Accommodation in Cartagena
On this page we give advice about where to stay in Cartagena and where to book accommodation. An important point to consider when choosing where to stay in Cartagena is that the city is very much a tourist destination and so at certain times of the year accommodation can be in short supply and expensive. As such we suggest choosing carefully when to visit to avoid peak season or to book in advance to guarantee your accommodation.
Areas of Cartagena
Getsemani and Centro Historico
Getsemani is the most common area to stay in Cartagena when studying Spanish. Most of the schools have a list of homestay families who live within a 30 minute walk from the school. First impressions may give a bad overview of this area as being a bit rough but get to know it and you’ll learn to love the area for it’s wonderful character and charm.
The Centro Historico is an amazing place. Noisy and bustling during the day then calming right down at night. If you get the opportunity to stay here jump at the chance.
Beachside Bocagrande and El Laguito
If you love the beach and plan to spend alot of time basking in the sun then you might want to find accommodation within the Bocagrande or El Laguito zones. Most of the accommodation in these areas are comprised of holiday apartments and hotels but people actually live along this zone too!
Types of Accommodation in Cartagena
The most common accommodation option for Spanish students in Cartagena is a Homestay. In a homestay you have the chance to integrate with a local Colombian family and immerse yourself in the local customs, food and family life. Normally all meals and laundry service is provided. Nearly every Spanish School in Cartagena organize homestays for their students so make sure you ask them for more information. One of the considerations of staying with a host family is that whilst you live under their roof you are expected to follow their rules, which may mean a curfew at night and not being able to invite your friends over.
As a tourist destination Cartagena can be a fairly difficult place to find affordable long term accommodation. For this reason many Spanish students stay in hostels in Cartagena for the duration of their courses. Cartagena has a large selection of hostels most of which are located in the Getsemani quarter which is conveniently located alongside the Historic town center. A large number of hostels are located along Calle Media Luna so if you arrive without a booking just ask the taxi driver to take you there and finding a good option shouldn’t be too difficult (unless its peak tourist season). We recommend you check out HostelsCombined before you arrive to review all the options plus a chance to read honest reviews from past travelers.
If you have the budget then another more comfortable and private option is to stay in a furnished apartment. One of the reputable agencies we have used is Bienesweb.com however the apartments generally cater for groups so could be on the expensive side if your travelling alone. Finding other agencies shouldn’t be too difficult.
Airbnb has a selection of holiday accommodation in Cartagena with options ranging from affordable through to luxurious. Unlike other cities in Colombia however Airbnb doesn’t seem to be a very good option for finding shared apartments or longer term rentals. Most of the advertised properties seem to be short term apartment rentals.
There are hotels of all standards and quality in Cartagena from budget through to the ultimate in five star luxury. The best selection we found is on HotelsCombined a booking site which compares multiple sources online and gives you the best price. Traditionally the hotels were large and all built along the beachfront. These days with Cartagena’s recent rise to international fame this has triggered a noticeable boom in boutique hotel developments, especially in the historic city center and surrounds. If you’re looking for more than just older style beach hotels we suggest you check out reviews and photos of the very best of the boutique hotels on local website This is Cartagena. The hardest part is definitely choosing which of the excellent hotels to stay. Click HERE for our choice of the best priced hotels in Cartagena.