You have ABSOLUTELY to sleep in the old city. This means inside the walls of the fortress. Here, you will find different areas, San Diego or Getsemani will be fine. Otherwise it can be really dodgy. Apart from the tourist zones, Cartagena is not the best city to explore by yourself. If you are getting out of the walls, be very careful or be sure to be with a guided tour.
Where to eat ?
Andante Allegro Vivace, a fantastic italian restaurant.
Girasoles, a cheap unique vegan menu, changing every day.
La Cevicheria, a delicious Peruvian ceviche.
Where to drink a coffee ?
The best we found was in Abaco, a combination of cafe, bar and library! Who said you can’t read while having a Dictador Rum on the rocks!
Where to have a cocktail ?
Epoca cafe, to try the mojito with coca leaves !
We went to have a drink for the sunset at Café del mar, but the cocktails were standard and pricey. Instead, we recommend you to take your own drinks and seat on the walls of the city, next to the Café to enjoy the view!
How to go to Isla de Tierra Bomba ?
Go next to the Hospital, just beside, to the apartments and hotel zone. From there, ask to go up a little boat. 10 min after, you will be on the other side. The water is not as beautiful as in Playa Blanca but you will have a nice view on the skyline. We went at the end of the afternoon just to have a beer.
How to go to Playa Blanca ?
Go to the terminal of the ferries and ask the price. Don’t trust the people trying to sell you on the streets. They will offer you a day tour including a meal, and it will cost you almost the double than it will cost you directly at the terminal. The only two options to get there are by bus or by boat. All this trip has a very touristy feel to it, so it was not the best for us, as the beach is crowded and full of restaurants. But the color of the water is beautiful.