1) Cartagena is expensive!! We had thought Cartagena would have comparable prices to Ecuador (the other country we were visiting on this trip), and boy were we dead wrong! Cartagena is no cheap deal...but my, is it worth every penny!!
2) There are a gazillion options for accommodations in Cartagena!! I'm not going to lie, Kevin and I were a tad overwhelmed! The options ran the gambit from very expensive (and gorgeous!) resorts in the old walled city, to more guesthouse type accommodations.
So, we did our homework and spent hours researching where we should stay! Should we stay in the old walled city? Should we do AirBnB and save a few pennies but be further away from the city? Or should we stay in Getsemani, the new up and coming neighborhood right outside the walled city?
We ended up choosing to stay in Getsemani, and I am SO glad we did. Getsemani is a short walk from the old walled city, but is very historical in and of itself. In some ways, I loved Getsemani even more than the city center, as it felt very authentic and local. Walking down the street where our hotel was located, there were young kids playing checkers and chess, riding bikes, and old men sitting out in their rocking chairs laughing the night away. Many new hip restaurants dot the area, and it is so lively and colorful, especially at night!
We chose to stay at Casa Relax. For the price we paid per night, it was totally worth it! It was a lovely little oasis tucked into a neighborhood in Getsemani, built in the original courtyard style houses.
Here's what I loved:
- It was family style eating along a lovely wooden table. Every morning we were served a yummy breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and fresh fruit and met tons of other travelers!
- There was a pool and hammocks to relax in after a long day of site seeing
- It was a short walk to the walled-city, and conveniently located to many other places of interest
- It was a good bang for our buck (ie: we could afford it!)
What I didn't love:
- No hot water in the shower. Seeing as Cartagena is pretty toasty and humid most of the year, this wasn't that big of deal...but I do love a hot shower at night!
- They don't give you a top blanket. The room is lovely, but what I noticed right off the bat was that the bed has a sheet, but no top blanket. I never asked for one, so maybe they have some on hand?
If you are going to Cartagena, and are on a budget, Getsemani is your best option!! Good luck!!
To see other Cartagena posts: