Wondering where to stay in Cartagena? Let me help you with that. I have been to Cartagena Colombia as a solo traveler and I understand the struggle of finding the right place to stay, that is safe and near the best city attractions.
So in this post, I will help you find the right place, in the right neighborhood for your needs.
You will first need to decide whether you want to stay on the beach, or in the historical center, or both since Cartagena is famous for both its stunning beaches and the colorful Walled City.
Well, worry not, because in this post I will explain what both areas look like, the many different neighborhoods, and the best hotels in each one. My top favorite hotels are, Hotel Casa Agustin in the Old Town and Hyatt Regency Hotel in BocaGrande.
But let’s dive into the best areas where to stay in Cartagena.
In a rush? Here are my top favorite hotels in Cartagena Colombia
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✔️ Top Location
✔️ 3 swimming pools
✔️ Free Parking
✔️ Location: Bocagrande
Where to stay in Cartagena Colombia: at a glance
There are lots of different places to stay in Cartagena, and the lodging options there range from luxury hotels to budget hostels. But if you’re looking for a place to stay in Cartagena, there are a few things to consider.
First, you’ll want to decide if you want to stay in the city or on the beach. The city is a great place to experience the culture and history of Cartagena, while the beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the weather.
Don’t worry if you don’t know much about the Cartagena neighborhoods, we’ll explore them together in this post.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will know exactly which one is ideal to stay in for the kind of vacation you want in Cartagena. So let’s get started!
The best area to stay in Cartagena Colombia
► The Old City is the historical center of Cartagena and is full of colonial buildings and plazas. It is a great place to walk around and take in the atmosphere of the city and to me this is the best place to stay in Cartagena for cultural sites.
► Bocagrande is Cartagena’s modern beach district, full of high-rise hotels and restaurants. It is the perfect place to relax on the beach or enjoy some nightlife. Beach areas like Bocagrande and Laguito as well as the Zona Norte if you’re looking for an upscale stay on the beach in Cartagena.
► Getsemani is one of the coolest areas in Cartagena. It’s got a great vibe with lots of street art. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Cartagena that’s cool and hip, Getsemani is the place for you.
► When it comes to finding budget places to stay in Cartagena, El Cabrero is a great option. This area is located just outside of the city center and is close to many of the city’s attractions.
Where to stay in Cartagena for overall the best of town – The Walled City – historical center
When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in Cartagena, there is no better option than the walled city. This historic area is full of charm and character, and its many hotels offer guests a chance to experience true Colombian hospitality.
From luxury accommodations to more budget-friendly options, there is a variety of places to stay in Cartagena Colombia walled city.
Casa San Agustin is a luxury hotel that is one of the most beautiful and most strategically located inside several colonial houses of the walled city joined together.
In fact, among Cartagena Hotels, Casa San Agustin is arguably one of the finest luxury hotels in the entire city. It’s considered not only one of the best hotels in Cartagena walled city but also the best in the entire city.
So, if you’re looking for the best place to stay in the best area of Cartagena, this is most definitely it.
The amenities of the hotel are 5-star, including a world-class onsite restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a terrace lounge.
The Colonial-style decor of the rooms is really attractive, and guests have access to free wifi, LCD TVs, the solarium, and a pool bar as well.
Free Continental breakfast and the impressive staff are one of the things you will like a lot about this hotel.
Additionally, a massage service is available here as well. All you need to do is request a session (and the same goes for bike and car rentals).
Located on the backside of Sofitel Luxury Hotel, Bovedas de Santa Clara is a high-end mid-range lodging option with lots of value for money and definitely one of the best hotels in Cartagena
With the beaches just 4km away, the location of this hotel is ideal. Guests also have access to Sofitel, which means your stay will be luxurious despite being light on the pocket!
When it comes to amenities, Bovedas has pretty much everything you can desire from a mid-range hotel and more.
All the rooms feature private bathrooms, kitchenettes, and minibars, and some also have sea-view balconies. The hotel also has a hot tub, terrace, and spa center.
The access to its sister hotel, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, is a cherry on top; which means you will also have a swimming pool and breathtaking surroundings to make your stay even better.
Despite being one of the best areas for staying in Cartagena, the Centro also has lots of budget lodging options that you can choose from.
The Hotel 3 Banderas is one of the most reputable among them, with a long history of satisfied guests, so I highly recommend it if you’re on a tight budget.
Rooms of the Hotel 3 Banderas feature a rich decor complementing the lively vibes of the hotel. Some of the second-floor rooms also feature balconies with great views.
The prices of Hotel Tres Banderas are very reasonable, and the amenities include air-conditioning, wifi, and cable TVs. The property features a beautiful garden, two patios, and a terrace offering views of the city.
PROS of staying in the walled city
- Easy access to the most important historical landmarks such as Plaza Bolivar, the famous central square, surrounded by ancient colonial buildings and the colorful craft markets of Las Bovedas.
- Close to the best restaurants, bars and cafes
- Easy to walk around on foot
- Very safe
CONS of staying in the walled city
- It’s far from the beach
- It can get crowded during the weekends and festivities
- It’s more expensive (but you can find affordable accommodation too)
- There are a lot of vendors that can be annoying sometimes
Where to stay in Cartagena for a luxurious beach vacation – Bocagrande and Laguito
The best areas to stay in Cartagena for a beach vacation are hands down Bocagrande and Laguito, so these make the second spot on my list.
Bocagrande is one of the most popular beach areas in Cartagena. It is a modern area with high-rise hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. The beaches here are some of the best in the city and there is plenty to do for tourists.
Right beside Bocagrande, Laguito is a more relaxed beach area with a beautiful beach and upscale hotels. It is quieter than Bocagrande but still has plenty of activities and dining options for visitors.
Overall, both Bocagrande and Laguito are great choices for where to stay in Cartagena when looking for a beach vacation.
Hyatt hotels are known for their luxuriousness all around the world, so the Hyatt Regency in Bocagrande is where you can find a deluxe stay overlooking the Caribbean.
Think of a la carte breakfast in your ocean-view rooms, 5-star amenities, and much more.
The hotel has the best rooftop pools in town, offering breathtaking views of the endless ocean as well as the city, and then there is the stunning beach itself.
Free wifi, parking, and a 24-hour front desk are also part of the hotel facilities.
The Intercontinental Cartagena de India is another luxury hotel in Bocagrande that comes with pretty much all the facilities you will find in Hyatt Regency, except it’s cheaper (and has fewer swimming pools). This is a great mid-range option for a beach stay.
The rooms are definitely spacious despite featuring a variety of amenities, including a seating area. Air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and free wifi are provided as well.
There is also an outdoor swimming pool and a rooftop terrace with a bar in the Intercontinental Cartagena.
6. Oz Hotel | budget hotel
The Oz Hotel is considered one of the best places to stay in Cartagena Colombia for budget travelers. The hotel isn’t beachfront, but the Bocagrande beach is just a short walk from the property, and the value provided here is amazing.
Your stay here will include air-conditioned rooms, free wifi, flat-screen TVs, and a minibar. The rooms are comfy and well-designed.
The terrace bar is another great aspect of a stay at Oz Hotel. There is also a tour desk that helps guests organize great tours around the city.
Pros of Staying in Bocagrande and Laguito
- Right on the beach where you can enjoy some watersports
- Great bars and restaurants including rooftop terraces overlooking the ocean with spectacular views
- One of the safest neighborhood in Cartagena
Cons of staying in Bocagrande and Laguito
- The beach is the only attraction
- Far from the most interesting historical landmarks
- Very touristy and at times crowded
- It can be expensive
Where to stay in Cartagena for hip vibes, nightlife, and colorful streets | Getsemani
If you’re looking for a more lively experience in Cartagena, then head to the Getsemani neighborhood. This is where you’ll find most of the city’s colorful architecture, as well as some great luxury and budget-friendly hotels. You’ll also be within walking distance of some of the best restaurants and bars in town.
The area is located just outside the walled city, so you will be close to all the main attractions of Cartagena. It has a reputation for backpackers and the party crowd, but it’s definitely a good place to stay in town for any kind of tourist.
7. Hotel Capellan | luxury hotel
Hotel Capellan is a 5-star lodging option in one of the best locations in Getsemani. The rooms of this hotel are really comfy and home-like despite being modern and elegant, and it also has a great terrace and pool.
If you want to enjoy the chic vibes and lively nightlife of Getsemani without compromising on the luxury of your stay, Hotel Capellan is just the place for you. Other amenities include wifi, a 24-hour front desk, and an onsite restaurant.
8. Hotel Boutique Casa Isabel | mid range hotel Cartagena
With a wide range of amenities and bright, lively decor, Casa Isabel is a great mid-range option to stay in Getsemani.
The hotel is within walking distance of many of the city’s attractions, including the colonial-era Old Town.
Casa Isabel’s rooms are spacious and airy, and the property also has a hot tub and terrace with terrific views of Castillo San Felipe.
The hotel also has an onsite restaurant serving traditional Colombian cuisine, as well as a bar and lounge area.
Hotel Monterrey is the go-to place for a budget stay in Getsemani. Located just a short walk from the convention center, this colonial-style hotel is famous for its excellent location and 4-star facilities for pocket-friendly prices.
The hotel offers guests a variety of amenities, including an outdoor pool, a rooftop bar, and an onsite restaurant.
And it’s also conveniently located near many of the city’s best restaurants and attractions.
The PROS of staying in Getsemani
- The coolest neighborhood of Cartagena
- All the trendiest bars and cafes are here
- Great for parties but also just outside the historical area to explore
- Lower prices than the historical center
The CONS of staying in Getsemani
- It can be noisy
- Not super safe as some streets can get a bit isolated
- It can get crowded
Where to stay in Cartagena for a relaxing vacation – Zona Norte
Zona Norte is a neighborhood in Cartagena, Colombia that is known for its relaxing atmosphere and tourist-friendly environment.
This area is home to many hotels, restaurants, and bars, making it a great place to stay for those who want to escape the noise and crowds of the more touristy areas in Cartagena like the Old Town and Bocagrande, but also be close to all the attractions.
There are also some great beaches in Zona Norte, and since they’re less touristy than the ones in the city proper, these beaches are a better choice to just kick back and enjoy an evening by the sea.
However, I wouldn’t advise staying in Zona Norte if you’re visiting Cartagena for the first time and want to explore it fully.
The area is great for a relaxing vacation, but you will have to taxi to and from most of the main attractions, which isn’t convenient.
10. Hotel Casa de Playa | luxury hotel
This is a great lodging option for families as well as solo, couple, and group tourists because of its location and the option to choose either an all-inclusive stay or not.
The hotel features all the amenities common with 5-stars, and there is also an entertainment center for children. Guests have access to the three outdoor pools of Casa de Playa, one of which has a bar as well.
Other facilities include wifi connectivity throughout the hotel, a 24-hour front desk, 3 onsite restaurants, and a private parking area for guests.
11. Hotel Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion | Mid-range hotel
If you don’t want to spend tons on an all-inclusive beachfront stay, but still want one, Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion is where you can find it.
The hotel offers resort-like oceanfront accommodations in Zona Norte without the high all-inclusive prices!
Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillion is located in a beautiful area overlooking the ocean. The rooms are spacious and well-designed, and the staff is friendly and helpful.
The hotel has two outdoor pools, a fitness center, and a bar, and guests can use free wifi throughout the property.
12. Hotel Summer Frente Al Mar | budget hotel
Summer Frente Al Mar is one of the best options to stay in Zona Norte when you’re on a budget.
The hotel is on the other side of the road from the beach, but you still get great views of the waters and the room prices are the best bang for your buck.
The amenities include elegant furnishings, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, safety deposit boxes, and minibars. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, a bar, private parking, and wifi access throughout the property.
The PROS of staying in Zona Norte
- Quiet beach area far from crowds and parties
- Variety of beach resorts and condo hotels to choose from
- Less crowded and touristy than Bocagrande
The CONS of staying in Zona Norte
- Not much to do
- Far from historical center and interesting attractions
Where to stay in Cartagena for a budget vacation – El Cabrero
Within an easy walk from the walled city, El Cabrero is arguably the best area to stay in when you’re looking for budget stays.
The area used to be mostly residential, but now there are hotels and restaurants as well, making the area a great choice for cheap accommodations.
You will find plenty of luxury, mid-range, and budget options in El Cabrero, but it’s best if you’re looking for cheaper prices and closer proximity to the main attractions of the town.
The area is also great for enjoying the traditional festivities of Cartagena.
13. Hotel Ermita Cartagena | luxury hotel
Despite being a luxury hotel, the prices of Ermita Cartagena are comparable to the mid-range options in the more expensive areas like the Centro and Bocagrande.
This is pretty good as the location of the hotel is just outside the walled city, the less-crowded beaches like Crespo and Marbella are also nearby, and the amenities are 5-star.
The rooms here feature air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, desks, seating areas, and some also have private balconies.
The property also has a garden, swimming pool, and restaurant on site. Guests can also use the free bikes to go for a ride around town, or just relax on the sun terrace.
14. Hotel Aixo Suites by GH Suites | mid-range hotel
GH Suites are a popular hotel chain around the world, and quite popular for their facilities as well as comfortable accommodations.
Their suites in El Cabrero definitely live up to the reputation, but what’s even better is that they’re quite affordable!
The rooms are a lovely blend of comfort and elegance, and the amenities offered here are also on par with international standards. Rooms feature air-conditioning, TVs, and safety deposits.
The property has a terrace and rooftop pool that you can use, and the location of the hotel is convenient across from a great beach area as well.
15. Hotel Boutique del Mar | budget hotel
Hotel Boutique Del Mar is a small but intimate hotel in El Cabrero. It has a lot of features that make it a great option to stay in Cartagena if you’re on a budget.
The hotel is relatively new, so the furnishings and facilities are excellent, the beachfront location is stunning, and there is a home-like atmosphere of the hotel despite the upscale amenities.
Despite the affordable prices, you will get access to lots of facilities here.
These include a great location close to the beach, a wonderful terrace with good views, a bar, a shared kitchen, a lounge, and concierge service. What’s more, you can also rent the entire hotel all to yourself if you’re a large group.
PROS of staying at El Cabrero
- Less touristy beaches
- At a walking distance from the downtown of Cartagena
- Cheaper accommodation and restaurant options
CONS of staying at El Cabrero
- Not very safe to walk around at night
- Fewer eatery options
What part of Cartagena is best to stay in?
No part of Cartagena can be objectively better than the rest for everyone. Each area has its pros and cons, so the answer to this question is not as simple. However, there’s something for everyone in Cartagena, so you can find the best place to stay based on what you’re looking for.
If you prefer a calmer atmosphere and want to be closer to some of the city’s historical landmarks, then staying in the Old City is a better option for you.
On the other hand, the Bocagrande area is perfect for a resort stay. You will find the top hotels in this area and it’s also home to some of the best beaches in Cartagena.
If you’re looking for a more lively atmosphere with plenty of nightlife options, then staying in the Getsemani neighborhood is probably your best bet.
These are the more touristy areas, but there are also places like Zona Norte and El Cabrero, where you will find plenty of budget lodging options, fewer crowds, and a relaxing vacation atmosphere in Cartagena.
Should I stay in the walled city of Cartagena?
The walled city is one of the best places to stay in Cartagena. In fact, it’s considered overall the best part of town for a vacation stay.
Many of the top hotels and attractions are also inside the walled city, so staying in it makes exploring the traditional charm of Cartagena easier.
But you should also keep in mind that the walled city gets a bit touristy, which means crowds during peak season, and the prices are also on the higher end here.
Is it safe to stay in Getsemani Cartagena?
Yes. Getsemani is a safe and popular area for tourists with many hotels, apartments, and hostels as accommodation options.
But it’s not just Getsemani, the city of Cartagena is generally quite safe for tourists. Just make sure to follow the common sense rules that apply everywhere else in the world and you’ll be alright.
Are there nice beaches in Cartagena, Colombia?
Cartagena sits on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, so there definitely are some really nice beaches that you can hit during your visit here.
These include the touristy Bocagrande beaches as well as the laid-back Zona Norte beaches.
Additionally, some more stunning beaches like Playa Blanca are also just a short boat ride away from Cartagena.
How many days do you need in Cartagena?
Cartagena isn’t a huge city, but the attractions and exploration opportunities here are definitely endless. That said, you still don’t need to spend a very long time here to fully enjoy your trip.
Anywhere from a week to two weeks will suffice if you want to explore the history, tradition, and beaches of Cartagena.
But you can also plan a longer vacation, or make a 3- to a 4-day itinerary if you want a short trip.
Where to stay in Cartagena Colombia – final thoughts
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of where to stay in Cartagena, as the best area for you will depend on your individual travel needs and preferences.
However, I hope that this article has given you a good starting point for finding the perfect place to stay during your trip to this beautiful Colombian city. Have a wonderful vacation!
Before you go…
- Bogotá vs Cartagena: Which Colombian City is Better for Your Trip?
- What Is Colombia Known For? 28 Amazing Facts About Colombia That Will Surprise You
- 43 Unique Things to do in Cartagena Colombia
- Is Colombia Safe to Travel in 2023? How to Travel Safely in Colombia!
- How to Get From Panama to Colombia by Boat and Flights – The Ultimate Guide 
- The Best Beaches in South America to Visit This Year
About the Author
Hello there! This is Isabella, this blog’s author, and a cat lover. I am an Italian expatriate with a Mexican Residence. After 7 years of living in Cancun, I have decided to leave my job and explore my beloved Mexico and the rest of this beautiful world, starting from South America, while sharing my travel stories and offering useful travel tips about traveling as a solo female traveler and digital nomad.
Planning a trip soon? Here are My Recommended
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – Safety Wing or TRAVEL INSURANCE MASTER
- BOOK FLIGHTS – Expedia, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and always remember to compare
- BOOK TOURS – GetYourGuide or Viator. Some of their tours are refundable up to 24h in advance.
- HOTELS & HOMES – Booking.com – Expedia – VRBO
- CAR RENTALS: Discover Car Rentals