Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods

Are you looking for the perfect neighborhood to stay in Cartagena, balancing safety, local authenticity, and your specific travel preferences? Wondering where to find the best beaches, cultural experiences, or family-friendly spots?

Having visited Cartagena on four separate occasions and explored all seven of the distinct neighborhoods mentioned, including staying in four of them, I bring you insights and firsthand experiences to guide your decision on where to stay.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Discover the safest and most authentic neighborhoods catering to diverse travel preferences.
  • Uncover hidden gems and local experiences, ensuring an enriching stay in Cartagena.
  • Navigate the trade-offs and nuances of each area, from bustling Getsemaní to the upscale appeal of San Diego.
  • Gain practical insights on safety, budget considerations, and the unique character of each neighborhood.

From the historic Walled City to the tranquil Manga, in this “Where to Stay in Cartagena: Best & Safest Neighborhoods” article, you’ll learn the ins and outs of Cartagena’s neighborhoods, empowering you to choose the perfect haven for your stay.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for Digital Nomads & Nightlife: Getsemaní

Why Stay in Cartagena’s Getsemaní Neighborhood?

cartagena safety

Getsemaní, just outside Cartagena’s iconic Walled City, is the go-to neighborhood for digital nomads seeking a vibrant blend of history and contemporary flair. Bursting with cool street art, quaint cafes, and lively nightlife, Getsemaní has transformed into Colombia’s trendiest enclave.

During the colonial era, Getsemaní thrived as a working-class haven, home to free black artisans who shaped Cartagena’s architectural legacy. This neighborhood played a pivotal role in the fight for independence, birthing Cartagena’s unique Afro-Caribbean culture. In recent years, tourism has blossomed, turning the Plaza de la Trinidad into a buzzing hub surrounded by a myriad of hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Previously synonymous with younger backpackers, Getsemaní has evolved. Gentrification has woven a diverse tapestry, offering options for every traveler. Boutique and upscale hotels seamlessly coexist with budget-friendly accommodations, catering to a broad spectrum of preferences.

What sets Getsemaní apart is its culinary diversity and thriving cafe scene. From hidden gems to trendsetting establishments, the neighborhood caters to the discerning tastes of digital nomads. It strikes the perfect balance, offering a taste of Cartagena’s authenticity at a more affordable price compared to the Walled City.

Beyond accommodation and dining, Getsemaní is a visual feast. The vivid street art makes it the undisputed champion for captivating photos, earning its place as the most Insta-worthy among Cartagena’s neighborhoods. In our experience, Getsemaní stood out as our favorite, embodying the soul of Cartagena with a modern twist.

Things to See and Do in Getsemaní Cartagena

  • Mural Exploration: Wander through Getsemaní’s vibrant streets and discover incredible murals, notably at Calle de las Tortugas and Calle Del Espiritu Santo, showcasing the area’s artistic flair.
  • Relax in Parque Del Centenario: Take a break in the serene Parque Del Centenario, a green space perfect for a moment of tranquility.
  • Cocktails and Tapas at Demente: Indulge in cocktails and tapas at Demente, a popular spot for its lively atmosphere and flavorful offerings.
  • Visit Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad: Explore the recently restored Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad, a historic church showcasing architectural beauty.
  • Old World Charm at Cafe Havana: Experience old-world charm and lively nightlife at Cafe Havana, a popular spot for music and dancing.
  • Explore Calle San Andres: Meander down Calle San Andres, exploring its bars and eateries, each offering a unique flavor of Getsemaní’s culture.
  • Pier Los Pegasos: Take a stroll along Pier Los Pegasos, enjoying the view and admiring the Pegasus statues.
  • Plaza Trinidad Festivities: Join the lively atmosphere at Plaza Trinidad, where you can eat, drink, dance, and celebrate with locals and fellow travelers.

What’s the Catch in Getsemaní?

  • Crowded Scene: Getsemaní’s growing popularity means it can get crowded, making it less ideal for those seeking peace and quiet.
  • Sketchy Areas at Night: While generally safe, a few areas in Getsemaní can be sketchy at night. Stick to well-lit, major streets for added safety.
  • Potential Flooding: Heavy rainfall may lead to flooding in some streets, impacting mobility. Keep this in mind during the rainy season.

Is Getsemaní Cartagena Safe?

Getsemaní, once associated with crime, has significantly improved and is now a thriving hub for digital nomads and backpackers. Exercise common sense, and you’ll find it generally safe. While it’s fine to walk around at night, stick to well-lit streets, especially in certain areas. It’s advisable to stay in groups and avoid walking alone if intoxicated for added safety.

Where to Stay in Getsemaní Cartagena

Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For Digital Nomads – Enjoy relaxation and sunshine at Selina Cartagena with its two rooftop swimming pools, daily yoga classes, a variety of games and activities, making it an ideal hotspot for digital nomads before exploring the nearby beautiful streets.

Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For Nightlife – Media Luna Hostel in Getsemani offers a unique blend of backpacker vibes and historical charm, providing a magical setting for socializing with fellow travelers, enjoying the lush patio and pool, and exploring the artistic heart of Cartagena; additionally, its rooftop bar hosts the renowned Media Luna Mega Party every Wednesday.

Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -


For Luxury – Casa Del Pozo Boutique Hostel offers a boutique experience with an exceptional bar, shared kitchen, refreshing pool, and a comfortable lounge featuring air conditioning, a 58-inch TV with Netflix, an Internet station, books, and more for guests to enjoy.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for Tourists & Sightseeing: El Centro

Why Stay in Cartagena’s El Centro Neighborhood?

Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

El Centro, often referred to as the Historic Center, stands as the quintessential choice for tourists eager to immerse themselves in Cartagena’s rich history and vibrant culture. Enclosed by the iconic colonial stone wall, El Centro is a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcasing the very image that likely sparked your interest in visiting Cartagena.

For sightseers, El Centro is a treasure trove of attractions. The Gold Museum, the Inquisition Museum, and the Naval Museum beckon history enthusiasts, while the Castillo San Felipe Fortress is a mere 15-minute walk away. The historic downtown area not only captivates with its architecture but also serves as the epicenter for the city’s best restaurants and nightlife.

El Centro caters to every traveler’s preference, offering a diverse range of accommodations from upscale luxury hotels housed in colonial mansions to hip backpacker hostels. Culinary delights abound, spanning from fine dining to delectable street food. Whether you’re in the mood for designer shopping or seeking unique artisan crafts from street vendors, El Centro has it all.

The best part? Everything is within walking distance. As you explore the beautiful colonial streets and stroll atop the city wall, you’ll find the essence of Cartagena right at your fingertips. While El Centro may come with a premium price tag, its convenience and immersive experience make it a top choice for those prioritizing proximity to Cartagena’s heart. If budget constraints weigh on your decision, alternative options like Getsemaní or El Cabrero might be worth considering. However, budget-friendly accommodations can still be found in Cartagena’s downtown area.

Things to See and Do in El Centro Cartagena

  • Iglesia de San Pedro Claver: Marvel at the almost-500-year-old Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, a historic church showcasing colonial architecture.
  • Palace of the Inquisition: Explore the Palace of the Inquisition, a beautiful baroque building housing a museum with a rich yet somber history.
  • Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría: Admire the stunning yellow facade and baroque details of the Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría, a prominent cathedral.
  • Parque de La Marina: Stroll around the picturesque Parque de La Marina, a charming park offering a relaxing atmosphere.
  • El Barón: Enjoy sliders and cocktails at the top-rated El Barón, a popular spot for a delightful lunch experience.
  • Museo Naval Del Caribe: Learn about Colombia’s navy, culture, and history at Museo Naval Del Caribe, an informative museum.
  • Calle de Los Siete Infantes: Walk down the colorful Calle de Los Siete Infantes, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.
  • Museo del Oro Zenú: Explore the Museo del Oro Zenú, featuring gold, silver, and ceramics that provide insights into pre-Colombian culture.
  • Baluarte de Santo Domingo: Visit the fortress of Baluarte de Santo Domingo for stunning sea views and historical significance.
  • Café del Mar: Sip delicious cocktails at Café del Mar, located at the fortress, while enjoying a picturesque sunset over the sea.

What’s the Catch in El Centro?

  • Morning Noise: El Centro can be noisy in the early morning, with limited hotels offering adequate soundproofing.
  • High Cost: Hotels, bars, and restaurants in El Centro are often considered expensive.
  • Tourist Crowds: Expect to share spaces with many tourists and persistent street vendors throughout the day.
  • Limited Beach Proximity: El Centro doesn’t offer beachfront access, making it less ideal for those looking to spend a significant amount of time on the beach.

Is El Centro Cartagena Safe?

El Centro is generally safe, but it may not feel like the safest area in Cartagena due to frequent encounters with panhandlers and persistent vendors. Poverty-stricken individuals often try to make a living by selling to tourists, not always accepting a polite refusal. Additionally, the presence of homeless people raises concerns about long-term safety in the downtown area.

Where to Stay in El Centro Cartagena

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Budget – Republica Hostel Cartagena, ideally situated within the historic Old City walls, offers a unique and authentic Colombian experience with a large courtyard, ground-floor pool and bar, a lounge, and a rooftop terrace with a hot tub, providing a fun and relaxing environment for guests to immerse themselves in the rich culture and vibrant nightlife of Cartagena.

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Families & Couples – Ayenda El Viajero #2, located 200 meters from Bolivar Park in Cartagena, offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, featuring amenities such as flat-screen TVs, private bathrooms, and some rooms with balconies or patios, while being centrally located near Cartagena’s Gold Museum and the Palace of the Inquisition, making it a favored choice for couples.

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Luxury – Charleston Santa Teresa Cartagena offers a luxurious experience with amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, marble floors, and spa facilities, while also providing convenient access to the sea, snorkeling, scuba diving trips, bay tours, and proximity to San Pedro Claver Church.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for a Luxury Beach Vacation: Bocagrande & Laguito

Why Stay in Cartagena’s Bocagrande & Laguito Neighborhoods?

Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

For an opulent beach retreat in Cartagena, Bocagrande and Laguito offer a luxurious blend of modernity and coastal allure. This peninsula, once a modest sand bar, has evolved into a mini-South Beach adorned with high-rise hotels, condos, and a plethora of upscale shops and restaurants. Fun fact: Bocagrande is where Cartagena’s founder, Pedro de Heredia, first set foot.

Bocagrande is a symphony of contemporary architecture, hosting renowned international hotel chains, making it an ideal haven for families and those seeking a classic hotel experience. Along Avenida San Martin and beyond, an array of restaurants complements the vibrant atmosphere. The main attraction, Playa Hollywood, boasts expansive beaches between the Intercontinental Hotel and Hotel Caribe, making it a hotspot despite occasional crowds and persistent vendors.

Adjacent to Bocagrande, El Laguito, named for the surrounding lake, offers a quieter alternative with hotels, condos, and vacation rentals. The beach by the Hilton or outside El Muelle restaurant provides a serene escape, less frequented than its bustling counterparts. While a bit further from the Walled City, Laguito offers a tranquil retreat with breathtaking sunset views, though a taxi may be preferable over a lengthy walk to Centro.

In summary, Bocagrande and Laguito redefine beachfront luxury, presenting a sophisticated haven with modern amenities, panoramic views, and the enchanting blend of Cartagena’s history and contemporary allure.

Things to See and Do in Bocagrande & Laguito Cartagena

  • Designer Fashion Shops: Wander the streets to discover designer clothes at the numerous fashion shops in Bocagrande, offering a trendy shopping experience.
  • Estelar Hotel: Gaze in awe at the Estelar Hotel, one of Colombia’s tallest buildings, dominating the skyline of Bocagrande.
  • El Laguito: Take a leisurely stroll around El Laguito, a charming lake situated in the southern part of Bocagrande, providing a serene setting.
  • Kiosko El Bonny: Indulge in affordable beachside dining at Kiosko El Bonny, one of the area’s popular eateries with scenic views.
  • Plaza Bocagrande Mall: Explore Plaza Bocagrande Mall, offering not only shopping but also sea views for a delightful shopping experience.
  • Bocagrande Beach: Relax on the beautiful beaches of Bocagrande, with several stretches of sandy shores providing a perfect place to unwind.

What’s the Catch in Bocagrande & Laguito?

  • Transportation Needed: Expect to take a taxi to reach the historic walled city or Getsemaní from Bocagrande & Laguito.
  • Touristy and Expensive: Bocagrande & Laguito can be very touristy and are often considered more expensive than other areas in Cartagena.
  • Average Beaches: The beaches are decent but not spectacular, and they can be crowded with lots of vendors.

Is Bocagrande & Laguito Cartagena Safe?

Laguito and Bocagrande rank among the safest neighborhoods in Cartagena. While other areas are generally safe during the day, it’s advisable to avoid being alone at night. A key safety tip for Colombian cities is to never leave belongings unattended, and after 10 pm, opt for a cab if the streets are deserted.

Where to Stay in Bocagrande & Laguito Cartagena

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Luxury – Situated in the Bocagrande area of Cartagena, Hotel Almirante, a luxurious beachfront hotel in the main tourist and shopping district, offers elegant rooms with sea views, four dining options including Alcatraz Restaurant and Pizzeria Almirante, a pool with sea views, free Wi-Fi, event rooms, meeting facilities, and various recreational amenities such as sun loungers, billiards, sauna, massage services, and a fitness center.

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Oz Hotel Luxury in Cartagena de Indias, located 150 meters from the nearest beach, offers air-conditioned accommodations with a bar, restaurant, 24-hour front desk, room service, free WiFi, shared lounge, concierge service, and tour organization; featuring rooms with a wardrobe, desk, flat-screen TV, and private bathroom, the hotel also provides a buffet breakfast and two terraces for guests to enjoy.

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Luxury – The Hilton Cartagena is an ideal choice for travelers looking for a lasting beachside experience near Cartagena’s walled city, offering a perfect setting for memorable vacations and events.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for Couples & Upscale Travel: San Diego

Why Stay in Cartagena’s San Diego Neighborhood?

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San Diego emerges as the ultimate choice for couples and upscale travelers seeking an enchanting retreat within Cartagena’s historic Walled City. Positioned just north of Centro, San Diego seamlessly combines the richness of history and colonial charm without the bustling crowds and nightlife.

This district, offering an intimate atmosphere with fewer tourists, provides a serene escape where you can stroll through cobblestone streets without being constantly approached. The Plaza de San Diego, a vibrant focal point, entices with some of the finest culinary experiences in Cartagena. Here, live music accompanies evenings filled with delectable street food, creating a perfect setting for couples seeking a romantic ambiance.

San Diego strikes the ideal balance, offering the allure of an open-air museum akin to Centro but with a more intimate ambiance. The presence of students from the nearby art college of Bellas Artes adds a lively touch, creating a harmonious atmosphere for both leisure and cultural exploration.

While Getsemani holds our favorite spot in Cartagena, San Diego comes in as a close second, providing an exclusive haven for couples and upscale travelers who appreciate the city’s history while savoring the tranquility of a more secluded retreat.

Things to See and Do in San Diego Cartagena

  • Sala de Teatro Reculá del Ovejo: Experience a play in the renovated theatre space of Sala de Teatro Reculá del Ovejo, adding a touch of cultural immersion.
  • Museo de Las Fortificaciones: Explore the history of the old city walls at Museo de Las Fortificaciones, gaining insights into Cartagena’s defensive past.
  • Plaza de San Diego: Visit Plaza de San Diego, admire the charming church, and savor local street food, capturing the essence of this picturesque square.
  • Plaza de Las Bovedas: Explore the former dungeon of Plaza de Las Bovedas, now housing souvenir shops, offering a unique shopping experience.
  • Fishermans Beach: Witness the daily catch at Fishermans Beach, where local fishermen bring in their haul, providing an authentic glimpse into coastal life.
  • Casa de Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Visit Casa de Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the former residence of the renowned writer, adding literary significance to your exploration.
  • Calle del Curato: Stroll down the atmospheric Calle del Curato, absorbing the historical charm and vibrant atmosphere of this iconic street.
  • Carmen Cartagena: Indulge in a culinary delight with the 5-course tasting menu at Carmen Cartagena, recognized as one of the city’s top restaurants.
  • Murallas De Cartagena: Head to the Murallas De Cartagena, the old city walls, for breathtaking sunset views, providing a scenic finale to your San Diego exploration.

What’s the Catch in San Diego?

  • No Beachfront Access: San Diego doesn’t provide beachfront access, making it less suitable for those seeking extensive beach time.
  • Moderate Value for Money: The value for money in San Diego might not be as high compared to other places in Colombia.

Is San Diego Cartagena Safe?

San Diego, situated in the quieter part of the Walled City, maintains a serene atmosphere. Bars and restaurants are open until 11-12 pm, and as long as alleys have people, it’s considered safe. After midnight, it’s recommended to call a cab for a secure return to your hotel.

Where to Stay in San Diego Cartagena

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Best Overall – Located in Cartagena’s vibrant walled city, Viajero Cartagena Hostel offers accommodation in a unique colonial house on a colorful street near nature-filled plazas, providing a choice of shared dorms or private bedrooms, daily Colombian breakfast, and a lively atmosphere with free daily activities like salsa lessons and live music, complemented by a bar opening at four, making it an ideal base for exploring the laid-back town and its diverse nightlife.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for Local Authenticity: Manga

Why Stay in Cartagena’s Manga Neighborhood?

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For those craving a genuine local experience in Cartagena, look no further than Manga, a serene island located south of Getsemani. In stark contrast to the bustling Centro, Manga offers a leafy, residential haven that remains largely undiscovered by mainstream tourism, making it an ideal choice for budget travelers seeking an authentic local feel.

While Manga might not boast the same plethora of sights as the walled city, its tranquility is a virtue, reflected in more affordable accommodations. A charming seafront promenade graces the neighborhood, providing breathtaking views of the city skyline and a bay adorned with yachts. Despite its peaceful ambiance, Manga maintains convenient access to Getsemani and the old town, ensuring you can still explore the vibrant heart of Cartagena on foot.

Manga’s unique charm lies in its non-existent nightlife, making it perfect for travelers seeking a laid-back atmosphere. The absence of bustling crowds and a more secluded environment make Manga a attractive option for couples and families seeking a romantic and stress-free stay in Cartagena.

Things to See and Do in Manga Cartagena

  • Church Santa Cruz de Manga: Admire the architectural beauty of Church Santa Cruz de Manga, featuring an ornate bell tower that adds to the neighborhood’s charm.
  • Club de Pesca: Indulge in a culinary delight at Club de Pesca, renowned as one of Cartagena’s best seafood restaurants, offering a feast for your taste buds.
  • Cementerio Santa Cruz de Manga: Explore the historic Cementerio Santa Cruz de Manga, where white mausoleums provide a unique glimpse into the area’s cultural and religious heritage.
  • San Lázaro Area: Take a leisurely walk through the green and sea-hugging San Lázaro area, enjoying the tranquil surroundings and coastal views.
  • Old Mansions of Manga: Discover the grandeur of Cartagena’s past by strolling around Manga, where spectacular old mansions like Casa Roman showcase the area’s historical wealth.
  • Parque del Pastelillo: Walk along Parque del Pastelillo, offering scenic views across Bahia de Manga, with the backdrop of Bocagrande’s skyscrapers visible across the water.

What’s the Catch in Manga?

  • Limited Hotels: Manga has few hotel options available.
  • Quiet Streets at Night: The streets can be empty early at night, contributing to a quieter atmosphere.
  • Lack of Amenities: Finding a cute coffee spot to work or convenient snacks may be more challenging in Manga.

Is Manga Cartagena Safe?

Manga is generally safe during the day and early evening, but some side streets can get dark at night. Exercise caution, use good judgment, and you should be fine. As a predominantly residential area, Manga is pleasant, though it’s gradually seeing an influx of apartments over time.

Where to Stay in Manga Cartagena

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Casa del Puerto Hostel & Suites, a newly rebuilt mansion in the peaceful district of Manga in Cartagena de Indias, offers a tranquil oasis with a spacious patio, pool, included breakfast, and convenient proximity to all the tourist attractions in a central area of the city.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for Families: Castillogrande

Why Stay in Cartagena’s Castillogrande Neighborhood?

where to stay in cartagena

For families seeking a perfect blend of tranquility, convenience, and beachfront luxury in Cartagena, Castillogrande stands out as an exclusive haven. This small peninsula, an extension of Bocagrande next to Laguito, is an enclave of high-rise apartment buildings and condos, hosting some of the city’s most affluent residents.

Notably, Castillogrande distinguishes itself by its exclusively residential character—there are no hotels, and vacation rentals are limited. The beach in Castillogrande, though more low-key, offers a delightful retreat. Families looking to unwind on the beach while maintaining easy access to restaurants, shopping, and a straightforward journey into the historic Centro will find Castillogrande an ideal location.

While the beaches in Castillogrande are the city’s finest within the urban area, it’s worth noting that they don’t rival the pristine white sand beaches in the Rosario Islands or Playa Blanca. However, for families seeking apartment-style accommodations, Castillogrande proves to be an excellent choice. The abundance of high-rise buildings, most equipped with pools and panoramic views, caters to those desiring a luxurious yet family-friendly stay in Cartagena. While not the cheapest option, the prices often compare favorably to similar accommodations within the Walled City, making Castillogrande an attractive choice for families seeking both comfort and value.

Things to See and Do in Castillogrande Cartagena

  • Playa Castillo Grande: Unwind on the serene Playa Castillo Grande, a local beach offering a peaceful retreat. While it may not boast Caribbean white sands, it provides a pleasant environment to relax and soak in stunning views of Tierra Bomba Island.
  • Kayaking and SUP: Explore the coastal beauty by renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Karib Kayak and Paddle Centre. Paddle along the shores of Castillogrande for a unique perspective of the area.
  • Club Naval: Families can enjoy a day at Club Naval, featuring restaurants, outdoor activities, a play area for kids, and tennis courts. It’s a versatile space offering various entertainment options for visitors.
  • Speedboat Adventure: For an exciting sea excursion, consider renting a speedboat and venturing out to sea for the day. It’s a fantastic way to experience the coastal charm of Cartagena beyond the shores of Castillogrande.

What’s the Catch in Castillogrande?

  • High Tourist Traffic: Castillogrande is heavily touristy, attracting large crowds.
  • Distance from Historic Center: It’s considerably far from the historic center, impacting accessibility to Cartagena’s main attractions.

Is Castillogrande Cartagena Safe?

Castillogrande, the modern area with seaside skyscrapers, is popular among locals for its proximity to the beach and affordable accommodation. While generally safe, avoid the beach at nightfall due to a lack of public lighting for added safety precautions.

Where to Stay in Cartagena for Budget Travel: El Cabrero & Marbella

Why Stay in Cartagena’s El Cabrero & Marbella Neighborhoods?

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For budget-conscious travelers seeking a local experience in Cartagena, El Cabrero and Marbella present ideal options just up the waterfront from Bocagrande. Both areas, primarily residential, offer excellent choices for affordable apartment-style vacation rentals, providing a more authentic and wallet-friendly stay compared to the bustling Walled City or Bocagrande.

El Cabrero, positioned just outside the Walled City, is a short walk away, making it even closer than Bocagrande. With a modest supermarket and a selection of bars and restaurants, El Cabrero stands out as one of the best budget-friendly options in Cartagena. The beach here, while not as picturesque as Bocagrande, enjoys a more serene atmosphere, favored by locals over tourists.

Marbella, a bit further up, offers a 15-20 minute walk to Centro and may present even more attractive prices, particularly for apartments. Like El Cabrero, Marbella boasts a beach, bats, and smaller restaurants, contributing to its authentic and laid-back charm.

For those arriving during the Independence Festivities in November, El Cabrero and Marbella become especially appealing, offering front-row seats to the parades along Avenida Santander.

Things to See and Do in El Cabrero & Marbella Cartagena

  • Beach Escape: Experience the local beach vibe in El Cabrero, which offers a more authentic and less crowded beach experience compared to touristy spots like Bocagrande. Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea while soaking in the local atmosphere.
  • Iglesia de nuestra Señora de las Mercedes: Explore the unique 19th-century chapel located in Parque Apolo. With its captivating white exterior, bell towers, and distinctive design, this church, along with the park, adds cultural and architectural richness to the Cabrero area.
  • Proximity to Downtown: Take advantage of El Cabrero’s close proximity to the downtown area of Cartagena. Easily explore the popular attractions and landmarks in the city center, making your stay in Cabrero a convenient base for discovering the best of Cartagena.

What’s the Catch in El Cabrero & Marbella?

  • Limited Dining Options: El Cabrero & Marbella have fewer appealing dining and drinking spots compared to other districts.
  • Lack of Boutique Accommodation: The area lacks boutique accommodations, limiting upscale stay options.
  • Safety Concerns: El Cabrero & Marbella are considered less safe than some other parts of the city, prompting caution.

Is El Cabrero & Marbella Cartagena Safe?

While not unsafe during the day, El Cabrero and Marbella can be dimly lit, and there have been reports of robberies at night, especially near a major road. If staying close to the wall entrance of El Cabrero, walking from Centro is generally safe. For locations farther down or in Marbella, it’s recommended to take a cab at night for added safety.

Where to Stay in El Cabrero & Marbella Cartagena

Where to Stay in Cartagena Colombia: 7 Best & Safest Neighborhoods -

Hotel Aixo Suites By GEH Suites, a 3-star beachfront accommodation in Cartagena de Indias, boasts an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, and restaurant, with convenient proximity to Marbella Beach, Crespo Beach, and Cartagena’s Walls, offering amenities such as a bar and free WiFi throughout the property.

Finishing Thoughts

And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to Cartagena’s neighborhoods, tailored to your preferences and budget. We’ve covered the diverse options available, ensuring you can make an informed decision about where to stay during your visit to this vibrant city.

If you’re seeking a neighborhood with an artistic vibe, bustling streets, and an ever-lively atmosphere, our personal favorite is Getsemaní. Having explored Cartagena on multiple occasions and stayed in various neighborhoods, Getsemaní consistently stands out for its vibrant street art, cultural richness, and energetic spirit.

Wishing you an incredible journey through Cartagena and Colombia! Feel free to share your thoughts or any lingering questions in the comments below, and let us know which neighborhood captured your heart in this captivating Colombian city! Safe travels!


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