Why travel Cartagena, Colombia? It’s one of our favorite destinations in the world for its rich history, charming walled city, and tasty food.
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It’s Close to the US
While South America is viewed as a long distance from the US mainland, northern South America (Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Equador, Suriname) is relatively close from several US hubs. From Fort Lauderdale or Miami airports, Cartagena is just over three hours. It’s slightly longer from Dallas or Houston, but still shorter than US cross-country flights.
What Makes Cartagena Great
Cartagena is lesser-known to many Americans but shouldn’t be. Here are the things that make travelling Cartagena, Colombia great.
Unlike Mexican food, Colombian food isn’t particularly spicy. Arepas are a (northern) South American traditional sandwich served in a “corn-pita” (for lack of a better term.) Fresh juice is the order of the day, or try a sampling from the grill complete with fried plantains.
The original city (founded as a port for the Spanish) sits behind fortified stone walls, replete with original canons and turrets still in place. Behind the city walls are beautiful restaurants, colorful boutiques, gorgeous hotels, and cobble-stoned roads.
One of the most affordable destinations in the Caribbean, Cartagena is less expensive than even Mexico. Transportation via taxi from the airport to the city is less than $10, taxis within the town can be under $2 for a short distance. A dinner for three with appetizers and dessert at a top-notch restaurant will struggle to reach $50.
Cartagena has three different types of hotel experiences. Within the walled city, boutique properties fill the streets. Sofitel has converted a nunnery into a stunning level of luxury while retaining its historical perspective.
In the city of Cartagena (outside of the walled city) major chains overlook the Caribbean from brands like Hyatt, Hilton, and IHG with a business hotel feel but the benefits of a Caribbean destination.
About 20 minutes outside the city is the brand new Conrad Cartagena. This stunning property has won our hearts with the privacy and quiet of a remote resort but the convenience of being close enough for nightly dinners in the old city. This Hilton property has several restaurants, game rooms, nearly a dozen pools and jacuzzis (including one at the sea), a private black sand beach, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course.
Just north of the equator and on the stunning Caribbean Sea, Cartagena, Colombia is warm year-round. Rain and clouds make appearances but Caribbean hurricanes rarely enter the area – making any time a good time to go.
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