnels of nearby La Boquilla are an easy day trip from Cartagena. Guided tours will often combine a visit to the beach (one of the Playas De La Boquilla) with a boat or canoe tour of the mangroves, passing through Cienaga de Juan Polo and the Cienaga de la Virgen lagoons; some tours will also include a closer encounter with local fishermen and offer insight into their craft.

La Boquilla is an area of contrasts: the district of upscale hotels – Morros – borders on humble neighborhoods populated by workers. When sitting down to tuck into no-frills seafood dishes served up by local eateries, make sure you're clear about the price of each item ordered from the get-go, as there have bee reports of "surprise" bills amounting to several hundred US dollars.
Scuba Diving & Snorkelling
If snorkeling and/or scuba diving sounds like your idea of fun, Cartagena is the place to indulge. Waters of the Caribbean washing over this part of the coast hold abundant marine life, including multiple varieties of tropical fish and corals, and the several underwater shipwreck sites make for exciting diving.

The archipelagos of Rosario and San Bernardo are both excellent for either.

Diving Planet Cartagena:
San Basilio de Palenque
Once the first free settlement in the Americas founded by those who escaped slavery during the colonial period, the town of San Basilio de Palenque still stands today, and with it the unique culture of its inhabitants. A portion of the population still speaks palenquero, a creole tongue that emerged from a mix of several European and African languages, now used almost exclusively in San Basilio de Palenque.

Music and dance occupy a place of paramount importance in residents' lives, with the Drums and Cultural Expressions Festival held annually in October. The palenque cuisine deserves a separate mention – a culinary tradition upheld by inhabitants of a small Colombian village has garnered international acclaim, with a cookbook written in the town receiving the highest prize at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2014. If your schedule happens to be too tight for a dedicated day trip (which earns our highest recommendation), try some of the tropical fruit sold by palenqueras in downtown Cartagena.

The village was named Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.


From crispy deep-fried arepas to elaborate seafood dishes featuring fresh catch of the day (ceviche is the dish, perhaps, most sought-after), there is no shortage of scrumptious foods to try in Cartagena, Colombia. The classic is a fried fish platter, featuring a whole tilapia with a side of coconut rice and fried plantain – you'll be hard-pressed to find a local restaurant that doesn't list it on its menu.
La Cevichería
Made famous by the late Anthony Bourdain paying a visit as part of the incredibly successful "No Reservations" series, La Cevicheria did right by its new-found fame and maintained the high standards of its cuisine, remaining among the best places in town for seafood lovers (the menu isn't limited to ceviche alone). Prepare for a wait during dinner hours and opt for the indoor seating to avoid being approached by street vendors.
"Second chances" reads the sign ushering diners to enter through the bright pink iron gate for a dining experience unlike any other. This trendy restaurant in Cartagena's San Diego district is adjacent to a female prison and run almost exclusively by inmates: at Interno, women serving prison terms are in charge of everything from cooking to waiting tables.

The project that was established by a charity foundation helps women adjust to life behind bars and gain prospects for the future, providing them with extensive training (some were even taught by Michelin-starred Koldo Miranda) and laying the groundwork for them to continue on into securing a steady job or even starting their own business after release.
El Boliche Cebichería
A (very) compact restaurant in Cartagena's old town serving upscale seafood dishes, with a heavy focus on ceviche. Prices are above the neighborhood average, which the experience and dish quality more than make up for.
Caffé Lunático
This Getsemani hideout serves excellent tapas – to be paired with no less attractive drinks, both alcoholic and not. Opening hours are the only caveat: accounts of whether Lunatico opens for breakfast vary, so come for lunch or dinner to be sure.
Espiritu Santo
With a location smack in the heart of Cartagena, Espiritu Santo could easily be a tourist trap but is far from it. The place is incredibly popular with locals, found here in large numbers during lunch hour. Espiritu Santo's vibe is very casual, even canteen-like, with very decent, hearty food. A standard order includes your pick of protein (fish comes recommended) with three sides, of which there are many to choose from.
Zaitún Cartagena
Much-loved and irresistibly trendy, Zaitun seamlessly combines Lebanese flavors with quintessentially Caribbean menu items, such as ceviche and fish cooked in coconut milk. The restaurant is a resounding success with diners, serving up favorite meals of the stay on multiple visitor accounts.
Elevated Colombian cuisine is served at this highly regarded restaurant that lays claim to "capturing the essence of colonial Cartagena" through its cooking. Highlighting local ingredients such as coconut milk and seafood, Alma puts a delectable twist on familiar flavours and invites patrons to a memorable dining experience to the sounds of live music (Wed-Sun).


Although Colombia exports some of the world's finest coffee beans, it is only as of recently that these have become increasingly available to country natives, rather than shipped off to be sold abroad. Beans that don't reach export quality continue to get brewed as the ubiquitous 'tinto' (which translates to "ink water"): a popular brew that's sold at every cafe and street corner, and often needs plenty of sugar to camouflage the bitterness.

Colombia's budding coffee culture, spearheaded by young entrepreneurs, aims to introduce Colombians to unique flavor profiles originating from their own lands. Colombian beans are famously on the acidic side, with pronounced citrus notes (although coffee that comes from Colombia's north is known to be relatively less acidic, with more body). In Cartagena, one of the best places for an in-depth acquaintance with modern Colombian coffee culture is Café San Alberto, which offers a number of thematic workshops and courses (including tours of the plantation in Quindio, where all of their beans come from); for something quick and easy there are also multiple outlets of Juan Valdez Cafe (dubbed "Colombian Starbucks").
Café San Alberto
San Alberto serves brews made from beans distinguished with the highest number of awards in the country, which come from a plantation in Buenavista, Quindío. Their coffee is brewed using a variety of fascinating methods, from classic to highly modern, such as molecular cupping. The Cartagena location of San Alberto (all branches are ceremoniously referred to as "coffee temples") offers "Coffee Baptism" programs that last a couple of hours and take attendees on a journey of coffee exploration. Other tours offered vary in focus, the one focusing on high-tech brewing methods being, perhaps, the most intriguing.
Cafe del Mural
Cafe del Mural excels at serving some of Cartagena's best brews, and this given tough competition in a country hailed for its beans. Stop by for a solid espresso or try one of their more extravagant takes on coffee-based beverages; for those willing to dive deeper, attending a coffee appreciation class held regularly by the owner will, most likely, be a worthwhile experience.
La Paletteria
The quaint ice cream shop in Cartagena's historic center is a feast for the eyes: its colorful popsicle display will have anyone spoilt for choice, left to take their (impossible) pick from an abundance of original flavors ranging from Caribbean fruit such as soursop (guanábana) to western-style Oreo cheesecake.
Abacus Books and Coffee
One doesn't need to be a bookworm to appreciate this quaint locale's attractive concept, although being one would certainly add purpose to the visit. A cross-breed between book shop and cafe, Abacus allows patrons to combine the joy of reading with that of savoring a great cup of joe, with the option of freely browsing through endless titles along ceiling-high bookshelves. There's a catch: most books are in Spanish, with only a limited selection in English.
Juan Valdez Café
The country's most recognized brand of coffee has multiple outlets throughout Cartagena, which is part of the reason it's been dubbed 'Colombia's Starbucks'. Each coffee shop is a casual affair with a comprehensive coffee menu; bagged beans and various merchandise can also be purchased straight at the shops.
Mila Postres
Known primarily for its sublime desserts – all seductively on display for the ogling – Mila Postres also enjoys a reputation of serving one of Cartagena's best and most decadent breakfasts. So good are Mila's offerings it is even scheduled to branch off into the capital in the foreseeable future.

Bars & Nightlife

Cartagena is a blast to explore after dark: rhythms that were made to dance to sound from nearly every open door in Getsemani, setting the mood for a party to last into the early hours. If dancing is your thing, there is no shortage of salsa bars to explore (some even offer salsa dancing courses to those who are serious enough about the art), as well as places where champeta is the dance of choice (Bazurto Social Club is the place to be for the latter). For a low-key evening, kick back and enjoy a drink or two in an outdoor terrace of one of Cratagena's many inviting plazas.
Café del Mar
Café del Mar's open-air terrace, set right on top of the city's old ramparts, is one of Cartagena's prime locations for evening drinks. Unobstructed views of the water make for an excellent spectacle of nature at sundown, when the sun slowly disappears into the horizon to the sounds of live music. The cafe serves a wide variety of drinks (including cocktails), and a great selection of Colombian specialities (with an emphasis on seafood).
Salsa Dancing
Although salsa isn't nearly as much part of the everyday in Cartagena as it is in, say, Cali, there are still a few great spots to head to if mastering the iconic Latin American dance is in your plans. Apart from Cafe Havana mentioned in this guide, Donde Fidel and Quiebra-Canto are two spots that come recommended. Our top pick for newbies is Crazy Salsa: this bar not only knows how to throw a great party complete with live music, but also offers a range of salsa classes that can be attended, covering levels from beginner to advanced.
Chiva Party Buses
Although this won't exactly be everyone's idea of a good time, younger and solo travellers looking to explore local nightlife and make new acquaintances while in Cartagena might enjoy an organised tour on board a vibrantly coloured Chiva Party Bus. While specifics will vary by tour operator, most include an open bar, a selection of Colombian snacks (typically arepas, bunuelos, and empanadas), as well as live music and dance shows directly on board. Buses may stop at local attractions en route to the final drop-off point, which is commonly a popular nightclub where the party continues.
A buzzing Getsemani nightlife hot spot, Demente continues to be ever-popular with both locals and visitors. With a convivial outdoor terrace in a busy little town square and scrumptious tapas-style dishes, Demente is an easy pick for a night out in Cratagena.
Cafe Havana
"World famous Cafe Havana" reads the signboard, a message recycled all throughout the establishment – even the coasters sport it. What brought such publicity to an originally one-of-many Cartagena bars is a memorable visit from none other than Hilary Clinton, the then-U.S. Secretary of State, who can be seen hitting the dance floor with a bottle of Aguila in photographs still plastered all over the web; all this while attending a political summit in Cartagena where US' isolationist policy towards Cuba was one of the primary talking points.

The bar is worth a stop up regardless of the celebrity patron: it's a jovial affair with mojitos, live music, and dancing (if you can squeeze yourself onto the dance floor, that is).
Bazurto Social Club
The aptly named Bazurto Social Club is, indeed, a known gathering place for Getsemani locals who come to mingle and dance champeta – a once niche genre of folk music originating from Cartagena's African

If you want to experience the unique Champeta music indicative of the African influenced creole culture mentioned above, check out Bazurto Social Club. They usually have live music as well as dancing lessons.


Must-buys range from food stuffs to hand-crafted accessories and interior decor items. Coffee tops the list of the former, given that Colombian beans are among the world's most revered. Beans from all corners of the country may be purchased in Cartagena, but if you're looking for as local as it gets, look for beans from the Quindio region (Café San Alberto is the primary distributor). Other edibles (and drinkables) include Colombian chocolate, made with regionally harvested cocoa beans, and drinks like Aguardient, the Colombian national drink with a potent tone of anis, and rum. Fruit will likely prove difficult to transport, but it's definitely worth purchasing and sampling some of the local favorites, such as mango, soursop, granadilla and lulo.

Hammocks, mochila bags and leather goods are some of the other best things to buy in Cartagena (and Colombia in general), and if you're looking for that extra something special, emeralds may be a great item to purchase – Colombia is the world's largest producer, and great deals are to be had.
Bazurto Market
This sprawling market, where trade starts before the crack of dawn, features incredibly fresh produce and seafood from Cartagena and beyond; much of it makes its way to the tables of local restaurants within the space of the same day. There is plenty to look at and taste, including local street food and multiple succulent varieties of fruit you're unlikely to have encountered before.
Portal de los Dulces
Portal de los Dulces is, indeed, something of a portal to the world of Colombian sweets. Vendors here specialize in and peddle all manner of dessert, with table displays set up all along this particular stretch of arcade in Plaza de Los Coches.
many of the wares feature coconut in some form ('cocada', available in multiple flavors, and the colorful 'cubanito' rolls are among the most popular). If in doubt, try one of the pre-assembled "tasting sets".
Museo del Chocolate
With two locations in Cartagena, Museo del Chocolate (also known as Choco Museo) invites guests to learn about and, of course, sample the world's most beloved dessert. It's free to visit a small but comprehensive exhibition dedicated to cocoa bean farming and chocolate production; additional workshops that dive deeper and offer hands-on experiences, such as making one's own chocolate bar, can be pre-booked online. Multiple varieties of chocolate from the on-site workshop (and not only) can be purchased, and the museum cafe serves treats and drinks in many flavor combinations (for example, chocolate of the Mayans made with chili pepper flakes).
St. Dom
St. Dom is an exquisite boutique that takes pride in showcasing the work of young and emerging designers from Colombia and greater Latin America. The assortment of pieces receives regular additions of clothing, accessories, jewelry, and decor pieces. Prices are on the higher end.
Casa Chiqui
The brainchild of one well-traveled Colombian socialite, Casa Chiqui is an experience as much as it is a store. The indoor space and plant-deluged courtyard pack a punch with an extensive collection of items handpicked by the owner on her many travels; wares range from Moroccan tajines to oriental rugs and pillow cases, all in impeccable taste.

Tourist Information

Passport / Visa
Citizens of the European Union, most countries in the Americas, Australia & Oceania, as well as several Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days. In cases when an entry visa is required, the application can often be done online.

Nationals of Cuba and and those holding passports issued by Palestine will need to apply for a visa, even if they will be entering Colombia for transit purposes only.
Best Time to Visit Cartagena
The best time to visit Cartagena is early in the year, between January and March. This period is characterized by favorable weather and doesn't get too humid, which makes for comfortable conditions for both city exploration and nearby island-hopping. Streets begin to feel emptier as vacationer waves of December and early January subside, giving way to more manageable prices and attractions that are no longer swarmed with visitors. Another bonus of traveling during this period is the possibility to hit several important festivals: Storyland (dedicated to electronic music) and Hay Festival (revolving around all things cultural exchange) both take place in January, while Festival del Dulce – a celebration of sweets from all across the Caribbean – is a glorious Easter tradition worth making time for.
Rafael Núñez Airport
The largest air hub on Colombia's Caribbean coast serves multiple destinations within the country, as well as several major international ones such as New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Panama City.

The trip to central Cartagena usually takes no longer than 20 minutes. Taxis are always available; these operate on fixed fares rather than meters – get a voucher from the official taxi stand at the airport with an exact price quote to your destination to avoid being overcharged.

Public transport is available as well: one option would be catching a collectivo off the side of the road by the airport, another – taking a Metrocar shuttle (these run at 10-minute intervals and stop at the La India Catalina monument, just outside the old town).
Public Transport
Private buses circulate around Cartagena, each one's main stops indicated in the front window. Fares are very inexpensive, and the buses can be flagged down off the side of the road.

Inside the old town, most locations are easy to reach on foot.
Taxis are relatively inexpensive, but make sure to be clear on the exact fare prior to boarding, as local taxis do not use meters. When getting a cab, opt for calling an operator and ordering one rather than just getting into one in the street, as this puts you at a higher risk of being overcharged.

Ridesharing apps such as Uber are also in use and may even be the preferred option for travelling locally, as fares will be determined automatically prior to boarding and charged directly to your credit card.
Medical Care
Medical care is generally of very high quality in Colombia, making medical tourism from nearby countries increasingly popular.

If you happen to require medical attention while in Cartagena, refer to one of the city's private hospitals: Hospital Naval is one of the most reputable.

Pharmacies/drug stores are readily available throughout Cartagena, including ones that operate 24/7. In some cases, medication that requires a prescription to be purchased in countries like the USA is sold over the counter at significantly lower prices, leading travelers to stock up on their supplies prior to returning home.
Is Cartagena Safe?
Cartagena, Colombia is generally a very safe place to visit, with most trips being completely trouble-free. It may be a good idea, however, to take certain safety precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings at all times, as petty theft and pick-pocketing do occur in touristy areas.

There are certain neighborhoods outside the city center that are best avoided if you're travelling alone or aren't accompanied by a local guide. As a general rule, neighborhoods removed furthest from the historic center will be the ones posing most risk. While the Old Town, Getsemani, San Diego and Bocagrande are very safe, areas like Centro and La Popa are best reserved for daytime trips only, and neighborhoods further afield, such as La Magdalena, La Maria, El Paraiso, Rafel Nuñez, and Piedro de Bolivar are better off avoided entirely. Mind that even the safest areas may pose a certain threat after sundown.
Cash or Card?
While establishments across Cartagena do increasingly accept credit and debit cards for payment, many still either only do so nominally or operate on cash alone. Cash will definitely be needed for smaller purchases, especially from street vendors.

A relatively high service fee may be charged at some restaurants for card payments, so it's generally a good idea to check with the staff whether this is the case to avoid unpleasant surprises.

ATMs are widely available; withdrawal fees will likely depend on your bank. When choosing an ATM, go for ones that aren't in isolated locations, and make all your withdrawals during daylight hours.
Common Scams and Annoyances
Although Cartagena is generally safe to visit, there are a few things to watch out for during your stay.

People posing as police officers and asking to inspect your documents and money, supposedly to ensure their authenticity, are one common way of catching unsuspecting tourists off guard. If this happens to you, demand to be taken to the nearest police station, at which point the scammers will likely be spooked off.

Street salespeople will often approach cafe and restaurant customers, both at outdoor terraces and even in indoor seating areas. The best course of action would be to thank them and carry on with your meal.

When getting a cab, call an official company and order a taxi that'll arrive and pick you up, rather than just getting into the nearest one. Alternatively, use ride sharing apps like Uber that pre-calculate the total cost of the ride in advance. That way, you'll avoid being overcharged.

Do not leave your drinks unattended, and don't accept drinks or cigarettes from strangers.

When ordering drinks, chose ones with no ice in them, or request to leave the ice out.

Carry a photocopy of your passport, along with the page containing your entry stamp, along with you at all times.

Never leave the hotel carrying all your money and valuables – have most of it stowed away in a secure location while you're out exploring.
Drugs in Cartagena
It's possible that you'll be approached by people selling drugs in the street, at bars or nightclubs – be sure to politely refuse all such offers, and never consume or carry drugs on your person, as this is both illegal and can be a set up for yet another elaborate scam. The "dealers" may even be acting in cahoots with the police, who are known to have been waiting to apprehend and search tourists immediately after the "transaction" takes place. In other cases, the "police" may even simply turn out to be the dealer's accomplices in disguise.

Apart from marijuana and cocaine, another drug that's gained notoriety in recent years is 'ayaguasca'. Traditionally used by indigenous peoples of the Amazon as part of rituals, it is a potent hallucinogen whose consumption side effects may, in some cases, lead to a lethal outcome. There have also been reports of those attempting to cross borders carrying the drug being apprehended and given hefty prison sentences.
Postal Services
The main public post carrier in Colombia is the "4-72"; the office closest to you may be located on their website. It is important to note, however, that 4-72 is notoriously unreliable, and anything more valuable than a simple postcard is best sent via a private carrier, such as DHL. 4-72 has a reported success rate of somewhere between 70 and 50 percent, meaning that up to half of all mail sent through them is gone without a trace and never arrives at the intended addressee.

It is also quite pricey to send mail abroad, especially if you choose to go for the "correo certificado" options, which allows one to track each mailing's location. To send with "certificado", you'll need to arrive at a physical office in person and present your official ID/passport number.

In Cartagena, the easiest solution for sending minor mail abroad may be via a tourist shop, some of which may sell stamps and even have an on-site mail box; post boxes in the street are hard to come by.
Cartagena de Indias Cruise Port
Cartagena is a common day-stop for cruises whose routes lie through the Caribbean. The cruise port of Cartagena, Colombia, is located roughly 4km from the Old Town, where the majority of Cartagena's attractions lie.

To reach the city center, one will either need to take a short walk from the pier to the Cruise Ship Terminal, or take a free shuttle bus. From the terminal building, the options are to either join a shore excursion or arrange your own transfer. Taxi drivers will be waiting at the port and outside the port exit; those who choose to walk a little further can expect to pay two times less than those who choose to get a cab directly from the port (which will still likely be twice as expensive as getting a cab back from the Old Town to the port). It may be worth checking whether any cars are available via apps such as Uber.

The Cartagena de Indias Cruise Port is pleasant enough, and has been named best in the Caribbean on several occasions. The port is equipped with souvenir stores for last-minute shopping and a Juan Valdez Cafe Cafe outlet. It is best, however, to make any purchases elsewhere, as things at the port tend to be overpriced.

Although Colombia's official currency is the peso, US dollars are widely accepted throughout Cartagena. It is advisable to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases; there is a functioning ATM at the port.

The cruise port's absolute highlight is a miniature outdoor zoo, which contains a selection of animals ranging from macaw to flamingos.
Phone Calls
+57 is Colombia's country code, 5 is the area code for Cartagena. +57 5 will then normally be followed by a 7-digit local phone number
Power Plugs, Sockets and Voltage in Cartagena, Colombia
Power plug types A and B are used in Colombia (these are plugs with two parallel flat pins, common throughout North America).
Voltage 110 V; frequency is 60 Hz. If the standard voltage in your country is betweeb 110 - 127 V, you will NOT require a voltage converter.

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