Cartagena Travel Tips
There is an influx of travelers heading south to Cartagena
to spend New Years and we have put together the ultimate "travel tips" guide to help first time travelers stay safe and navigate their stay in Cartagena
a little bit easier. We hope everyone who is going to vacation in Cartagena has a safe and fun holiday!
- Do not exchange money on the street, only at exchange rates stores authorized places.
- Have peace of mind and withdraw money from an ATM and carry cash. Most places receive credit cards but we recommend you always carry some cash with you, no more than $150 or approximately 450,000 COP. In addition, you will get the best exchange rate when withdrawing from ATMS.
- Be careful at night. Cartagena is one of the safest cities in Colombia and the locals want to keep it this way because it brings money to their economy. However, you should avoid walking in dark and empty streets, always catch a cab.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Have your personal items safe inside of your purse or for males always keep your wallets in your front pocket.
- Don’t be too flashy and walk around with expensive jewelry, watches, and too much cash.
- Be careful with the street food, specially seafood. Like everywhere else street food is not always the best food option. If you have a delicate stomach, we would advise to stay away from it completely.
- If you plan on buying emeralds, make sure they are certified and not from street vendors.
- Try to always use Uber over taxis. If you do catch a cab on the street please ask the price of the fair before getting into the vehicle. Minimum fare is $1.20, and $8 should get you from Old Town to Bocagrande.
- Bring photocopies of your passport, never carry your original one when you leave your accommodations.
- Friendly people always want a tip. Locals will come up to you and offer their help but know that they will expect a tip.
- To the ladies, there are tons of cobblestone streets in Cartagena and they are not heel friendly. We recommend you wear sandals, or wedges.
- Bring sunblock. I cannot emphasize how important this is as the sun is extremely strong and you will get sunburned.
- Make restaurant reservations before you visit, especially if you are visiting during high seasons (December-February).
- Extremely hot during the day and breezy at night, so prepare clothes for both occasions.
- Beware of street vendors. The will try to overcharge you for items, food, or services. Always bargain your prices.
- Buy and drink bottled water.
- Beware of friendly women and their intentions, they may want to be paid for their company.
- "Gracias” equals “No” is a very polite way.
- Do not leave your things unwatched anywhere.