Cartagena....what a pleasure. I wandered and stayed in each section of the city, Getsemani & Bocagrande a must, then taxied out to Isla Baru for some R&R. I returned for my last night and Bday dinner in the walled city.
Getsemani at night is where you really--feel--Cartagana. Just vibriant and lively with street food, art, music and great spots for drinks or dinning. Then early morning grab a cup of coffee and enjoy one of the most rustically charming walks you'll ever have. The color in this area is one of the best. The stays in this area are mostly B&B style hotels and are fantastic, grab one with a roof top pool. It will be small but it does the trick.
After some relaxing, get dressed formal light with your leather slip ons and take a walk over to the walled city for sunset drinks. The contrast is special because you've just come from a rustic charm to now a classy colonial style area. Enjoy one of the many places to dine or drinks and simply enjoy an exceptional evening walk. Now your ready to head to the Bocagrande area.
Again, a third contrasting visit to a 70's Miami hotel style area. Walk the strip and see the area and have dinner. Just a quick visit here and now your ready to get out of the city to the beach life. From this point you have several options. From the pier at the end of Bocagrande you have access to really anything you have the budget for. My advise is decide where you want to go, which beach area, and arrange with your hotel or BnB transportation.
I actually chose to cab to Isla Baru, which can be a far more comfortable transfer. Again, it really is worth it to work with your lodging to see this area. Its the type of scenario where you really want to be in small groups or private to really enjoy. Anything publicly grouped its honestly just crazy, you've been warned. Now that that's covered, thoroughly enjoy your beach time before you head home.
Pro Tip: Because I wish I did and I'll be back to do. This area really was, and felt, safe at all times. I would highly suggest visiting a bit north to Santa Marta. This area has a great little town set right next to a wide range of hikes and hidden beaches. Enjoy.
Please let us know your thoughts below.