10 Tips for Visiting Cartagena

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I recently visited Cartagena and though I’m a seasoned traveller, I encountered a few things I wish I had known ahead of time.

  1. Upon arriving, the ATM machines at the airport are located in departures in the far right corner by the elevator.  There are no ATMs in international arrivals.
  2. Breakfast was hard to find.  We stayed in Boca Grande and declined the breakfast buffet at check-in thinking we would explore new places every morning.  Bad idea. Few to no places were open for breakfast and those that were open served fast food style food. We thought we could eat breakfast in various hotel restaurants.  Wrong.  Only hotel patrons are allowed to have breakfast in the hotels.
  3. Be prepared for nonstop vendors while at the beach trying to sell jet ski rides, tours, tattoos, massages, braids, t shirts,  dresses, sea food, drinks, floatable devices, baby clothes, jewelry, sunglasses, fruit salad… it’s endless.

4.  Tip is voluntary but always included in the bill.

5.  Don’t wait until the last minute to check out.  Your room has to be cleared before you are given your exit ticket. Waiting for someone to inspect the room could hold you up if you’re headed straight to the airport from there.

6.  There is no online nor kiosk check-in for Spirit. That means you have to stand in line even if you’re not checking bags.

7.  Traffic to the airport can be awful.  Plan ahead.

8.  When waiting for your flight, there are no restaurants in the waiting area.  Kind of surprising since the terminal appears to be fairly new. There is a coffee shop, a snack bar, and a small store that offer few choices.  Best advice is to eat beforehand if you can.

Scarce offerings in the terminal

9.  In the new terminal, electrical outlets are few. Many are about two feet from the ceiling which necessitates a ten foot cord to charge.  There is one charging kiosk across gate 12 that has four outlets.  All the other outlets are on the far wall by gate 16.

Charging Kiosk

10.  Restaurants tend to run on a similar schedule as the ones in France.  Be sure to time your hunger accordingly.

Bonus tip.  If you go to Cartagena, enjoy for it truly is beautiful.

Skyline at Boca Grande Beach


Woman Dressed in Traditional Outfit in Historic Center
Dome of Cathedral in Historic District
Balcony-lined Street in Historic Center



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