Cartagena is a wonderful place. I was supposed to stay for 5 days. Those 5 days in Cartagena turned into 6; I simply adored the city.
I can see why it is one of the top travel destinations in Colombia.
6 Days in Cartagena – Day One
I waited in a long line to get a taxi. After the 20-minute drive, I entered my hotel and checked in.
I met up with one of the girls I had met in Bogotá, Uma, and two other girls, Kristie and Adriana, from a Facebook group. We went to this place called Bam’s Burgers which is right in the center of Cartagena.
I got a veggie burger for COP 18000. It was not worth it. The fries were good though.
That night was rough. Cartagena is such a lively area so it is loud at night. YES, I am an old lady these days.
Before I shut my eyes, I went on Booking.com and decided to check out hostels that were closer to the center. Hotel Stil Cartagena had poor Wifi and the noises outside and inside of the hotel were too much to handle. That and the fact that it was about a ten-minute walk away from the center of the city was too much for me.
I felt so far away from everything. The first night, I booked a new accommodation at SV Hostal Badillo. It wasn’t too cheap but anything was going to be better than the previous place.
6 Days in Cartagena – Day Two
The Rosario Islands (post will come soon 😃 )
6 Days in Cartagena – Day Three
The next day, I was able to explore the narrow but beautiful streets of Cartagena.
I smothered my body in sunblock and was ready for the heat.
I stopped to grab some mozzarella bread from Pan de Queso that was less than five minutes from SV Hostal and walked around for another two hours.
I came across Las Bóvedas, yet another historical part of Cartagena. I roamed around there for a bit taking in the ocean views and the cooling breeze.
After getting drenched by my sweat, I rested for a bit in the AC at SV Hostal.
Cafe del Mar has stunning views of the sunset and ocean. It is a calm and peaceful place to grab a drink if you are not budgeting. BUT, you can also watch the sunset outside of the restaurant and grab a beer for COP 4000 sooo, you choose LOL.
The mojito that I ordered was around COP 36000. CRAZY.
Another girl from Facebook, Adriana, met us at the bar, so there was a good amount of us.
I only spent USD 20 for two shots of Jameson and an eggplant lettuce dish that was mouthwatering.
Buttt, I like cheaper drinks.
I ordered a veggie burger, or so I thought. I took one bite into my burger and realized that it was a hamburger with veggies. Woops. I just took the burger out and ate the bread and veggies. It was really good.
After eating my bread, Adriana, Kristie, and I decided to go to grab a nightcap. We went to Submarina. I got another Jameson and then we called it a night.
6 Days in Cartagena – Day Four
Café de La Manana was on my mind since it had breakfast food. I ended up getting a falafel burger though LOL. It came with homemade potato chips which were also scrumptious. I tried to tell the dude tap water (agua del grifo) but that didn’t work out so I ended up paying COP 23500 for the burger plus COP 5000 for a water bottle.
Adriana met me so we could do some walking around. We ended up going to the Japanese store called Miniso because AC and then waited for Kristie.
The three of us went to Castillo de San Felipe. We hopped into our InDriver car and COP 7000 later, we were in front of the castle.
It was only COP 25000 to enter the castle. The wind made the scorching sun feel a bit less vibrant.
The castle was bigger than I thought and the views were amazing. We spent an hour or so and then headed back down.
The walk back to the hostel was only about 20 minutes.
On the way, we ended up at Getsemani. Getsemani is such an adorable area. There’s graffiti, flags, and artwork everywhere. It’s cool vibes. We took a bunch of pictures and then went to our next detour.
There is a sloth park right near the center of Cartagena. That was on the way back so we had to check it out.
We saw the perezosos (sloths in Spanish) but they were pretty high up so they weren’t too clear. I guess they’re a cute family but we couldn’t spot the baby.
There was this area street food cart right near my hostel. The arepas were to die for. There was always a long line.
6 Days in Cartagena – Day Five
This might be shocking but I overpacked. Not as bad as when I went to South Korea, but still too much LOL.
I started out my morning ordering an Uber to DHL that was actually right near the Castillo that I was at the previous day.
USD 200 later and my unnecessary clothes and a few handmade bags were on their way to the US.
I decided on a whim to go to the Convento de La Popa. For COP 50000, it was pretty reasonable and I read cool things about it so I made my way to the castle and asked a taxi driver. The taxi driver also waited for me while I wandered the area.
On the way up, I was nervous that the car was going to break down. It was making weird noises and the roads were narrow and steep so that would’ve been interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if it broke down cause that’s just my luck LOL.
The ticket to enter was COP 13000 and I only spent about 20 minutes inside. The views from the Convento de La Popa were nice. I wouldn’t go again but it was a cool sight to see.
After making it out alive from the Convento de La Popa, a few of us went to Boca Grande.
InDriver is a cool app cause you can set your price to where you’re going. Obviously, it has to be reasonable, but it’s still pretty nice. The three of us ended up only paying COP 3000 each and the drive was about 15 minutes.
6 Days in Cartagena – Day Six
Since I decide everything last minute, I had to be out of SV Hostal Badillo by 12 pm.
Before I left, I found a family room at SV Hostal on Booking.com and booked that LOL. The lady came to my door and told me it was too big for me and that I could stay another night in the same room so that was nice. It was confusing???? Just happy it worked out.
After figuring out what my next steps were, Kristie and I decided to head to a mud bath volcano.
6 Days in Cartagena – Day 6
I’m not gonna lie, my last day in Cartagena made me a bit sad. I truly loved the city and enjoyed the time and few days that I spent there.
The only thing that was rough was the heat. It reminded me of when I lived in Thailand LOL.
The people were kind. The prices of most things were touristy prices so that was also sucky. But the city itself was wonderful. I could’ve stayed another day or two but I do think that 4-6 days in Cartagena is reasonable.