Discover the Magic of Xochimilco: Mexico City’s Vibrant Canals and Gardens

xochimilco boats

Fancy immersing yourself in traditional Mexican culture and having a great time whilst doing so? Then climb aboard a trajinera, a traditional flat-bottomed gondola-style boat, in the borough of Xochimilco in Mexico City.

Experience a boat party on a traditional Mexican trajinera, a party like no other. Enjoy this floating fiesta on one of Mexico City’s last remaining Aztec canals, an unmissable experience. The tradition of the trajinera dates back to the 1910s, and the canals have served as a transportation method since the pre-Hispanic era. Furthermore, Xochimilco, known as the “Venice of Mexico,” is an ancient network of canals and islands. Moreover, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south of Mexico City.

What is a trajinera?

Xochimilco’s lifeblood flows through its canals, lined with festive and colorful trajineras. Trajineras are brightly painted wooden boats. These gondola-style boats are each named affectionately after Mexican women, locations, or sayings. Imagine boarding “La Guadalupe” or “Cielito Lindo,” and instantly becoming part of a floating caravan that celebrates life with music, marimbas, and mariachis playing live on neighboring boats. It’s a communal celebration where every boat becomes a floating stage and every row a dance floor. “Trajinar” in Spanish means “to carry goods from one side to another”. This is what these boats were originally designed to do, although now they have been repurposed for tourism and partying.

Xochimilco Boat Tour: A Culinary Voyage

mexico city xochimilco
Elote vendor at Xochimilco

No party in Mexico is complete without food and drink (more specifically – tacos and tequila!). Every weekend, the canals are alive with boats, music, food and drink sellers, and flowers.  It’s a fantastic amount of fun and an entertaining way to spend an afternoon with friends. Picture this: boats laden with elotes, quesadillas, and the irresistible aroma of freshly made tacos navigating between the trajineras. Join us for a spicy michelada as we sail down the canals. ¡Salud! These culinary delights mirror the city’s street food culture, just on water—vibrant, vivid, and utterly delicious.

¡Ay ay ay! Soak up some Mexican Culture!

Be prepared for Mariachi bands to hop on your trajinera and play songs for you! You can request popular Mexican songs (alongside Happy Birthday) in exchange for cash. The more you pay, the more animated your Mariachi band will be! You can always try brushing up on your Spanish and haggling with the locals, but remember to always respect their art. The music truly enhances this once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience and is sure to animate you and your group. Music + booze + boats = a recipe for undeniable fun.

Chinampas: Floating Gardens Steeped with Tradition

mexico city xochimilco
Floating gardens. Xochimilco, Mexico City

As you float down these historic waters, every corner offers a snapshot of local life and customs. From the chinampas (floating gardens) showcasing sustainable ancient farming methods to spontaneous performances by folk dancers, every moment is a living postcard of Mexican heritage. The chinampas are man-made gardens full of vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Many of Mexico City’s finest restaurants rely on the chinampas for fresh and locally-grown produce. In fact, local fine dining restaurant, Pujol, which was recently awarded two Michelin stars, sources many of its ingredients from this area. Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Mexico City – a must-see for those visiting the city. The ancient gardens are now vital for urban sustainability and are protected by the UNESCO. Consequently, your visit also contributes to the preservation of these traditions. 

Want to visit Pujol, or the other best restaurants in Mexico City? Let us plan your trip so you don’t miss out on any of the best things to see in Mexico City

A Water Tour of Mexico City in Xochimilco

mexico city xochimilco
xochimilco mexico city

You can get to see a surprising amount of Mexico City through the 114 miles of winding chinampas-filled channels. Learn about the fascinating and bone-chilling story of La Isla de las Muñecas, or The Island of Dolls. Legend has it that the thousands of dolls hung on the trees on this island are to protect it from evil spirits. This was after a girl drowned in the waters nearby. You can visit it and walk around the island if you dare! Furthermore, there are plenty of other stops you can make in your trajinera; visiting local markets and restaurants along the way.

Planning Your Trip to Xochimilco in Mexico City

xochimilco mexico city

As part of this tour, we not only organize your boat but also provide a cooler of drinks, plenty of snacks, and some music to dance the afternoon away. This is a great option for groups on vacation. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, just let us know so we can plan all the bells and whistles to make this an unforgettable afternoon on the water. Each boat fits up to 20 people, making them perfect for large gatherings.

When is the best time to visit Xochimilco?

xochimilco trajineras

Correctly timing your visit will undoubtedly improve your experience. If you are looking to party, meet other groups, and share tequila shots with strangers, weekends are definitely for you. Peak seasons such as Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos are bustling with activity, music, and people. However, if you want a more chilled experience, consider a weekday visit. Early mornings are magical too, with the mist rising over the calm waters. You can also take a “sunset tour” in the late afternoon, and watch the sunset over the city and reflect in canals.

Start planning your Mexico City Xochimilco tour today!

Mexicans love any excuse for a party, and so do we at Two Travel too! Grab a group of your best buddies, climb aboard a trajinera, and get ready to make some memories.

Sounds like something you and your group would love? Get in touch today to get more information and start exploring the other options that Mexico City has for you!

What is a destination wedding? Everything you need to know

destination wedding cartagena

Destination weddings have become an increasingly popular option for couples looking to celebrate their love memorably and uniquely. Not only do they allow couples to celebrate their love in a unique and beautiful location, but they also offer an opportunity for couples to make unforgettable memories with their loved ones. But what is a destination wedding? Read this article for everything you need to know about it.

What are destination weddings?

what is destination wedding

A destination wedding is a marriage ceremony and reception held in a location away from the couple’s hometown. They are often in a picturesque or exotic setting, which can be as close as a few hours’ drive away or as far as a different country. The primary appeal of this type of wedding is its beauty, significance, or appeal as a travel destination.

Popular destinations for these weddings include beach resorts, historical cities, and picturesque countryside locations. For example, Cartagena, Colombia, has emerged as a favored wedding destination for many reasons, including its stunning colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and beautiful Caribbean coastline. You may want to check more reasons why Cartagena, Colombia has emerged as a top wedding destination.

Other popular destinations include the beaches of Hawaii, the castles of Scotland, the tropical resorts of the Caribbean, etc.

Planning your wedding? Let’s make a destination one! We will make sure your big day is seamless. Contact us today for customized assistance!

Benefits of a destination wedding

what is a destination wedding

Unique and memorable experience

One of the main benefits of having this type of wedding is the opportunity to have a truly memorable and unique experience for you, your partner, and your guests. Unlike traditional weddings held in familiar venues, a destination wedding offers a fresh, exciting backdrop that can make the event truly unique and unforgettable.

Whether you choose to exchange vows on a sandy beach at sunset or in a centuries-old chapel in a quaint village, your destination wedding will be unlike any other. The type of activities, decorations, and setting of your destination wedding can even be tailored to your specific wedding dream and create a truly unique and memorable experience.

Moreover, your guests will get an opportunity to explore new destinations and make unforgettable memories and experiences of their own.

Combining wedding and honeymoon

A destination wedding can combine your wedding and honeymoon into one unforgettable experience. This not only simplifies planning but also can be more cost-effective. After the wedding ceremony, you can transition easily into your honeymoon without the need for additional travel arrangements.

Most wedding destination hotels and hotels offer exclusive honeymoon packages and amenities that include couples massages, private dinners, romantic excursions, etc.

Smaller guest list and more intimate gatherings

Destination weddings often allow you to have a smaller guest list and more intimate gatherings.

Since not every person will be able to travel to your chosen wedding destination, you can invite only your closest friends and family. This creates a more personal, relaxed, and meaningful wedding atmosphere where you can intimately connect with your guests and make lasting memories together.

The smaller guest list also means you will be able to splurge on other aspects of your destination wedding, such as the venue, entertainment, and decor.

Vacation opportunity for guests

For guests, this weddings offer an exciting opportunity to combine attending the wedding with a vacation. Your guests can enjoy the beauty and attractions of the destination before or after the wedding celebration.

Our wedding services offer concierge services, villa rentals, boat rentals, and other amenities that can enhance the overall experience for your guests. These services can help organize activities such as guided tours, adventure sports, spa days, and gourmet dining experiences. This ensures that every one of your guests has a wonderful time beyond just the wedding day.

Planning a Destination Wedding

what is destination wedding
Photo by: Blanco Studios

Choosing the right destination wedding locations

Choosing the perfect wedding location is one of the most essential aspects of planning your wedding. When choosing the right location for your wedding, you may want to consider factors like accessibility, weather, local regulations, and the overall vibe you want for your wedding.

With that said, we recommend choosing a location that resonates with your personality, interests, visions, and dreams for your big day. The location must also offer the amenities and services needed to create your dream wedding.

If you are finding it hard to find a perfect location for your destination wedding, Two Travel got you covered. For instance, our wedding locations and venues offer all-inclusive packages that simplify planning.

Some of our wedding locations include:

  • Club de Pesca: This historic wedding venue is located in Cartagena, Colombia. It offers elegant colonial architecture and panoramic views of the bay, perfect for a romantic and picturesque wedding.
  • Movich hotels: These wedding venues are located in Colombia. They offer upscale wedding venues with modern amenities and stylish decor. This ensures a stylish and memorable wedding celebration in vibrant cities like Medellín and Cartagena.
  • Villa Estrella: This is a luxurious and intimate colonial villa located in the Walled City in Cartagena, Colombia. It is an intimate venue for up to 80 guests.
  • Fenix: This wedding location is located on an island near Cartagena. It offers a serene beachfront setting with natural beauty and rustic charm, ideal for a relaxed and intimate wedding celebration.

Cartagena is one of the best wedding destinations in the world for couples and their guests. Let our wedding planners organize your entire celebration for a unique experience.

Hiring a wedding planner

Planning your destination wedding involves complex logistics, which can be challenging to manage from afar. However, hiring a professional wedding planner can make the process much smoother.

Companies like Two Travel specialize in destination weddings and can handle everything, from legal requirements to managing logistics. Our wedding experts ensure that everything runs smoothly, meets your expectations, and allows you to focus on enjoying your big day.

Planning guest activities

To ensure your guests have an enjoyable and memorable experience, you need to plan a variety of activities that showcase the destination. Our concierge services can be instrumental in organizing these activities. For instance, we offer tailored experiences that cater to diverse interests. We also provide a well-rounded itinerary that ensures your guests not only attend a beautiful wedding but also create their own memorable vacation moments.

For example, in a destination like Cartagena, your guests might enjoy a guided walking tour of the historic walled city, a private yacht excursion, or a day trip to nearby islands.

We can plan your entire destination wedding to give you and your guests a unique and memorable experience. We customize your entire trip and accommodate all your wedding needs.

Conclusion

what is destination wedding

Destination weddings are an exciting and romantic way to make your big day even more unique and memorable. They give couples a chance to escape to a scenic location while celebrating their union with family and friends. The possibilities for an unforgettable experience are needless with destination weddings.

Planning a destination wedding can be challenging. However, with the right professional team and careful planning, your destination wedding can be an experience that you and your guests will treasure forever.


Are you planning an all-inclusive destination wedding? Let our professional wedding planners help you with everything you need!

The Weather in Medellín, Colombia: What You Need to Know

medellin weather
Medellin, Colombia

Welcome to Medellin, the City of Eternal Spring! Known for its pleasant climate year-round, Medellin is a destination that surprises many with its consistent weather patterns. Nestled in the Aburrá Valley and surrounded by stunning mountains, the city boasts a unique microclimate that rarely strays from its mild temperatures. In this article, you will find a guide with everything you need to know about Medellin weather. Get insights into the climate patterns, temperatures, and best times to visit Colombia’s City of Eternal Spring.

With an average year-round temperature of about 22°C (72°F), Medellín’s weather is a primary allure for both visitors and expats. The city’s mild climate comes from its high altitude—approximately 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level. This tempers the tropical latitude that would otherwise ensure much hotter weather, such as the weather found in Cartagena. This delightful climate makes Medellín one of the best places to be year-round. However, understanding the seasonal changes and knowing what to expect weather-wise during different times of the year can significantly enhance the experience of any visitor planning a trip to this beautiful city.

Medellin Weather Seasonal Patterns

Weather in Medellin Colombia. Image from climatestotravel.com

Medellín’s weather is characterized by a consistent temperature throughout the year. However, its seasons can be broadly divided into dry and rainy periods.

Dry Season:

The dry season in Medellín occurs primarily during two periods: December to February and July to August. During these months, the city experiences less rainfall. This makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the city. The average temperature during the day hovers around 28°C (82°F), with cooler evenings that can drop to around 16°C (60°F). The clearer skies and lower humidity levels make it generally more pleasant for sightseeing and partying.

Rainy Season:

Conversely, the rainy season spans April to May and September to November. During these months, Medellín sees an increase in precipitation, with occasional heavy showers, especially in the afternoons. Despite the rain, temperatures remain mild, ranging from 18°C (64°F) in the early mornings and late evenings to about 26°C (79°F) during the day. The rain is tropical and comes in intense but short bursts, often clearing up quickly. This means that rarely will the rain ruin an entire day of your vacation.

The rains during this season turn the surrounding mountains and landscapes super lush and green. This means that views over the valley from your penthouse or villa are even more breathtaking than normal. These views, alongside a refreshing ambiance, are the gifts left by the rainy season, for those who don’t mind the occasional downpour.

Understanding these patterns can help you decide when to visit based on your weather preference and what you want to do in Medellín. Whether it’s exploring the city during the balmy dry season or enjoying the lush, green surroundings post-rainfall, Medellín’s climate has something special to offer in every season.

Best Time to Visit Medellin for Good Weather

medellin weather
Feria de las flores. Medellin, Colombia

Deciding on the best time to visit Medellín largely depends on personal preferences regarding weather and the types of activities planned. Here’s a breakdown to help guide that choice:

Ideal Months for Travelers

For those looking to enjoy the most stable weather conditions, the months of December through March, and again in July and August, would be the best times to visit. These months coincide with the dry season. They offer sunny days and minimal rainfall. This is perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking in the nearby Andes, city tours, al-fresco dining, and participating in local festivals without the inconvenience of rain. Medellin weather in July is perfect. It’s a great time to take a day trip to surrounding towns such as Guatape.

During these peak seasons, Medellín hosts several cultural events that draw crowds from across the globe, including the famous Flower Festival in August. The Feria de las Flores in Medellin showcases elaborate flower displays, parades, and live music, capturing the spirit and tradition of the Paisa region. It is an unmissable show and a visit during this time is well worth it.

Do you want to come to the Flower Fair? We can do everything for you: accommodations, transportation, activities, VIP tickets for the best events and concerts, restaurant reservations, and reservations in the best nightclubs.

Medellin Weather Considerations for Outdoor Activities:

medellin weather
Medellin’s cable car system

If your travel itinerary is packed with outdoor adventures, the dry seasons are undoubtedly the best times to visit. Activities like visiting the Arví Park, exploring the botanical gardens, or taking scenic cable car rides over the city are more enjoyable when the weather is least likely to disrupt your plans. Many people also like to use Medellín as a launching pad for extreme sports and activities such as ATV tours or paragliding, which can be done in the surrounding countryside or near the coffee region.

However, if you’re interested in experiencing Medellín like a local and seeing the city’s natural landscapes at their most lush and vibrant, the rainy seasons might also appeal. The city is well-equipped to handle rain, with plenty of indoor activities ranging from museums and galleries to coffee workshops and shopping at local markets, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment, rain or shine.

Fancy having us plan out the dream trip to Medellín for you? We are more than happy to plan your itinerary exactly the way you want it. Get in touch today!

Packing Tips

medellin weather
Photo by: Hispanolistic / Getty Images

When preparing for a trip to Medellín, packing appropriately can make your visit much more comfortable. Here are some clothing suggestions and essentials to consider for your journey:

Clothing Suggestions Based on the Weather:

Lightweight and Breathable Fabrics: Given Medellín’s mild climate, light clothing is suitable for daytime wear throughout the year. Materials like cotton and linen are perfect as they allow your skin to breathe in the warmer temperatures during the day.

Layering Options: Evenings can be cool, especially during the dry season, so it’s wise to pack a few layers such as sweaters or a light jacket. You can easily add or remove layers as the temperature changes from day to night.

Rain Gear: During the rainy seasons, sudden showers are common. Include a waterproof jacket or a compact umbrella that can easily be carried in a daypack. Waterproof footwear or water-resistant shoes are great to bring if you plan to walk around the city or venture into nature trails.

Chic Party Clothes: There’s nothing better than partying in Medellín, and if you frequent Provenza at night, you will notice that everyone is super well-dressed. Pull out all the stops for dinner at one of Medellín’s best restaurants, or at the hottest bars and clubs in Medellín. Leave your flip-flops or sliders for poolside chilling in Cartagena. Most clubs will turn you away unless they consider you appropriately dressed. 

Medellin Colombia Weather

Medellín’s weather plays a fundamental role in shaping the visitor experience. This is due to its year-round mild temperatures and distinct wet and dry seasons. Each season offers unique opportunities and challenges. It is important to consider what you want out of your trip when planning your visit. Whether you seek the vibrant festivities and clear skies of the dry months or the lush beauty and serene atmosphere following the rainy periods, Medellín provides a rich and dynamic environment for travelers.

To make the most of your visit:

Choose your travel dates based on the activities you have planned. If outdoor adventures and city festivals are your interests, aim for the dry seasons. If quieter, more introspective travel or photography drives your journey, the rainy season could provide dramatic skies and vibrant landscapes.

Pack smartly, with consideration for variable weather conditions. Include light, breathable clothing for the day, something warmer for cooler evenings, and rain gear for unexpected showers.

Be flexible with your plans to accommodate for weather changes.

Medellín is not just a destination, but an experience enriched by its climate, culture, and people. With the right preparation, you can enjoy all that the city has to offer, making your visit memorable and enjoyable. Whether basking in the warmth of the Colombian sun or enjoying the freshness after a tropical shower, Medellín’s weather is sure to be an integral part of your travel story.

Want to learn more about Medellín, or start planning your trip already? Get in touch today and make the dream come true!

When Is the Best Time to Visit Cartagena, Colombia for Good Weather?

when to visit cartagena colombia
Torre del Reloj in Cartagena, Colombia.

There’s no denying it; Cartagena is a tropical paradise. Given its unique positioning near the Equator and at the southern tip of the Caribbean Sea, it never really gets cold in Cartagena. But when to visit Cartagena, Colombia for good weather? There are a few things that you need to know about the weather before planning your trip to the Colombian Caribbean coast, so read on to get informed.

Cartagena de Indias is a picturesque colonial city in Colombia. It is famous for its colorful buildings adorned with bougainvillea on cobblestone streets and white-sand tropical islands nearby. The old town of Cartagena tells stories of a rich heritage through its charming architecture and leafy plazas. Tourists and visitors from all over the world flock to Cartagena all year round to wander its romantic streets, enjoy its beaches, and visit its idyllic islands. Want to know when to visit Cartagena? We have all the info below.  

Weather in Cartagena, Colombia

when to visit cartagena colombia
Rosario Islands near Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena’s climate is as warm and inviting as its people. The city basks in a tropical wet and dry climate, marked by a hot temperature year-round, making any season a good time to visit. However, for those looking to escape the rain and enjoy the city at its sunniest, the best time to visit would be during the dry season, which spans from December to April. During these months, the sky is clearer, the streets are perfect for leisurely strolls. The evenings are cool enough for exploring the city’s renowned culinary scene (see our Best Restaurants in Cartagena blog for our top recommendations!) or its lively nightlife (check out our Best Bars in Cartagena blog for your key to Cartagena nightlife).

Weather patterns in Cartagena

Cartagena experiences a tropical monsoon climate characterized primarily by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. Understanding these weather patterns can help you plan your visit to ensure you get the best out of your trip. Here, we break down the weather in Cartagena by month. The dry season typically spans from December to April, while the rainy season extends from May to November. During the dry season, the weather is characterized by clear skies, abundant sunshine, and minimal rainfall. The driest month is typically January, with an average rainfall of 0.2 inches. Conversely, the rainy season brings frequent showers and occasional thunderstorms, often accompanied by high humidity levels. The rainiest month is October, with an average of 9.1 inches of rainfall.


Source: Climates to Travel

Dry Season in Cartagena (December to April) 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Sunny Day in Cartagena, Colombia.

Most people would recommend this season if you’re wondering when to travel to Cartagena. During the dry season in Cartagena, the weather is predominantly sunny, with clear blue skies and minimal rainfall. This makes it the perfect climate for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s quaint streets and stunning beaches. Temperatures during this period are warm, typically ranging from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F). This season is ideal for beach outings, strolling through the old town, or enjoying its many rooftop bars and terraces without the worry of sudden showers. There is also more wind during this time of year. Cool breezes refresh the hot streets, bringing a refreshing change from the humidity experienced the rest of the year. 

Rainy Season in Cartagena (May to November)

when to visit cartagena colombia
Rainy Day in Cartagena, Colombia.

The rainy season begins around May and extends through November. This period is marked by higher humidity and frequent rain showers. These can be quite heavy at times, particularly in the months of October and November. While the rain may come in quick bursts, often in the afternoon, it rarely disrupts an entire day’s plans. The temperatures remain warm, similar to the dry season. However, the increased moisture in the air can make the heat feel more intense. Despite the rain, the vibrant life in the city continues to thrive. The showers bring a refreshing change to the landscape, cooling down the air, albeit temporarily! Travelers visiting during this season can enjoy the verdant surroundings and fewer crowds at major tourist attractions, often leading to a more relaxed and intimate experience. 

One thing to keep in mind during the rainy season is that the infrastructure of the old town can easily collapse under the abundant rainfall. One or two hours of heavy rain can easily flood the old town, reducing mobility and causing disruptions. The flooding goes down quite quickly, however; once the sun comes out, it quickly evaporates. 

Best time to Visit Cartagena for Good Weather 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Young woman walking on a colorful street in the Old City of Cartagena, Colombia

Deciding on the best time to visit Cartagena largely depends on your preference for sunnier days versus experiencing the city with fewer tourists and potentially lower costs. The drier weather from December to April also coincides with Cartagena’s high season, which is between mid-December and mid-to-late January. With little to no rain and fresher weather due to increased winds, this is, without a doubt, the most pleasant season to visit Cartagena. However, prices of accommodation and flights go up in the high season, so make sure to budget more for trips during this time. 

Shoulder Season – Neither high season nor low season

Many tourists and visitors have also started visiting Cartagena during its “shoulder seasons”. The shoulder season isn’t either high season when tourism and prices are at an all-time high, or low season when there is a higher possibility of rain. It is a sweet spot when the weather is great, prices are lower, and there are fewer crowds. Shoulder season in Cartagena is in April and May, as well as November and the first half of December. Just make sure you avoid visiting during Holy Week (Easter Week) as the whole country floods with local tourism and prices rocket during this week.

Things to do in Cartagena During the Best Weather

Although Cartagena can—and must—be enjoyed all year round, certain activities are best suited to the drier season. Here’s a guide to some of the top things to do in Cartagena during these optimal months:

Enjoy the nightlife and party alfresco

when to visit cartagena colombia
Nightlife in El Baron, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

Cartagena is a city designed for the warm weather and year-round sunshine. Many of its bars and clubs have outdoor areas and rooftops. One of the joys of Cartagena is having an alfresco drink whilst feeling the warm breeze around your shoulders. We love to visit the rooftop terrace at Alquímico and La Jugada Club House and party on the patio at La Movida. If you’re looking for an intimate space to drink wine or cocktails and people-watch, we’ll meet you at an outdoor table at El Barón. Although all of these places also have indoor options, we love the open-air culture of their rooftops and patios. 

Rent a boat and explore the islands 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Luxury boat heading to Rosario Islands in Cartagena, Colombia.

Another unmissable activity to do in Cartagena during its months of sunny and dry weather is to rent a boat and take a trip to the islands. The nearby islands of the Islas del Rosario National Park offer white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Renting your own yacht, speedboat, or catamaran is the superior way to explore the islands. You are totally in control of your day and can bring your own drinks to chill in the Caribbean Sea with your group. 

Want to rent a yacht, speedboat, or catamaran with us? Get in touch for a quote today!

Attend cultural events and festivals 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Cultural performance during the Hay Festival at the Heredia Theater in Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena hosts several significant events during these months. The Cartagena International Music Festival, usually held in January, is a classical music event that attracts musicians and audiences from around the world. Additionally, the Hay Festival in late January features international artists, writers, and thinkers. You can find a wealth of talks and performances. There are many other music events and festivals that take place throughout the year, including the Wild Brunch. This highly-anticipated techno festival takes place a few days before New Year’s Eve and features live DJ and band performances. It’s our favorite way to end the year with a bang.

Visit historical monuments and attractions 

when to visit cartagena colombia
San Felipe Castle in Cartagena, Colombia.

There’s nothing quite like a sunny day to hike up to the top of Castillo San Felipe, Cartagena’s historical fortress built hundreds of years ago to protect the city from invading pirates. Learn about the city’s fascinating history, from indigenous settlements to African slaves to European colonizers. You can also enjoy stunning views of the city from the vantage point at the top of the fortress. There are also some day trips from Cartagena which are best enjoyed in the drier weather. For example, visiting the Botanical Gardens in Turbaco, the pink sea at Galerazamba, or the famous mud volcano, are all activities best enjoyed in the tropical sunshine. 

Want to learn more about day trips you can take from Cartagena? Get in touch with our concierge team today! 

Visit Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena shines brightest during its dry season, from December to April. The idyllic blend of sunny weather, cultural festivities, and outdoor activities makes it an unmissable travel destination in Colombia. But if you want to know when to visit Cartagena, rest assured that any time of the year will bring joy, adventure, and magical realism. Whether you’re a party seeker, a beach lover, or a foodie, Cartagena always has something special to offer. So pack your bags, bring your spirit of adventure, and prepare for an unforgettable journey to the jewel of the Caribbean coast.

We are always in Cartagena, rain or shine, and it’s our passion to help you plan your trip in the best way possible. Get in touch to start building your journey!

Unveiling the Truth: Debunking Myths and Embracing Safety in Medellin

medellin colombia safety

When someone mentions Medellin to you, surely one of the first things you think is: is Medellin, Colombia safe? Medellin has long been a city associated with a negative reputation, largely because of its tumultuous history of drug cartels, high crime rates, and civil conflicts. However, this Colombian city has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, shedding its past image to emerge as a welcoming and vibrant destination full of nightlife, culture, great food, nature, and modernity for travelers and tourists.

Despite these positive transformations, myths about security and safety in Medellin still exist. In this article, we will debunk common Colombia Medellin safety myths and offer practical tips for an enjoyable and safe visit to this city.

Is Medellin, Colombia safe? 8 common myths debunked

medellin colombia safe
El Poblado neighborhood is one of the coolest and safest places in Medellin.

Let’s be clear: when you think about going to Medellin you start looking for information about the city, the people, the culture, if there are good places to party… and about safety. Well, with so much information on the internet, you may still have doubts about whether it is advisable or not to go to Medellin and you are wondering: is Medellin, Colombia safe? Is it really worth going?

In this next section, we have debunked 8 common myths about the safety of Medellin so you can learn more about this destination that was named by Time Out as the coolest place to visit in the world.

Also, Time magazine named Medellin as one of the best places in the world to travel last year, so we are facing one of the most desired destinations in the world today.

However, we recommend that you travel to Medellin with the guidance of local experts and with an itinerary that fits your needs, preferences, and budget so that you can enjoy a total experience.

Myth 1: Medellin is still unsafe for tourists and travelers

One of the most persistent myths about Medellin is that it remains unsafe for tourists. While it’s true that the city struggled with high crime rates and security issues in the past, Medellin has made significant strides in improving its security situation. For instance, Medellin, through the Colombian government, demobilized significant guerrilla groups and implemented security reforms. As a result, Medellin is recognized as one of the most progressive and safer cities in Latin America, with a thriving tourism industry.

Like any major city, visitors need to take appropriate precautions and follow basic safety guidelines, such as:

  • Not displaying expensive belongings in public
  • Avoiding dangerous neighborhoods
  • Being aware of your surroundings

However, overall, Medellin is now considered safe and welcoming for tourists and those traveling to Medellin Colombia, with increased police presence in tourist areas and low crime rates.

Myth 2: Drug cartels still rule Medellin

While the specter of powerful cartels like Pablo Escobar loomed large over Medellin in the 1980s and 1990s, their influence has significantly diminished in recent years. Medellin, through the Colombian government, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, has successfully dismantled many of these criminal organizations. This has led to a notable decrease in violence and instability.

Today, Medellin is a city on the rise, with a burgeoning economy and a vibrant cultural scene that attracts visitors from around the world.

If you want to learn about the history of Medellín and take tours that explain the transformation of the city you can talk to one of our experts who will help you build an itinerary to help you experience Medellín the best way!

Myth 3: Kidnappings are common in Medellin

Medellin was once notorious for kidnapping during the height of the drug war, but the situation has become increasingly rare in recent years. Medellin, through the Colombian government, has implemented robust security measures to combat this threat, and the incidents of kidnapping have significantly declined. This decline in kidnappings can be attributed to the heightened presence of security forces in the city center and along key transportation routes.

Overall, in recent years, tourists and travelers in Medellin are unlikely to encounter this type of danger. Nonetheless, it is essential to stay informed about the security situation in the region you plan to visit or stay.

Myth 4: Medellin is a haven for pickpockets and petty crime

Like any major city worldwide, pickpockets and petty crimes can occur in Medellin, especially in crowded public transportation hubs and markets. However, many areas in Medellin popular with tourists have increased security measures to ensure the safety of visitors.

By taking simple precautions such as not flashing expensive items, using a money belt,  keeping an eye on your belongings, and being aware of your surroundings, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to pickpocketing or petty theft.

Our team of local experts will be at your side at all times and will assist you with anything you may need. From reservations at the best restaurants and nightclubs to buying groceries for your private villa, which you can rent with us.

Medellin was once synonymous with drug cartels and associated violence. However, the situation has drastically reduced in recent years due to the government’s efforts to combat drug trafficking, dismantle major drug cartels, and increase security measures to deal with drug-related violence.

While isolated incidents may still occur, they are not representative of the overall security situation in the city. Besides, visitors and tourists are not typically caught up in drug-related conflicts unless they are directly involved in illegal activities.

However, you should stay informed about current events and practice caution in areas known for drug-related activities.

Myth 6: Taxi drivers RIP tourists off

While it’s true that some taxi drivers in Medellin may try to overcharge or con tourists, this is not representative of the entire industry in this city.

Most taxi drivers in Medellin are honest and reputable professionals who provide reliable service to their customers.

To avoid being taken advantage of, you should use reputable taxi companies or ride-sharing apps, agree on a fare before starting the journey, and ensure that the taxi has a functioning meter. You should also order taxi drivers through your accommodation rather than hail them, for safer, more reliable outcomes.

We also recommend our Concierge service which will take care of you and your group throughout your trip, including transportation to any location. At all times our expert local Concierge team will take care of everything you need.

Myth 7: Men take advantage of women

While all travelers need to be cautious and aware of their surroundings, there is no evidence to suggest that men specifically target women for exploitation in Medellin. There is a widespread fascination for foreign women so you may be looked at, out of interest. Yet attention is not intimidating or overwhelming.

Like in any other country, women should take standard precautions to ensure their safety, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being cautious when socializing with strangers.

Overall, Medellin is a welcoming and inclusive destination for travelers of all genders.

Myth 8: All roads are bad and unsafe

While Medellin’s mountainous terrain can make road travel unsafe and challenging in some areas, the city has invested heavily in infrastructure improvements in recent years.

Most major highways and roads are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the city’s stunning landscapes. However, travelers should exercise caution when driving in rural or remote areas, where road conditions may be less predictable.

Eager to explore the safe streets of Medellin? Contact us today and begin the unforgettable adventure with our expert assistance!

So… is Medellin, Colombia safe? Of course it is!

medellin colombia safe
Typical street in Medellín.

In conclusion, Medellin has a history marked with safety challenges. However, this Colombian city has come a long way in recent years. The myths of a crime-ridden and unsafe (dangerous) Medellin are outdated and no longer reflect the current safety reality.

Today, Medellin is a welcoming and safe destination for visitors and tourists, offering cultural richness, natural beauty, and a thriving economy. However, like any other destination city, it is essential to take safety precaution measures and stay informed about the local conditions. This will ensure you have a vibrant and remarkable experience when you visit Medellin.

With our team of experts behind you, your dream Medellin vacation is safe and secure. Contact us now and let us plan your whole experience!

Cartagena or Medellin: Which Colombian City is Better?

Cartagena or Medellin

Let’s be honest here, any trip through Colombia will be an exciting one, especially when heading to the bustling city of Medellin in the mountainous region of Antioquia or to Cartagena in the beautiful Caribbean coast.

So, the question is not about which city is better, rather, it is about which city better suits your taste for adventure. Therefore, if you find yourself undecided about which Colombian gen you should choose for your next trip, fear not.

In this article, we will dive into the unique offerings of both Medellin and Cartagena to help you find your perfect Colombian destination.

Cartagena overview

cartagena or medellin
Colonial Street in Cartagena’s Old City.

Nestled on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a city steeped in history, with its cobblestone streets, colorful colonial architecture, and impressive fortifications. Its enchanting walled Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exudes charm at every corner, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in Cartagena’s rich cultural tapestry.

Cartagena captivates travelers with its captivating blend of history, culture, natural beauty, vibrant street life, lively plazas, and pristine beaches. Cartagena is also known for its incredible bars and restaurants. In fact, the #1 bar in South America is in Cartagena.

The vibe of Cartagena is a typical beach vacation.

Medellin overview

visit medellin colombia
Sculptures by Fernando Botero in downtown Medellin.

Medellin, also known as the “City of Eternal Spring” is located in the lush Aburra Valley and is surrounded by picturesque mountains.

It was the center of operation for Pablo Escobar and his drug cartels in the early 1990s. However, since Escobar died in 1993, Medellin has transformed into a dynamic metropolis, renowned for its innovative urban planning, modern infrastructure, and vibrant arts scene. It was even named in 2013 as the most innovative city in the world.

From its bustling markets and verdant parks to its bustling nightlife and thriving culinary scene, Medellin offers visitors a glimpse into Colombia’s contemporary culture and cosmopolitan vibe.

The city has a huge expat scene and is very liveable. There are always people on the streets, and the bars and restaurants are open every night of the week.

Cartagena Vs Medellin: How do they compare?

cartagena or medellin

Now, let us dive into a detailed comparison across various aspects to help you choose between Medellin and Cartagena.

Which city has better nightlife: Cartagena or Medellin?

Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena's best bars.
Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

Cartagena’s nightlife is not as renowned as Medellin’s. However, it has its charm, particularly in the historic center and the trendy Getsemani neighborhood. Visitors can enjoy live music, dance performances, and cocktails in atmospheric settings, with the Caribbean rhythm infusing every corner.

Medellin’s nightlife is legendary, with a vibrant scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. From chic rooftop bars in the upscale El Poblado neighborhood to pulsating salsa clubs in the city center, Medellin offers endless options for entertainment and socializing into the early hours.

Whether you are looking to dance the night away or enjoy a leisurely cocktail with panoramic views, both cities promise unforgettable nocturnal adventures.

How do you navigate around the city: Cartagena or Medellin?

In Cartagena, navigating the city is relatively easy, with options ranging from traditional taxis to colorful Chivas open-air buses popular with tourists. Walking is also a popular choice, especially within the compact confines of the Old City.

Medellin boasts a comprehensive and modern public transport system, which is considered one of the best in Latin America. The metro system and cable car network stand out as an easy, convenient, and efficient mode of transportation, connecting various neighborhoods across the city. Buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services are also widely available.

Which city is safer: Cartagena or Medellin?

In general terms, both cities are very safe and friendly to tourists and foreigners. Although as in any big city, you have to be careful with your belongings in crowded places such as tourist sites or on public transportation.

Cartagena generally enjoys a reputation as a safe tourist destination. However, petty theft and scams can occur, particularly in crowded tourist areas.

Similarly, Medellin has shed its tumultuous past and undergone a remarkable transformation, with crime rates decreasing significantly. However, as with any urban area, exercising caution and being mindful of your surroundings is advisable.

Safety is a paramount consideration for travelers, and both Medellin and Cartagena have made significant strides in improving security in recent years. However, visitors must take sensible precautions.

Which city has better tourist attractions: Cartagena or Medellin?

medellin luxury travel concierge
Piedra de El Peñol in Guatapé, a beautiful reservoir located just two hours away from Medellín.

Cartagena’s allure lies in its wealth of historical landmarks, including the imposing Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the iconic Clock Tower Gate, and the bustling Plaza de la Trinidad.

Medellin boasts a diverse array of tourist attractions, from the Piedra de El Peñol in Guatapé, two hours from the city, to the fanciful sculptures of Botero Plaza and the scenic cable cars of Metrocable.

Whether you are drawn to Cartagena’s colonial charm or Medellin’s modern marvels, both cities promise an abundance of captivating sights and experiences that showcase Colombia’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Do you want to know the beaches of Cartagena and its history, but also the vibes and culture of Medellin? We have it all, let’s organize an itinerary that fits what you are looking for!

Which city has better food: Cartagena or Medellin?

cartagena or medellin
Celele restaurant in Cartagena and Oci restaurant in Medellin, two of the best restaurants in Colombia.

In Cartagena, seafood reigns supreme, with fresh ceviche, grilled fish, and coconut-infused dishes tantalizing the taste buds. In Cartagena you will find restaurants for all budgets in the Old City. From restaurants that fuse local Colombian food with international touches to specialty restaurants. You may want to discover the best restaurants in Cartagena.

Medellin’s culinary scene showcases a diverse array of local specialties, from hearty bandeja paisa to savory arepas and mouthwatering street food. You can also find a wide variety of international cuisine, from Japanese to European and even Korean food. You can explore the best restaurants in Medellin here.

Whether you are indulging in Cartagena’s coastal delicacies or savoring Medellin’s hearty fare, both cities promise a culinary journey that celebrates Colombia’s rich culinary heritage.

Do you want to know the best of Cartagena and Medellin? We help you with everything you need and build customized itineraries so that your only concern is to get to know this beautiful country.

Which city has more history and culture: Cartagena or Medellin?

Cartagena’s storied past is noticeable as you move through its cobblestone streets, with each colonial building and historic monument bearing witness to centuries of Spanish colonial rule and African influence. From the iconic walls of the old city to the haunting beauty of the Palace of the Inquisition, Cartagena’s cultural heritage is deeply ingrained in its architectural landmarks and cultural traditions.

In contrast, Medellin’s history is marked by rapid industrialization and urban development, with a burgeoning arts scene and innovative urban projects reflecting its vibrant contemporary culture.

Which city has better weather: Cartagena or Medellin?

Cartagena is located at sea level next to the Caribbean Sea. It has a tropical climate, which is characterized by hot and humid weather all year round. The humid season is marked by short, intense rain showers, usually in the afternoon or at night.

Medellin earned its nickname as the “City of Eternal Spring” for a reason. It experiences a temperate climate characterized by mild temperatures all year round. No matter what time of the year you visit Medellin, you will find the weather very pleasant.

While some visitors may prefer the warmth of Cartagena’s coastal climate, others may relish the more moderate temperatures of Medellin.

The best time to visit: Cartagena vs Medellin

The best time to visit Cartagena is during the dry season, from December to March, when rainfall is minimal, and temperatures are comfortable. However, this period coincides with peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and larger crowds.

In contrast, Medellin’s pleasant climate makes it a year-round destination, with temperatures remaining relatively consistent throughout the year. The city’s famed Feria de las Flores in August and the Christmas season are particularly popular times to visit.

Ultimately, the best time to visit either city depends on your preferences regarding weather, crowds, and events.

Things to do: Cartagena vs Medellin

In Cartagena, explore the historic walled city, visit the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, rent a boat to visit the Rosario Islands, and savor fresh seafood at local eateries.

In Medellin, ride the Metrocable for panoramic views, tour the Botanical Garden and Parque Explora, discover local art at the Museum of Antioquia, and experience the vibrant nightlife of El Poblado.

Both cities offer unique cultural experiences, from salsa dancing in Cartagena to exploring Medellin’s street art scene, ensuring there is something for every traveler to enjoy.

Now that you are familiar with things to do during your trip from Medellin to Cartagena, let’s design a tailored itinerary for your exploration.

Where to stay: Cartagena vs Medellin

cartagena or medellin
Colonial Private Villas in Cartagena or Private Houses in Medellin are the best type of accommodations.

In Cartagena, it will always be better to stay in the Old City, where all the tourist attractions are located as well as the best restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. In this area of the city, the best option will always be to rent a Private Luxury Villa, since this type of accommodation has all the comforts of a luxury hotel with the advantage of having a private pool, rooftop, or private security. Besides, it can be customized with any service you wish. You may want to check our article on the best places to stay in Cartagena.

In Medellin, consider staying in the trendy El Poblado neighborhood, known for its vibrant nightlife, upscale dining options, and proximity to major sights.

In Medellin, there are several luxury hotels, hostels, and apartments or private houses that you can rent for groups of any size and in which you will be more comfortable. There are several areas such as El Poblado, Provenza, Laureles, or Envigado, but our recommendation is to stay in the Manila neighborhood, an area where you will find cafes, restaurants, art galleries, boutique stores, as well as being very close to the nightlife area. You can check here some of the best Medellin neighborhoods.

Whether you prefer the historic ambiance of Cartagena or the cosmopolitan vibe of Medellin, both cities offer a range of lodging options to suit every taste and budget.

Need a luxurious and private villa for your Medellin to Cartagena trip? We got you covered! Contact us today!

Which one wins? Cartagena or Medellin

Both Medellin and Cartagena are incredible cities with something unique and interesting to offer.

The main difference is that Cartagena is a party city with the vibe of a Caribbean island. On the other hand, Medellin is more like a modern city with wonderful nightlife and plenty of incredible facilities.

Whichever city you choose to visit, we are sure you will have a good time. In the end, the choice depends on what experiences you seek on your journey and what type of traveler you are.

However, for an ideal experience in Colombia, we recommend you arrive in one of the two cities, stay a few days, and then go to the other city.

Wondering where to start for your trip from Cartagena to Medellin? Message us, and let us start the journey.

Manila Neighborhood: The Best Place to Stay in Medellin, Colombia

medellin colombia
Manila neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia.

Manila – a small yet mighty neighborhood located in el Poblado, Medellín, is quickly gaining recognition as one of the best places to stay in Medellín. Stick with us as we explore this quirky barrio and why it’s one of Medellín’s hottest up-and-coming areas.

Manila is a semi-residential, leafy neighborhood with a fascinating history. At the beginning of the 20th Century, wealthy families who lived in Medellín’s Prado and Centro neighborhoods would get the tram and then a horse and cart over to Manila. Here, they constructed a collection of fincas (rural estates) as their vacation homes. They populated them with animals and fruit trees and made fresh mountain water wells. Now part of the bustling metropolis of el Poblado, Medellín, it’s hard to believe the way this neighborhood started out. This curious mix of past and present adds to the irresistible charm and character of Manila.

Manila: 20th Century Charm meets 21st Century Modernity

Today, Manila is characterized by its modern coffee shops, international restaurants, and quality hotels and hostels. It still retains a hint of its past, with traditional architecture, big houses, and old trees lining its streets. Manila is located right between Avenida El Poblado and Avenida Las Vegas. It is like a small island within El Poblado; a refuge from all the chaos and movement that you will generally encounter around Parque Lleras and Provenza. However, these tourist attractions are just a 10-minute walk away, and the metro station is just a 5-minute walk. Just one of many reasons why Manila is one of the best places to stay in Medellín. 

Where to stay in El Poblado?

where to stay in medellin
Apartment for rent in Manila neighborhood, Medellín, Colombia.

If you’re looking for accommodation options for El Poblado, Manila is without a doubt the best area to stay in Medellín. We recommend this house in Manila, a super stylish 4-bedroom condo with room for up to 10 guests. This new place feels cozy yet still gives the vibe of a 5-star hotel. With warm lighting, high-quality furnishings, and sophisticated, locally sourced decor, you won’t want to leave this home from home. Of course, one of our favorite features is the hot tub, which stands pride of place in the living area. We will run it fresh for you upon arrival. Crack open a bottle of bubbly and live the life you know you deserve!

The apartment doesn’t skimp on luxury amenities. For example, in every bathroom, you will find shampoo and conditioner from a luxury local Colombian brand, plus everything that you need to feel right at home. There is a free washer/dryer in case you are staying for a longer period of time, and every room is equipped with A/C and fans to keep cool. There are also cooking basics in the kitchen. However, one of the biggest benefits of this condo is that the price includes a maid service for your cooking and cleaning needs from 8 AM to 4 PM. 

Private accommodations in Manila: A superior stay in Medellin

8 Bedroom House: Walking Distance to Best Places

where to stay in medellin
Apartment for rent in Manila neighborhood, Medellín, Colombia.

Discover this spectacular house located in one of the best places in El Poblado. This brand new house is one of the best places to stay in Medellin, as it has 8 fully equipped rooms with private bathrooms and all the amenities available. It also has a rooftop with a jacuzzi where you can relax and enjoy the view, and a barbecue for you to enjoy a good BBQ day. In addition, its privileged location means that the best restaurants such as Carmen, Oci, or Dos Santos, and the best nightclubs such as Vintrash, Teatro Victoria, or Gusto, are only a walking distance away.

12 Bedroom Luxury Villa in El Poblado: Perfect for Large Groups

where to stay in medellin
12 Bedroom Luxury House in the Heart of El Poblado neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia.

This is definitely the best place to host large groups or entire families in all of Medellín. This 12-room brand new house is a total luxury thanks to all the spaces it has: private bathrooms in each room, three living rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, work area, two hot tubs, a rooftop, and a laundry area. It is also very well located, so you will find the best restaurants, coffee shops, boutique stores, bars, rooftops, and nightclubs just a few steps away.

Where to eat and drink: The best bars and restaurants in Manila Medellin

where to eat in medellin
General Café Bar in Manila neighborhood, Medellín, Colombia.

Best eats in Manila, Poblado

Manila is full to bursting with fantastic places to eat and drink. It was hard to narrow the list down, but below you can find some of our favorites in Manila. Mamasita Medallo is a restaurant that sells typical Colombian food and has a great daily happy hour. If you have a hankering for pizza, head down to El Zorro y la Gitana for incredible artisan pizzas. We have already raved about Alambique in our Medellín Best Restaurants Blog, and it’s definitely worth a visit. If you fancy some Asian food, the best in Manila is Bao Bei; so good, in fact, that they have a waiting list via WhatsApp. El Altar Taquería sells tacos exactly as they should be sold: cheap, messy, and full of flavor. If it’s coffee or brunch you’re looking for, Hija Mía sells a fantastic cup of home-roasted coffee and has a super varied menu.

Nightlife in Manila, Poblado

In Manila, the vibe is very different from the bars you generally find in Parque Lleras or Provenza. Think more underground, more speakeasy-style. We love 7 Pulgadas – they call themselves a “Listening Bar”: it is super small and intimate with low lighting and old records everywhere. You can’t leave Manila without visiting Palma Piton. This architecturally stunning bar has live music, great drinks, and plants everywhere. La Pequeña Gran Libreria (The Little Big Bookstore) is a super unique bar concept where you can play classic board games on little tables outdoors whilst sipping wine. And if you want to party or dance, you can head to the rooftops of local hostels El Viajero and Los Patios. They open their rooftop parties to everyone, and not just hostel guests.

Find out all the things that Medellín has to offer; from tours to real estate

Manila: A Cultural and Gastronomic Hub

Despite its small size, Manila spearheads and participates in many cultural events throughout the year. The community feeling of Manila as a neighborhood manifests itself in many ways. For example, back in 2022, Manila hosted an “Encanto” themed event. The community opened dialogues about mental health, whilst celebrating the famous “Feria de las Flores” (Medellín Flower Festival). Every year on December 7th, Manila also celebrates “Día de las Velitas” (little candle day). This is a Colombian Christmas tradition where people light candles in the street, representing hope and faith. Festival Manila a la Calle also saw varied gastronomic offerings, dancing, and the celebration of Colombian culture. Manila also got the original nickname of “Calle de la Buena Mesa”, a gastronomic celebration of the varied international offerings that can be found in one street.

Safety and Accessibility in Manila Medellin

It is well-known that el Poblado is one of the safest areas for travelers and tourists in Medellín. Within el Poblado, Manila is specifically praised for its safety, tranquillity, and green landscapes. Provenza can be loud and filled with people partying at all hours of the day and night. Manila is quieter and has a more chill atmosphere. However, it is still plenty close to the action, and Ubers are cheap and plentiful in the area. In terms of safety, it goes without saying that you will be fine in Colombia if you make smart decisions. Keep your wits about you at all times, and “don’t give papaya” as they say in Colombia. This basically means don’t flash what you’re not prepared to lose.

We are passionate about helping you plan your trip and giving you the best tips and tools to enjoy your stay in Colombia. Contact us for recommendations, accommodations, and more!

How Safe Is Colombia For Traveling? Best Recommendations Guide

Medellín cityscape

Colombia, once plagued by drug cartels and internal conflicts, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. This South American nation has emerged as a popular tourist destination, boasting breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality.

However, safety concerns still linger in the minds of many potential tourists and foreigners. In this article, we’ll delve into the safety aspects of visiting Colombia, including specific destinations like Cartagena and Medellin.

So how safe is Colombia really? What we can tell in advance is that Colombia is safe to travel and that the biggest risk is that you might want to stay longer in this wonderful country!

How Safe is Colombia: Colombia’s Safety Transformation

comuna 13 medellin colombia

Colombia has made significant strides in improving its security situation over the past few decades. The government has implemented robust measures to combat crime and insurgency, resulting in a notable decrease in violence and instability. According to statistics, homicide rates in Colombia have dropped significantly in recent years, reaching levels comparable to other countries in the region.

The Colombian government has also prioritized tourism as a key economic driver, investing in infrastructure, promoting sustainable travel, and enhancing security measures in tourist areas. Major cities and popular tourist destinations have seen increased police presence and improved surveillance systems to ensure the safety of visitors.

Embark on Your Colombian Journey of Discovery! Click here and we’ll tailor your perfect Colombian escape.

Common Misconceptions About Colombia’s Safety

colombia beach in santa marta tayrona

Common misconceptions about safety in Colombia persist despite significant improvements in recent years. Although the news many times may show Colombia as an unsafe or dangerous country for tourists, the reality is completely different. Of course, there are still cases of insecurity in some of the main cities of the country, especially in the largest and most populated ones, but it is the same thing that can happen in big cities around the world like New York, Chicago, Paris or London, where the safety recommendations for tourists are the same.

  1. The drug cartels still run the country

Many people still associate Colombia with Pablo Escobar and the notorious drug cartels. While Colombia has faced challenges with drug-related violence in the past, substantial efforts by the government have significantly weakened the influence of these criminal organizations. Today, Colombia is much more stable and safer for residents and tourists alike. Our humble recommendation: Stop watching so many Netflix series about drug cartels and Pablo Escobar!

  1. It is not safe to travel outside of Colombia’s major cities

The notion that it is unsafe to travel outside of major cities overlooks the progress made in enhancing security throughout the country. While rural areas may have previously faced security issues, many of these regions have seen significant improvements. Tourists now have access to a wealth of destinations beyond urban centers, including Colombia’s breathtaking natural landscapes and culturally rich towns.

  1. All of Colombia is dangerous

The blanket assertion that all of Colombia is dangerous is misleading. While certain areas may still experience security challenges, painting the entire country with this broad stroke overlooks the diverse reality of Colombia. Major cities like Medellín, Cartagena, and Bogotá, are generally safe for visitors who exercise caution and adhere to common-sense safety measures.

Step Into the Magic of Colombia! Reach out today and let’s plan your unforgettable journey to Colombia.

Common Colombia Safety Concerns And Risks

Cartagena Cityscape - historical centre and Bocagrande

Colombia, like any country, has its safety concerns, but with proper precautions, most travelers visit without any incident at all. Here are the common safety concerns and the risk levels in Colombia:

  • Transport and Taxis Risk

While transportation networks are generally reliable, there are risks associated with accidents, particularly in remote areas or poorly maintained vehicles. Additionally, there have been reports of taxi scams, so it’s advisable to use reputable taxi services. Our recommendation is to take transportation apps like Uber or DiDi, which work very well in cities like Cartagena, Medellin, and Bogota. But if you want something more private and comfortable from Two Travel we can organize all your transportation.

  • Pickpockets Risk

In crowded areas such as markets, public transportation, and tourist sites, pickpocketing can occur. Travelers should remain vigilant and keep their belongings secure. Travelers should be aware of their pockets, backpacks, and purses as in any city in the world where most tourist places are usually full of people.

  • Natural Disasters Risk

No country in the world is exempt from natural disasters, so it is always good to follow the recommendations of local guides, experts, and authorities on the subject.

  • Mugging Risk

Street crime, including muggings and robberies, can happen in some of the larger cities, especially at night and in areas that are not very busy or crowded. Travelers should avoid displaying valuables and remain aware of their surroundings, especially at night.

  • Terrorism Risk

While Colombia has a history of political violence and terrorism, particularly in rural areas, the risk to tourists is really low, especially in major cities and tourist areas. So this is actually something you don’t have to worry about, as Colombia is a politically, economically, and socially very stable country.

  • Scams Risk

Tourists may encounter various scams, including fake tour operators, overcharging, and credit card fraud. It’s essential to research and use reputable services, negotiate prices in advance, and be cautious with personal and financial information.

  • Women Travelers Risk

Female travelers should exercise the same precautions as male travelers, such as avoiding walking alone at night and being cautious in unfamiliar areas.

Eager to explore the safe streets of Colombia? Contact us today and kickstart the unforgettable adventure with our expert assistance!

How Safe is Colombia: Cartagena

Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena, with its stunning colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and picturesque beaches, is one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations. While it has its share of petty crime, such as pickpocketing and scams targeting tourists, violent crime rates in Cartagena are relatively low compared to other cities in Colombia.

Travelers can enhance their safety in Cartagena by taking common-sense precautions such as avoiding isolated areas at night, staying alert in crowded places, and securing their belongings. Additionally, sticking to well-lit and populated areas, using reputable transportation services, and being cautious when exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods can contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience in Cartagena.

Contact us today to let your dream Cartagena journey start with our tailored trip planning!

How Safe is Colombia: Medellín

Blog Medellin

Once synonymous with drug violence, Medellin has undergone a remarkable transformation to become one of Colombia’s most dynamic and innovative cities. Today, Medellin is celebrated for its cultural offerings, innovative urban projects, and warm hospitality. Medellin’s transformation is not only evident in its physical landscape but also in its commitment to safety and security.

While Medellin has made significant strides in improving its security situation, certain neighborhoods still experience higher crime rates than others. Travelers are advised to exercise caution when visiting areas known for petty crime and to avoid flashing valuables or venturing into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.

Contact us today to let your dream Medellin vacation start with our custom trip planning!

Colombia Travel Advisory And Safety Tips

best neighborhoods in medellin colombia

Like any travel destination, it is vital to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure your Colombia safety. Here are some Colombia travel advisories and safety tips for visiting Colombia and having a great experience during your whole trip.

  • Don’t flash your belongings while you’re out and about

Avoid attracting unnecessary attention by keeping your valuables, such as cameras, phones, jewelry, or large sums of money, out of sight. If you need to use your phone, do it inside and not out on the street, and be mindful of your surroundings.

  • Don’t travel alone at night

If you do go out at night, especially in less populated or unfamiliar areas, be sure to go with a group of fellow travelers or take a trusted transportation mode such as an Uber. Do not walk alone late at night.

  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases

Knowing basic Spanish can help you communicate with locals and navigate various safety situations more effectively.

  • Download and use an offline map of the city

Having an offline map on your smartphone can be invaluable in case you get lost or need directions, especially if you find yourself in areas with limited internet connectivity

  • Stay somewhere with 24-hour security

Choose accommodations and neighborhoods that prioritize safety, such as our private villas in which we can provide security 24 hours a day.

  • Don’t do drugs

Engaging in drug-related activities is illegal and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment or fines. Avoid any involvement with drugs to stay out of trouble and avoid any drug-related comment as colombians don’t like it.

  • Keep Your Valuables Separate

Distribute your money, credit cards, and important documents across different pockets, bags, or hidden compartments. This way, if one is lost or stolen, you won’t lose everything.

  • Take reliable transportation

Opt for reputable and licensed transportation services or rideshare apps rather than accepting rides from strangers. Our concierge team and logistics can arrange transportation for you and your group during your whole stay.

  • Stay updated on current events

Keep informed about the latest news and developments in the areas you plan to visit. This includes monitoring local news, weather forecasts, and any travel advisories issued by your government.

  • Trust Your Instincts

If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your intuition and remove yourself from it. Avoid confrontations and seek help from authorities or trustworthy locals if needed.

  • Download tracking apps to your phone and laptop

Installing tracking apps like Prey to locate your stolen devices and remotely wipe sensitive data if necessary. Make sure to set them up before your trip and familiarize yourself with their functionalities

  • If the worst happens, cooperate and just give the attacker your stuff

In the unfortunate event of a robbery or mugging, prioritize your safety above all else. Remain calm, cooperate with the assailant’s demands, and avoid escalating the situation. Remember that you can replace your material possessions, but your well-being cannot.

  • Buy travel insurance

Invest in comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and theft. This provides financial protection and peace of mind throughout your journey.

With our Concierge and Logistics teams behind you, your dream Colombia adventure is safe and secure. Contact us now and let us plan your whole experience!

Final Thoughts About Colombia’s Safety

In conclusion, Colombia has emerged as a shining example of safety and adventure in South America, with cities like Cartagena and Medellin leading the charge. As travelers increasingly seek authentic experiences in diverse landscapes, Colombia stands ready to welcome them with open arms. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure of a lifetime, and discover the beauty and safety of Colombia for yourself.

And remember that with our Concierge services, you will have a team of people totally at your disposal to make your experience as safe as possible and you will not have any kind of inconvenience during your stay. From putting together your itinerary, organizing your daily transportation or recommending the best restaurants, to helping you with any special requirements such as using private security for you and your group. Whatever you need we have it all and can improve your experience in Colombia!

Best Place to Stay in Cartagena Colombia

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia. One of the best places to stay in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is one of the most visited places in Colombia. Its allure lies in its rich tapestry of food, culture, and history. When it comes to accommodations, Cartagena offers a range of options (hotel, hostel, villa, etc.), each with its own set of pros and cons. Cartagena has many accommodation possibilities, but the best place to stay in Cartagena Colombia is one that many people still do not consider in their options when looking for accommodation.

Hotels stand out as the most popular choice. However, they can be quite expensive, especially during peak tourist seasons. On the other hand, hostels are ideal choices for budget-conscious travelers, but they can be quite cramped, which can compromise security measures.

Villas are becoming a more popular option and the best place to stay in Cartagena Colombia over hotels, hostels, and Airbnb. They are usually more spacious and provide a more home-like atmosphere. Villas are also often in great locations and are ideal for groups of all sizes. Villas can include all services: laundry, security, cleaning, meals, cooks, and a private chef. Villas also have a pool, are private, and are party-friendly. 

We have created a list of the best places to stay in Cartagena Colombia. Read on to learn about these villas!

Luxury Private Villas: Best Places to Stay in Cartagena Colombia

Luxury Villas in the city of Cartagena is the best place to stay in Cartagena Colombia. These villas are mostly located inside the Walled City of Cartagena, which makes them even more magical because of their proximity to all the historical sites of the city and the best places: bars, restaurants, rooftops, cafes, and nightclubs. The luxury villas are totally private houses perfect for any type of group that wants to visit the city: from a large family to very large groups of friends who are looking for comfort and being all together in the same place.

In addition, in the luxury private villas, you can include for you and your group all the amenities you want: from a private chef to prepare the best local meals, to organizing pool parties. This is why villas are the best place to stay in Cartagena Colombia, as they are the best type of accommodation available to enjoy the city without worries.

Below are some of the best places to stay in Cartagena Colombia:

Casa Mantilla

luxury private villa in cartagena colombia

Steeped in history and architectural splendor, Casa Mantilla offers a glimpse into Cartagena’s colonial or historical past.  It is a place where you can experience the perfect mix of modern comforts and historic charm.

This 11-bedroom, 12-bathroom Cartagena villa can comfortably host up to 22 guests.

This meticulously restored villa features ornate balconies, traditional furnishings, and a charming central courtyard adorned with cascading vines and colorful blooms.

With its timeless charm, gorgeous architecture, top-notch amenities, and gracious hospitality, Casa Mantilla promises an unforgettable stay right in the heart of Cartagena.

Villa Estrella

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia

Perched on the edge of Cartagena’s historic district, Villa Estrella captivates visitors with its impeccable design and timeless elegance. This 19th-century villa features resplendent decor where high wood beam ceilings and brick archways provide the backdrop for the antiques and artwork throughout.

Villa Estrella boasts a harmonious blend of traditional architecture and modern amenities. These include private terraces, a tranquil courtyard, and a rooftop pool offering panoramic vistas of the city’s skyline.

In addition, Villa Estrella has the advantage of being an incredible wedding venue that allows up to 80 guests. The spaces of this villa, its pool that turns into a dance floor, and its rooftop perfect for photo shoots make it the perfect place to celebrate your big day in a colonial house in the historic city of Cartagena. If you want to see more of Villa Estrella as a wedding venue click here.

Casa Damas

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia

Steeped in history and charm, Casa Damas transports guests to a bygone era of colonial splendor. With spacious living areas, two pools, and five huge bedrooms, each complete with large en-suite bathrooms and king king-size bed, you will find everything you need for your Cartagena vacation.

This meticulously restored villa features intricately carved wooden balconies, antique furnishings, and a serene courtyard adorned with tropical foliage. With its intimate ambiance and personalized service, Casa Damas offers a truly unforgettable retreat.

Staff can also be on hand to assist with cleaning, cooking, and all your needs – you only need to ask and we will provide.

Do you want to see all our available villas? We have villas for all budgets and all group sizes.

Casa Botero

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia

Experience the epitome of lavish living at an extraordinary 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom villa, a palatial haven accommodating up to 12 guests with unrivaled sophistication. Nestled strategically within the enchanting confines of Cartagena’s Walled City, this residence seamlessly marries historic allure with contemporary opulence. Adorned with breathtaking architecture and top-tier amenities, the villa guarantees an unforgettable sojourn at the very heart of Cartagena.

Immerse yourself in the allure of this spectacular retreat, where each moment promises a perfect fusion of luxury and comfort. To elevate your experience, the dedicated staff stands ready to cater to your every whim, offering seamless assistance with culinary delights, meticulous cleaning, and personalized service, ensuring an unparalleled getaway for you and your esteemed group. Your desires are commands in this exclusive haven of indulgence.

Casa Moneda

luxury private villa in cartagena colombia

Discover this stunning 10-bedroom villa tucked away in the lively streets of Cartagena’s historic Walled City! This spacious getaway is perfect for big groups or families, accommodating up to 24 guests comfortably.

Step out onto the terrace and soak in the incredible views of the cityscape while enjoying your very own private jacuzzi. Whether it’s lounging in the Caribbean sun or marveling at the city lights at night, this outdoor haven is ideal for unwinding and making lasting memories with loved ones.

Inside, the villa offers a perfect balance of comfort and practicality. Each of the ten bedrooms provides a cozy retreat for relaxation, ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep after a day of exploring. The living areas are roomy and inviting, providing plenty of space for gatherings and quality time together.

All of our villas have amenities to suit every group. Take a look at all the options available and let your stay in Cartagena be totally out of the ordinary.

Casa Mattos

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia

This amazing house will wow you from the moment you step in, especially with a Botero Sculpture greeting you in the courtyard. It’s pretty unique as it might be the only house around with its own elevator.

It has two big pools plus a smaller one just for kids, so everyone has space to enjoy. Each of the 10 bedrooms is big, cozy, and comes with its own bathroom. If you need it, there’s even an option to set up an 11th bedroom for a bit extra.

Every room has air conditioning to keep you cool and comfortable, and all the bathrooms are stocked with toiletries.

Villa Mariposa

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia

Nestled amidst the tropical foliage of Cartagena’s coastal landscape, Villa Mariposa is a sanctuary of modern indulgence and natural beauty. This newly renovated 21-bedroom house is fully equipped to allow guests to unwind in luxurious comfort while immersing themselves in the stunning surroundings.

You will love the sleek design elements, spacious living areas, billiards table, rooftop views, and two private pools overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean.

The house has a full staff including nighttime security, a chef, a cleaner, and a butler.

Casa Caribe

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia

In the center of Cartagena´s Old City, this newly renovated 13-bedroom house captures the essence of Caribbean charm as it invites guests to experience the ultimate seaside escape.

Casa Caribe features breezy open-plan living spaces, expansive ocean views, and a private beachfront terrace perfect for alfresco dining and relaxation. With its laid-back vibe and coastal chic decor, Casa Caribe offers a slice of paradise in Cartagena.

It also features a ping pong table and two private pools. Located in the beautiful San Diego neighborhood, you are in the best neighborhood in the Old City.

Why are Villas the Best Place to Stay in Cartagena Colombia?

From the cobblestone streets of the old town to the sun-drenched shores of the Caribbean coast, Cartagena beckons travelers with its enchanting blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking a romantic retreat, a family getaway, or a luxurious escape with friends, these exceptional villas offer the perfect setting for an unforgettable stay in this captivating Colombian city.

Need a private and luxurious villa for your night out in Cartagena? We got you covered! Contact us today!

The Ultimate Guide to Cartagena’s Colonial District: The Walled City vs. Getsemaní

Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia
Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia. Photo by: Starcevic.

Not sure where to stay in Cartagena? If you’re looking to immerse yourself in culture, a stay in Cartagena’s colonial Centro area is in order. But which is better, the Walled City or Getsemaní? Stick with us as we take a deep dive into Cartagena’s most historic neighborhoods, from accommodation to nightlife, and safety.

Cartagena is undeniably the jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Positioned on the Caribbean Sea, this historic port town attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its unique architecture and charm. In Cartagena, you can see the stunning juxtaposition of new and old. It is a beautiful sight to see the Miami-like skyline of Bocagrande whilst standing on the centuries-old city wall. But the true appeal to most visitors is the timeless beauty of the colonial neighborhoods of Centro and San Diego within the Walled City, and Getsemaní, just outside of it. These neighborhoods are iconic and, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remain as a window to a past that has long gone by. 

Cartagena’s Walled City: A Charming and Romantic Escape

Cartagena Colombia
Photo: Shutterstock

The historic center of Cartagena is surrounded by 11 kilometers of defensive walls. Built in 1586 to protect Cartagena from invading pirates, they now form a central part of the identity of the city. Nowadays, with no threat from conquistadors, pirates, or invasions, Cartagena welcomes thousands of visitors each year to stroll its picturesque streets. You are sure to be charmed by its cobbled streets and quaint, colorful buildings with flowering bougainvillea all year round. Cartagena has been named one of the most romantic cities in the world. Despite its historic facade, Cartagena is full of modern restaurants, trendy bars, and boutique designer shops. This makes it the perfect place to wander around for the afternoon, and well into the evening.

What is the Nightlife like in the Walled City?

Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena's best bars.
Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

The nightlife in Cartagena’s walled city is unparalleled. As the sleepy heat of the day wears off, the city comes alive at night. Stroll through quaint plazas where artisans sell their wares, such as San Diego Square, or grab an arepa de huevo (Cartagena’s signature fried treat – the egg arepa) in Fernandez de Madrid Square.

The walled city is always buzzing with people until the small hours of the morning. You can find some of the best and most stylish bars and clubs in Cartagena inside the old town. Check out our guide to the best bars and clubs in Cartagena – all of which are located within the walled city. Some of our favorites include Alquimico for the best craft cocktails in town, and La Movida for a stylish nightclub with excellent music. The old town of Cartagena is super walkable and bar hopping is not only easy but recommended.

Where can I stay in the Walled City?

Luxury Villa in Cartagena Colombia
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia.

The old town of Cartagena probably has one of the highest ratios of hotels and Airbnbs per square meter than anywhere else. It is positively bursting with incredible locations to stay. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of hotels and hostels inside the walled city of Cartagena, we will always prefer to choose a villa over a hotel.

A villa rental is superior because you and your group will have the whole vacation rental to yourselves. The appeal of privacy, plus your own private garden, balcony, and swimming pool is just too much to pass on. Plus, the colonial architecture of the private villas in the walled city is second to none. You can even hire a private chef to cook up a storm for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, while you kick back on your private rooftop terrace. Sounds too good to be true? Check out our villas and see for yourself.

If you do fancy a hotel stay, there are some world-renowned options within the old city, such as the Charleston Santa Teresa or the Sofitel Santa Clara. The Santa Clara is a converted convent that looks onto the ocean and is steeped in history. It is even said to be the inspiration for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book “Of Love and Other Demons”.

Click here to let the journey begin and unlock the secrets of Colombia’s Colonial District with our tailored trip planning!

How safe is the Walled City of Cartagena?

If you’re within the walled city, you’re in one of the safest areas of Cartagena. The main streets are busy at all hours and are well-lit. As with any major city, it’s always good to have your wits about you. Pick-pocketing can easily happen, especially in large crowds. Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you, and make sure you take out some Colombian pesos rather than dollars if you want to buy any souvenirs in the street.

Speaking of money, make sure you always negotiate a price before purchasing a service. For example, getting in a yellow cab, getting a massage on the beach, or renting the horse and carts you will see around town. It’s always better to agree on the price beforehand to avoid getting scammed. And that photo with the beautiful Palenquera lady with the fruit basket on her head? It’s not for free. And finally, be careful when using dating apps. Make sure to always meet in a public place and keep your friends informed of your whereabouts.

Getsemaní: The Walled City’s Bohemian younger sister

Cartagena colombia Gesemani neighborhood
Beautiful street in Getsemaní neighborhood. Photo by: Priscilla Burcher

Getsemaní (pronounced het-sem-a-KNEE) was, historically, a slum where the slaves would live during colonial times. Until around 10 years ago, it was preceded by its reputation for being seedy and dangerous. Today, however, it is a totally different neighborhood. Getsemaní is a diamond in the rough; it is charming, without being perfectly polished like many parts of Centro. Enjoy its vibrant street art, much of which celebrates the essence of what it is to be proudly Afro-Colombian. The locals of Getsemaní have banded together to make the most of living right in the heart of one of Cartagena’s most touristic districts. Every family home has become a business; whether they are selling beers through their window, colorful canvases with local art, or cheap cocktails. Getsemaní was even named by Forbes magazine back in 2018 as one of the “coolest neighborhoods in the world”.

What is the Nightlife like in Getsemaní?

Getsemani Cartagena Colombia
Café Havana in Getsemaní, Cartagena, Colombia.

The nightlife experience in Getsemaní is very different from the experience in the walled city. It is a lot more chaotic and busy as there is a high volume of people in a smaller space. It is also a lot more relaxed in terms of the general atmosphere. The beating heart of Getsemani is Plaza de la Trinidad, where you will find many locals and tourists alike. Many people gather in this square during the evenings to chat, drink, and watch the street performers. Keep an eye out, and you might see Michael Jackson, or even Shakiro (Cartagena’s answer to Shakira which needs to be seen to be believed). Or if you fancy a $2 cocktail, head down to Callejon Ancho, where you will find a bunch of makeshift bars, blaring music, and the best vibes to get your weekend started.

There are also some great bars, restaurants, and clubs in Getsemaní. We like Seven Times, a cabaret-style club with different ambiances. Head to the famous Cafe Havana to dance salsa into the small hours of the night, or to Calle Dragones for some creative cocktails. We also can’t forget about dinner at Celele, a contender in the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants (2022).

Our guide dissects The Walled City vs. Getsemaní. Intrigued? Click now to connect with us and start the journey toward a personalized Colombian experience like no other!

Where can I stay in Getsemaní?

Casa Santa Ana Cartagena
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia

Much like the walled city, Getsemaní also has its fair share of Colonial villas. Much like the villas in the old city, these stunning, centuries-old houses have private pools, terraces, and all the modern amenities. After the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Getsemaní, entering your private villa feels like the perfect escape. Relax, party, or host in total privacy. Getsemaní has a much higher proportion of backpacker hostels compared to the Old City. Many of these are located on its main street, Calle Media Luna. There are also some more upper-scale hotels, such as Casa Lola, which stays true to the rugged yet charming vibe of Getsemaní.

How safe is Getsemaní?

Despite being a little rougher around the edges compared to the walled city, Getsemaní is also pretty safe. In recent years, safety has improved a lot in this area, as it has gotten more gentrified and popular. Still, it’s important to stick to well-populated areas such as the main square and the streets where the main bars and restaurants are. Don’t engage in conversation with homeless people or people selling things. All our previous recommendations for the walled city of Cartagena also apply here; no des papaya (don’t give papaya) as they say in Cartagena, and you’ll be fine! This local saying basically translates to don’t flash what you’re not willing to lose. If you stick with your group and go to reputable places, you have nothing to worry about. You’re sure to have the best time on your trip to Cartagena!

Eager to explore these historic streets yourself? Click now and kickstart the adventure of a lifetime with our expert assistance!