Where to stay in and around Cartagena.
September 4, 2016 6:03 PM   Subscribe

We're thinking of going to Colombia for 2 weeks this February, to the Cartagena area. Where to go / stay / do?

Thinking of spending half the time in the city and half on some island and or beach somewhere in the area, say within 1 or 2 hours travel time. (We did something similar in Brazil, half in Salvador, half in Morro de Sao Paulo).
We are a couple with a 9yo boy. Looking to spend about USD $2000 on hotels+food.
In what hotel or area of Cartagena should we stay? What island or beach paradise should we go to?
Also, is there any place / ride /experience / food we shouldn't miss?
posted by signal to Travel & Transportation around Cartagena, Colombia (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My now wife and I stayed at an airbnb in the old city, and it was a fantastic experience. No kid, which I can see changing a lot of the logistics (we walked a LOT) but cabs are pretty easy. Other than the old city, which even if you don't stay in you should spend time in, I'd recommend getting a car out to the nearby mud volcano. The mud is so dense you literally cannot submerge yourself even if you try, so that should be pretty kid friendly (the ladder to get out might be tough for him, but there are people there who help you in and out).
posted by solotoro at 6:54 AM on September 5, 2016

Playa Blanca is the beach everyone flocks to to get the 'Caribbean beach' experience: white sand, turquoise water, etc. It's a 45 min boat ride away, but the public beaches in Cartegena is not nearly as nice, so I would encourage you to make the trek. If you want to split up the trip, this might be a good place to stay for a week.

I stayed in a hostel, which is probably not what you are looking for, but I will agree the old city is a nice place to be based in. Very walkable and picturesque.

There are lots of excellent bakeries, and one of the more interesting offerings is bread stuffed with local cheese and dulce de leche (milk caramel), sometimes called Roscón de Arequipe. My other favorite was areppas, a fried cornmeal and cheese patty that can be eaten plain, or stuffed with meat. There are lots of food carts selling these.

Columbian food is in general pretty awesome, but if your kiddo wants something a bit more familiar, there are plenty of really good restaurants of every type there.
posted by ananci at 10:20 AM on September 5, 2016

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