LANGUAGE: Spanish is the most prevalent language spoken.  Brush up on common phrases to help while exploring the city.  We downloaded a translation app, which was very useful in the markets and  outside of the toursity areas.

CURRENCY: Colombian Pesos.  Restaurants, hotels, and larger store fronts will accept a credit card, but cash is the preferred method of payment.  You will need cash for street vendors, tips and taxi fares.

WHEN TO GO: Any time! Cartagena is warm and humid year round, given it’s proximity to the equator.  Expect afternoon thunder storms especially during the summer months.

SAFETY: Colombia’s turbulent history with drugs and cartel activity has given reason to be concerned with safety.  However, we felt very safe during our week stay in Cartagena.  Use extra safety procautions and be more vigilant especially at night.  We did not take transportation or any excursions outside of those arranged by our hotel.

In total transparency, there was one thing I was not expecting. Prostitution is legal in the city. There were restaurants with signs not allowing “sex tourism”. 

Restaurants: Bohemia, Alma, Don Juan, La Cevicheria and Moshi

Bars:  Alquimico, Cafe del Mar, Movich Hotel Rooftop Bar and Alma bar at Casa San Agustin.

Hotels: Casa San Agustin, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara and Bastion Luxury Hotel (highly recommend staying in old town)

Recommended Itinerary

The beauty of the Cartagena is simply stunning. Friendly people, beautiful floral window boxes, brightly painted buildings and twisting flower vines draped throughout old town. Every corner of old town is mesmerizing.


Start your first day exploring old town.  Book a local guide through your hotel if you are interested in learning more about the history of the city.

The Getsemani neighborhood should be your next stop. Filled with beautiful street art, every turn unveils a colorful lively mural even more beautiful than the last.  The art has helped revitalize a neighborhood that was once known for crime, drugs and violence.  Do not miss the “Maria Mulata” mural, our personal favorite.

In the afternoon, bike down to the waterfront of the “new city”.  Most hotels have bikes readily available to guests.  There are local stands up and down the beach right in the sand.  Stop to enjoy a beer and take in all the beach activity.

Wrap up your first day with pre-dinner drinks at Alquimico.  The unique three story bar is centered around the an art deco cocktail bar on the ground floor where you can sip experimental licor infusions.  If looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, check out the bar’s rooftop terrace for a local beer.

There are multiple swoon worthy restaurants in old town: Bohmeia, La Cevicheria (thank you Anthony Bourdain), Alma, Don Juan, and Moshi.  If ambience is your thing, Bohmeia is your place!  Draped with twinkling lights over their outdoor garden, you will dine on fresh seafood serenaded by live music.


On your second full day, book a day trip to the Rosario Islands.   A 45 minute boat ride from Cartagena, spend the day swimming in the crystal clear blue water and relaxing in the sand.

Casa San Agustin partners with Coralina Island Boutique Hotel and arranged our day trip.  Nestled in the mangroves, we spent the day relaxing on one of the private docks overlooking the crystal clear water. Lunch of fresh local fish was served under a mangrove canopy right in the sand.  Perfect place to unwind!

*If you get seasick or are uncomfortable on the water, consider spending the night at the resort.  The return boat ride that afternoon was very bumpy, as the winds had picked up causing the water to be very rough.  This is a common occurrence.

After returning to old town, head to Cafe del Mar to watch the sunset over the ocean.  Expect crowds as this is a popular spot!  Grab another delicious seafood dinner to celebrate your last evening.  La Cevicheria will bring all the seafood goodness.

Do not let preconceived notions about Colombia stop you from visiting Cartagena.  It is a beautiful, colorful and lively city we would love to visit again!

Welcome to Mullen it Over!

Hi, we’re Amanda & Kai!

An every day couple trying to see the world and cross off our ever expanding bucket list.


Pin me!

Follow us here