Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena is a beautiful city located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It is known for its colorful buildings, rich history, and vibrant culture. 

When visiting Cartagena, Colombia, choosing the right neighborhood to stay in can significantly enhance your experience. In this post, we will explore the pros and cons of each community in Cartagena to help you decide where to stay.

Staying in Getsemani Cartagena Colombia

Getsemani is a popular neighborhood in Cartagena known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant street art. 

It is located just outside the walled city, making it an excellent option for those looking to stay close to the action without breaking the bank. 

Pros of staying in Getsemani include its colorful streets, affordable accommodation, and proximity to popular attractions like Plaza Trinidad and the Castillo de San Felipe. 

Cons include its noisy nightlife, busy streets, and occasional safety concerns at night.

Staying in Centro Historico Cartagena Colombia

The Centro Historico, or walled city, is the heart of Cartagena’s tourist scene. It is home to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Cartagena Cathedral and the Palace of the Inquisition. 

Pros of staying in the Centro Historico include its stunning colonial architecture, proximity to popular attractions, and easy access to restaurants and shops. 

Cons include higher prices for accommodation, crowded streets, and high levels of tourist traffic.

Staying in Bocagrande Cartagena Colombia

Bocagrande is a trendy neighborhood located south of the walled city. It is known for its high-end hotels, luxury shopping, and white sand beaches. 

Pros of staying in Bocagrande include its beautiful beaches, high-end shopping, and dining options, and easy access to the city’s nightlife. 

Cons include its higher prices, heavy traffic, and lack of cultural authenticity compared to other neighborhoods.

Staying in El Laguito Cartagena Colombia

El Laguito is a residential neighborhood located just south of Bocagrande. It is a quieter and more peaceful option than Bocagrande, with fewer tourists and more local residents. 

Pros of staying in El Laguito include its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful views of the ocean, and proximity to the beach. 

Cons include its lack of cultural attractions, limited dining options, and the need for transportation to access the city’s main tourist sites.

Staying in Manga Cartagena Colombia

Manga is a residential neighborhood located on the mainland side of Cartagena’s bay. It is known for its quiet streets, beautiful colonial homes, and tranquil parks. 

Pros of staying in Manga include its peaceful atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and access to local parks and green spaces. 

Cons include its distance from the city’s main tourist sites, limited dining options, and the need for more nightlife.

Staying in Cabrero Cartagena Colombia

Cabrero is a charming and increasingly popular neighborhood in Cartagena, located just east of the Centro Historico. 

It offers a mix of colonial architecture, trendy bars and restaurants, and access to some of the city’s best beaches in Cartagena. 

Cabrero is where I chose to stay when I visited Cartagena, Colombia. It was the perfect choice for me. 

In the video “Where to Stay in Cartagena,” I give a tour of my $ 30-a-night apartment, neighborhood, and local beach.

Here are some of the pros and cons of staying in Cabrero:

Pros of Staying in Cabrero Cartagena

  1. Great location: Cabrero is just a short walk or bike ride from the Centro Historico, making exploring the city’s historic landmarks and cultural attractions easy.
  2. Beautiful architecture: Cabrero is known for its stunning colonial architecture, with colorful buildings and tree-lined streets that offer a glimpse into the city’s history.
  3. Vibrant nightlife: There are plenty of trendy bars, restaurants, and cafes in Cabrero, making it a great spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat after a long day of sightseeing.
  4. Beach access: Cabrero is located near some of the best beaches in Cartagena, including Playa de la Boquilla and Playa de Marbella.
  5. Lower Prices: Because Cabrero is less popular than many other neighborhoods, there are still dining and accommodation bargains.

Cons of Staying in Cabrera Cartagena 

  1. Noise: Like many urban neighborhoods, Cabrero can be noisy and hectic, particularly on weekends when the bars and restaurants are busiest.
  2. Limited parking: If you’re planning to rent a car, it may be challenging to find parking in Cabrero, particularly during peak tourist season.
  3. Limited tourist infrastructure: While there are plenty of great restaurants and bars in Cabrero, there may be limited resources for tourists like tour operators or English-speaking staff.

In conclusion, each neighborhood in Cartagena offers unique advantages and disadvantages for travelers. Choosing the right one depends on your priorities and preferences. If you are looking for a lively atmosphere and affordable accommodation, Getsemani may be the right choice. 

On the other hand, if you want to be in the heart of the action and don’t mind paying a premium, the Centro Historico may be a better option. 

Bocagrande and El Laguito are excellent choices for those seeking a beach vacation. 

At the same time, Manga offers a more peaceful and authentic Colombian experience. 

Again, Cabrero was the best choice for me. It’s an excellent neighborhood for travelers who want to be close to the action at a reduced price. 

I would stay in Cabrero again with access to the city’s historic landmarks, trendy bars and restaurants, and beautiful beaches. 

While it can be a bit noisy, it offers a unique and vibrant local experience at a reduced cost.

Whatever your choice, Cartagena is sure to captivate and enchant you with its charm, history, and culture.

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