Is Cartagena Colombia Safe to Travel Solo? Discover the Hidden Gems and Tips for a Secure Trip

Is Cartagena Colombia Safe to Travel Solo

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Yes, Cartagena Colombia is generally safe for solo travel. With its vibrant culture, colorful architecture, and beautiful beaches, Cartagena offers a safe and enjoyable experience for solo travelers.

The city has taken significant steps to improve its security measures, and tourist areas are heavily patrolled by police. However, as with any travel destination, it is important to remain cautious, particularly in crowded areas and at night. By staying vigilant and taking common sense precautions, solo travelers can have a memorable and safe experience in Cartagena.

Safety In Cartagena

When it comes to traveling solo, safety becomes a top priority. Cartagena, a vibrant city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is a popular destination for solo travelers. While it offers a rich cultural experience with its colorful colonial architecture and lively atmosphere, the safety situation in Cartagena is a concern for many.

Overall Safety Situation

In recent years, Cartagena has undergone significant improvements in terms of safety. The city has been working hard to enhance security measures and create a safe environment for both locals and tourists. However, it’s important to stay cautious and aware of your surroundings, as with any city.

Crime Rates and Areas to Avoid:

The crime rates in Cartagena have decreased significantly in recent years, but like any other city, it still has some areas that are more prone to criminal activities. These areas should be avoided, especially if you are traveling solo. Taking necessary precautions and being prepared can help you enjoy your visit to Cartagena without any major issues.

Crime Rates And Areas To Avoid

Cartagena, like many cities in the world, has certain neighborhoods that have higher crime rates. While overall safety has improved, it is advised to avoid certain areas to minimize the risk of being targeted. Below are some areas in which you should exercise caution:

NeighborhoodReason to Exercise Caution
GetsemaniThis neighborhood is known for petty theft and occasional muggings. Stay vigilant and avoid walking alone at night.
San FranciscoThis area is known for a higher rate of pickpocketing and occasional robberies. Keep your belongings close and avoid displaying valuable items.
MangaWhile this neighborhood generally feels safe during the day, it’s better to avoid it after dark due to isolated incidents of robbery.

Safety Tips For Solo Travelers

Exploring Cartagena solo can be an amazing and rewarding experience, as long as you take necessary precautions. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
  • Stick to well-lit and busy areas, especially at night.
  • Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, cameras, or electronics that may attract unwanted attention.
  • Keep your belongings secure at all times, preferably in a locked bag or a hidden money belt.
  • Use registered taxis or ride-sharing services instead of hailing random taxis from the street.
  • Make sure to have emergency contact numbers and a copy of your important documents.
  • Consider joining group tours or hiring a local guide for certain activities.
  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases to communicate with locals and seek help if needed.

By following these safety tips, you can have a satisfying and worry-free solo trip to Cartagena.

Hidden Gems In Cartagena

Hidden Gems In Cartagena

Cartagena, Colombia is a vibrant city that is not only rich in history and culture but also home to some hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. If you are planning a solo trip to Cartagena, it’s important to explore beyond the usual tourist spots and uncover the lesser-known treasures of this beautiful destination.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the hidden gems in Cartagena that you should not miss out on, including the Historic Old Town, Rosario Islands, and the Getsemani Neighborhood.

Historic Old Town

The Historic Old Town of Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and often referred to as the heart and soul of the city. Stepping into this area feels like stepping back in time with its cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and impressive architecture. As you wander through the narrow streets, you’ll encounter hidden plazas, charming boutiques, and local eateries serving up traditional Colombian cuisine.

One of the must-visit attractions in the Historic Old Town is the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a massive fortress that offers panoramic views of the city. Exploring the fortress’s underground tunnels and learning about its fascinating history is a truly unique experience. Additionally, don’t miss the chance to visit the famous Plaza de los Coches, where you can soak up the lively atmosphere while enjoying street performances and live music.

Rosario Islands

If you’re craving a beach getaway and want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a visit to the Rosario Islands is a must. These picturesque islands are located just off the coast of Cartagena and offer pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. You can spend the day snorkeling, swimming, or simply relaxing on the white sandy beaches.

One of the hidden gems of the Rosario Islands is Playa Blanca, a secluded beach with turquoise waters and palm-fringed shores. This paradise-like beach is perfect for unwinding and enjoying the tranquility of nature. For those seeking adventure, you can also explore the underwater world by diving or taking a boat tour to witness the stunning marine life.

Getsemani Neighborhood

In recent years, the Getsemani Neighborhood has emerged as a hip and trendy area, attracting locals and travelers alike. This vibrant neighborhood is known for its lively street art, colorful buildings, and vibrant nightlife.

One of the hidden gems in Getsemani is the Plaza Trinidad, a lively square lined with bars and surrounded by colonial architecture. Here, you can mingle with locals, enjoy street food, and soak up the energetic atmosphere. The neighborhood also offers a range of boutique hotels, boutique shops, art galleries, and trendy restaurants, making it the perfect place to explore during your solo trip to Cartagena.

Don’t miss the opportunity to venture beyond the usual tourist spots and uncover these hidden gems in Cartagena. Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of the Old Town, relaxing on the pristine beaches of the Rosario Islands, or immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Getsemani, these hidden gems will surely make your solo trip to Cartagena even more memorable.

Best Time To Visit Cartagena

If you’re planning a solo trip to Cartagena, Colombia, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is the best time to visit. Cartagena is a vibrant and captivating city, where you can discover colonial architecture, stroll through colorful streets, and relax on beautiful beaches.

However, choosing the right time to visit is crucial to have an unforgettable experience. In this article, we will explore the weather overview, peak and off-peak seasons, and essential packing tips to help you make the most of your solo adventure in Cartagena.

Weather Overview

The weather in Cartagena is characterized by tropical heat and humidity throughout the year. And while it does experience a wet and dry season, the temperature remains relatively high. The average temperature ranges from 80°F (27°C) to 90°F (32°C), making it a perfect destination for beach lovers seeking warmth.

Peak And Off-peak Seasons

Cartagena’s peak season falls during December to March, as well as July and August. These months see an influx of tourists due to favorable weather conditions and holiday periods. During this time, the city can get quite crowded, and prices for accommodations and flights tend to be higher. If you prefer a quieter experience and wish to avoid crowds, it’s best to visit during the off-peak seasons, such as April to June or September to November.

Essential Packing Tips

When packing for your solo trip to Cartagena, there are a few essentials to keep in mind. Here are some tips:

  • Light clothing: Due to the tropical climate, pack lightweight and breathable clothing such as cotton or linen.
  • Sun protection: Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong sun rays.
  • Insect repellent: Mosquitoes are prevalent in Cartagena, especially during the wet season. It’s advisable to pack insect repellent to avoid any discomfort.
  • Comfortable shoes: With the city’s picturesque streets, you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking. Make sure to pack comfortable shoes to explore without any discomfort.
  • Reef-safe sunscreen: If you plan on snorkeling or swimming in the turquoise waters, consider using reef-safe sunscreen to help protect the delicate marine ecosystem.
  • Adapter: Don’t forget to bring a universal power adapter to ensure you can charge your electronic devices without any hassle.

By considering the weather overview, peak and off-peak seasons, and essential packing tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your solo trip to Cartagena. Embrace the city’s vibrant atmosphere, immerse yourself in its rich history, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Transportation In Cartagena

When planning your solo trip to Cartagena, Colombia, one of the important aspects to consider is transportation. Knowing how to get around safely and efficiently can greatly enhance your overall travel experience. In this section, we will explore the various transportation options available in Cartagena, including airport transfers, public transportation, and taxi/ridesharing services.

Airport And Transfers

Arriving at Rafael Núñez International Airport, located just a short distance from the city center, is the most common way for visitors to enter Cartagena. As soon as you step out of the airport, you will find several options for getting to your accommodation safely.

  • Airport Taxi: The airport has an official taxi service, which operates with fixed rates based on your destination. These taxis are safe and reliable, ensuring a hassle-free transfer to your hotel. Ensure you use the official taxi queue to avoid any potential scams.
  • Pre-arranged Transfers: Many hotels and travel agencies offer pre-arranged airport transfers. This option allows you to have a driver waiting for you upon arrival, holding a sign with your name, ensuring a smooth transition to your hotel without any language or currency barriers.
  • Ridesharing Services: Popular ridesharing services like Uber and Beat are also available in Cartagena. You can use their mobile apps to request a ride from the airport to your destination, providing a convenient and reliable option.

Public Transportation

Exploring Cartagena like a local can be an exciting and budget-friendly experience. The city offers a range of public transportation options for you to navigate and discover its vibrant streets and historical sites.

  • Buses: The public bus system in Cartagena is a popular choice among locals and budget-conscious travelers. Buses cover various routes throughout the city, making it easy to reach destinations such as the walled city, Bocagrande, and other popular areas.
  • Trolleys: Another unique public transportation option in Cartagena is the trolley system. These brightly colored open-air buses provide a fun and engaging way to explore the city, particularly the old town area.
  • Bicycles: For those who enjoy cycling, renting a bicycle is a fantastic way to get around Cartagena. With many bike rental shops available, you can pedal your way through the charming streets, taking in the sights at your own pace.

Taxi And Ridesharing Services

If you prefer the convenience and privacy of a private vehicle, taxi and ridesharing services are readily available throughout Cartagena. Here are some important things to note:

  • Official Taxis: Official taxis in Cartagena are yellow and have meters. Ensure the meter is turned on at the beginning of your ride to avoid any fare disputes. It is also advisable to have small bills for payment, as drivers might not always have change for larger denominations.
  • Ridesharing Apps: Ridesharing apps such as Uber and Beat operate in Cartagena, providing a convenient alternative to traditional taxis. These services offer upfront pricing, safe and reliable drivers, and the ability to track your ride in real-time.
  • Safety: While Cartagena is generally safe, it is always important to take precautions when using any form of transportation. Opt for licensed services, avoid sharing personal information with drivers, and be aware of your surroundings.

By familiarizing yourself with the transportation options available in Cartagena, you can confidently navigate the city during your solo trip, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable travel experience.

Accommodation Options

When planning a solo trip to Cartagena, Colombia, one of the first things you’ll need to consider is your accommodation options. The city offers a variety of choices that cater to different budgets and preferences. Whether you prefer the luxury of hotels and resorts or the social atmosphere of hostels and guesthouses, Cartagena has something for everyone. In this section, we will explore the different accommodation options available, including choosing the right neighborhood, hotels and resorts, and hostels and guesthouses.

Choosing The Right Neighborhood

Before booking your accommodation in Cartagena, it’s important to consider the neighborhood that best suits your needs and preferences. Each neighborhood has its own unique charm and atmosphere, so it’s worthwhile to do some research and choose one that aligns with the kind of experience you’re seeking. Here are a few popular neighborhoods to consider:

Old City (Centro Histórico)The heart of Cartagena, known for its colorful colonial buildings, narrow streets, and vibrant atmosphere. It’s the ideal choice if you want to be close to the main attractions, restaurants, and nightlife.
GetsemaníAn up-and-coming neighborhood with a bohemian vibe, filled with street art, local markets, and lively nightlife. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly and authentic experience.
BocagrandeLocated along a narrow peninsula, Bocagrande boasts a long stretch of sandy beaches, high-rise hotels, and upscale restaurants. It’s perfect for those seeking a beachfront getaway.

Hotels And Resorts

If you’re looking for comfort and luxury during your solo trip to Cartagena, there’s no shortage of hotels and resorts to choose from. From boutique hotels with stunning rooftop pools to internationally renowned chains, you’ll find a range of options to suit your taste. Some key factors to consider when choosing a hotel or resort include location, amenities, and reviews from previous guests. It’s also worth noting that staying in the Old City offers the convenience of being within walking distance of many attractions.

Hostels And Guesthouses

For solo travelers on a budget or those seeking a more social atmosphere, hostels and guesthouses are excellent accommodation options in Cartagena. These establishments provide affordable dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared facilities. They are not only budget-friendly, but they also offer a chance to meet other travelers and join organized activities. Popular hostels often organize city tours, salsa dancing lessons, or group dinners, making it easy to make new friends and explore Cartagena together.

Certain guesthouses also offer private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, providing the option for more privacy while still enjoying a social atmosphere. Some of these guesthouses are located within the vibrant neighborhoods of Getsemaní, offering an authentic local experience. It’s advisable to read reviews and check the facilities and services offered by each hostel or guesthouse before making a booking.

Frequently Asked Questions For Is Cartagena Colombia Safe To Travel Solo

Is It Safe For Us Citizens To Travel To Cartagena Colombia?

Yes, it is safe for US citizens to travel to Cartagena, Colombia.

Is Colombia Safe For A Female Solo Traveller?

Yes, Colombia is generally safe for female solo travelers. Exercise common safety precautions, stay alert, and avoid isolated areas at night.

What To Avoid In Cartagena?

Avoid visiting unsafe neighborhoods and crowded areas at night. Be cautious of pickpockets and keep your belongings secure. Don’t drink tap water; stick to bottled water. Be wary of street vendors selling counterfeit products. Don’t leave valuable items unattended.

What To Do Solo In Cartagena?

Explore the vibrant old town and admire the historical architecture. Visit the Castillo de San Felipe fortress and enjoy stunning views. Relax on beautiful beaches like Playa Blanca. Discover the local cuisine with a food tour. Take a boat trip to the Rosario Islands for snorkeling and swimming.


Cartagena, Colombia is a safe destination for solo travelers. With its vibrant culture, breathtaking scenery, and welcoming locals, it offers a unique and enriching experience. From exploring the colorful streets of the Old Town to relaxing on the pristine beaches, there is plenty to see and do.

While taking basic precautions is always advisable when traveling, Cartagena’s improved security measures have made it a safe place to visit. So pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable solo adventure in this beautiful city. Happy travels!

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