​Ursula Hosting, 2019

Kristy & Petr

destination: Cartagena & medellin 

Dec 8-17 (Final)

Hello again, 

Please find below the final plan for your trip to Cartagena and Medellin.  

 

  • This plan reflects 9 nights/10 days.

    • 3 nights in Cartagena (8, 9, 10)

    • 6 nights in Medellin (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

      • One of these nights in Jardin 

  • Activities are as follows

    • Cartagena - Island Hopping, history bike tour, Stand up paddle, and airport shuttle

    • Medellin - Car rental (3 days total), Food tour, Barrio Tour, and airport shuttle

  • Breakfast (as listed)

  • Concierge services before and during your trip. 

Cartagena - Dec 8 - 11

Accommodations

  • The house is located in El Centro.  The main part of the colonial area. Larger houses, plazas, and hotels are located here.  As well as the main churches, museums, and shops.

  • Another neighborhood to highlight is Getsemani; a bit more residencial/less affluent than El Centro. You can still see locals living in there, but it's become a hip part of town. Many call it the Brooklyn of Cartagena. Full of small bars, clubs, graffiti art. younger crowds, and more. Some of my favorite restaurants, cafes, and bars are located here. 

Private Home in El Centro- (Calle 38 # 10 - 40) 

 

  • Private room/bathroom in private home. A small and charming guest house. Only three rooms.  A lot of character, simple, but comfortable and with great hosts.

  • House has lounging areas, small rooftop, and a small pool for guests to enjoy.  Hosts are of origin Italian, super friendly, and knowledgable of the city.

  • This house is located in away from the noise, but still only blocks away from great restaurants, plazas, and cafes. It is also close to the main supermarket in the area, and to one of the acccess points of the wall. 

  • CONS: It's the simplest of the options. As it is typical in Old houses in Cartagena, hot water is not available (Honestly it is not needed since it is so hot, but not everyone can get used to that)

  • CONTACT - Rosy +57 310 365 2161

  • Saturday, Dec 8th 

    • 08:42 AM - Arrival - Pick up at the airport. ​

      • It is recommended to exchange some money at the airport.  You can do it all there, or save some to exchange later in the city where the rate is usually better. ATMs offer the best rate, but be aware of international charges. 

      • Although it is officially too early to check in. Your hosts will welcome you and let you leave your bags. They will also let you in the room, if this one is available.  I have asked them to offer you breakfast as well, if you would like to have some then.  

    • After checking in​, take your time to settle in and get familiar with your surroundings. You have time to go out and explore, grab lunch, or rest a little before your first activity.

    • 04:00 PM - Private History Bike Tour (2 hrs) -  Given the strength of the sun around between late morning and early afternoon, I have scheduled this tour at 4 PM. You will meet your guide and pick up the bikes at La Torre Del Reloj. This is one of the main entrances to the walled city. About a 5 minute walk from the house. Enjoy the ride, the view, and the beauty of Cartagena streets. This is the perfect way to get to see the entire colonial area and see where you will like to come later. 

    • I recommend you check out Cafe Del Mar for sunset.  Have a drink, listen to the music, and enjoy the view.  For additional recommendations for this night and the next ones, check out the guide I will provide via email.  

  • Sunday, Dec 9th 

    • 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM - Island Hopping -  Prepare yourselves to cruise through the beautiful Rosario Islands and Barú.  Grab a taxi to the Gaviota pier (Muelle). From there, you will spend about 35 minutes navigating towards the islands. These are a group of small islands/keys close to each other. Some are private, some are not.  Some are run by hotels, others by locals.  Once there feel free to ask the Captain to stop and anchor if you want to dive in for a swim.  He will also show you places to snorkel if you are interested.  If you are, bring your own gear or have pesos ready as there will be locals in small boats offering some to rent.  After sailing for a bit, you have some options for beach stops:

      • Bendita Beach - The furthest and perhaps more exclusive beach.  There you can order drinks and relax while using their facilities.

      • Cholon - The party beach. This is where private boats gather, play music and people clet their hair down.  You can get drinks are food from vendors. it can be hit or miss. I recommend just drinks. 

      • Agua Azul - This one is usually the quietest one. Less people. Perfect to just relax. You can let the locals find you a spot and serve you, but you can also find your own spot and get service at your own pace. There is only one bar(restaurant). I recommend just drinks. 

      • Barú - This is the largest and most known beach. It can get crowded in certain places, but we ask our captains to take you to the least crowded part of the island.  We have a particular spot we like to take our guests to, where you can relax, get good drinks (try the piña colada) and I recommend getting lunch here as well.  

        • If you check out maybe two other beaches before this stop, you can be arriving here around 2 PM.  The number of beaches you can see depends on hoe early you leave and how long you spend in each. 

    • To get to the pier, simply take taxi or Uber.  It is relatively close. It is a very small and private pier along the road. Other things to highlight are:

      • We will have a cooler with ice for you.  Feel free to bring your favorite drinks.  
      • I will also have something for you to enjoy during the trip. Home made ceviche. I recommend you enjoy it in one of the stops. Make sure to order some "patacones" to eat it with. 

  • Monday, Dec 10th

    • 05:20 PM Stand Up Paddle - Grab a taxi or Uber to El Laguito (10 minutes from El Centro), specifically to WindSpot (next to El Muelle restaurant). This is a group setting, and right before sunset time. Materials and guide provided.  Get there earlier if you want and enjoy the beach bar and views before. 

  • Tuesday, Dec 11th

    • 07:00 AM - Airport Pick- up - Our driver will be ready to pick you up at this time.  Please be ready, as parking is not always possible.  

Options for Additional Activities (Under $40 p/p)

  • Mud Volcano - Transportation and entrance to Totumo Volcano 

  • Mercado Tour - Transportation and guided tour of local mercado (market)

  • Street Food tour - Eat your way through old town. Guided

Medellin - Dec 11 - 17

Accommodations

  • El Poblado. It is one of the most modern, friendly, and fun areas of the city.  Tons of restaurants, cafes, and bars to explore. 

  • Medellin is relatively a small city. Getting around is easy, Uber is available; and although El Poblado is not central, it is within 15 minutes car ride of most parts of the city. 

Private Apartment In El Poblado - (Carrera 34 # 7-29, Apt 202)

  • Minimalist apartment with all the essential amenities to make your stay comfortable

  • Located close to restaurants, parks, cafes, etc. 

  • One bedroom, with living room. Full kitchen

  • CONS : Continental breakfast. Not Bnb or guesthouse

  • CONTACT - Luis +57 321 400 2064

Jardin Accommodation

The little cabin is located outside of town. Perfect to experience de beauty of the region.​  Amazing views, private, 10 min drive from the town.  Cabin is part of a larger house, where hosts live.  

  • CONTACT - Angela and Andres +57 300 530 3560  +57 301 690 0805 -  Keep them posted on your trip, and let them know when you are at the meet up point. They will meet you in 10 minutes to lead you to their place. Since it is outside the town, it might be a bit complicated to get their on your own the first time. 

  • Meet Up Point in Jardin - Cafe de los Andes  - #9-2 a, Cra. 5 #9100, Jardín, Antioquia, Colombia

  • Parking if neededApparently, no parking is allowed in the streets, specially during these dates, so if you need or want to park, check out this location: Cl 11 # 3 - 2 to 3 - 12, Jardín, Antioquia

Possible Schedule​

  • Tuesday, Dec 11th 

    • 10:07 AM Arrival - Pick up at the airport. Driver will be waiting with a sign. 

    • 11:30 AM Estimated arriving time to apartment - You will find the key inside a security box located outside the door. Security code will be provided couple of days before check in date.  Apartment might not be ready for check-in, but you will be able to leave bags, while you explore the neighborhood before it's time to check in. 

      • This can be a perfect time to grab lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area.

      • You could also go see the Castillo Museum. it is a beautiful house converted in Museum/gallery. It is close by, beautiful, and with amazing view of the city.

      • Today, you could also check out the downtown of Medellin. See places like Plaza de Botero and Museo de Antioquia (heart of downtown, relatively safe, busy, but also fascinating); Another area good for walking is near Parque de los Pies descalzos, Plaza Cisneros, and Monumento de la Raza (near Alpujarra Metro Station) this one is a newer side, interesting architecture; Another one would be around the Jardin Botanico, Parque de los Deseos/Planetarium, and Parque Explora.  All good areas for short walks, and with interesting buildings/parks to explore and leisure around. 

        • An option to do is also via free walking tours. I know one that leaves around 2:30pm on weekdays. Registration starts 2 days before. Let me know if you would like to me make a reservation. 

 

  • Wednesday, Dec 12

    • Drive to Guatape - Drive to Guatape is about 2 hours.  You can drive to and climb the steps at El Peñol, check out the lake (even take a boat tour if you want), and visit the town where you can grab lunch and spend time walking around its colorful streets.

      • Pick up car at Rentadora De Colombia (13 min walk from the apartment). Car rental, GPS, and insurance cost are included.  Gasoline is not included. Please make sure to bring driver license and major credit card for safety deposit and any additional expenses.  

      • Renault Captur/Mazda CX5 or similar, manual, small SUV.

      • Reservation starts at 7AM. Good time to leave. Avoid heavy traffic. It is recommended you are back before 7/8PM.  Please discuss with them the schedule.  If you prefer to pick the car later, let me know so I can give them a heads up.

  • Thursday, Dec 13th

    • 08:30 AM - 01:00 PM Street Food and Social Tour - I was able to work out a tour that combines the two you were interested in doing, and that way have an extra day to do the bike experience, or any other you choose to do.  It would be about food, but also a social and cultural experience. You will see markets, street art, "barrios", ride public transportation (which locals and Colombians are very proud of), see good views of the city, and of course try some good food, fruits, and juices.  

      • Meet your guide at a Toucan cafe located at ​Calle 10 # 41 -32.  A short walk from the apartment. They have good coffee too! 

      • Make sure to bring your passports. This is to fill out travel insurance docs. 

  • Friday, Dec 14th to Saturday, Dec 15th

    • Exploring Jardín -  Drive to Jardin is about 3.5 hours.  The area is beautiful, once in town you can enjoy walking around, the plaza, colorful streets, restaurants, cafes, etc. 

      • Rental car service as previous day. This time you can have it all day the 14th and 15th. Reservation starts at 7AM on the 14th, good time to leave. Avoid heavy traffic, etc. It is recommended you are back before 7/8PM on the 15th.  Please discuss with them the schedule.  If you prefer to pick the car later, let me know so I can give them a heads up.

      • You will be staying in the cabin you selected (breakfast included). Which is like 10 minutes away from the town. Currently coordinating the best time and place to meet with your hosts. 

      • Once in Jardin, you can visit Coffee farms, go trekking, visit waterfalls, caves, etc.  I am already getting some information on coffee farms for you, but let me know if there is anything else that you would like me to look into. This is a high season and I recommend making reservations or making plans in advance. At the same time, you could play it by ear and see options once you are there. 

  • Sunday, Dec 16th

    • 08:00 AM - Biking Experience - This would be a 5-6 hour experience. You have chosen the "forgotten road" experience.  Riding bikes down the mountain on a forgotten old road  that was replaced by a new and faster tunnel. Views will pretty spectacular, and the guide will make stops for refreshments and photos along the way. BBQ lunch would be provided on the way back. 

      • PLEASE REMEMBER - Rides is relatively easy, but it still requires physical activity, medium fitness level, and an adventurous attitude. The tour provider likes to point out that all riders are under their own risk and responsibility.  They are not to be liable for any accidents. They might make you sign a release form.  

      • They will pick you up at the apartment, and drive at least 40 minutes to where the ride will start. 

      • The additional cost for this one is $110. It won't be private, but as part of a small group. which I think is better and funner. 

      • It might be a little cold at the beginning, make sure to have a jacket and dress comfortably. 

      • Also make sure to have money and your passports as well.  Money will be needed to buy things along the way (they won't stop at ATMs), and the passports might be requested by road police. 

      • I will let you know if there are any changes with time. 

  • Monday, Dec 17th 

  • 06:00 AM - Airport Pick Up.  09:30 AM Flight. 

Option for Activities with Additional Cost

  • Visit to Coffee Farm - Tour, workshop, and tasting (4 -5 hours)

  • Visit to Coffee Farm and Jardín; gorgeous colorful mountain town (8-10 hours)  

  • Horseback riding in mountains around the city - gorgeous views, cute interesting stops (4-5 hours)

Recommendations 

  • Cartagena - Check out the small guide I created to share with customers and friends for recommendations on restaurants, things to do, and cafes.  For cafes, I share a blog from one of the groups I work for. They captured the best cafes in town.   My favorite is Cafe Epoca (The have two locations, my favorite is the one closer to your house)

  • Medellin - I don't have a guide for Medellin yet, but based on my own experience and after doing some research, I would like to recommend the following:

    • Coffee Shops: You will be staying in an area full of restaurants, and cafés.  Have fun exploring them and walking this area of the city in your search for food and coffee. I am sure you won't be disappointed. Some to highlight are Pergamino Cafe, Cafe Velvet, Kodama, Hija Mia Coffee Roasters, Macanas (Close to you). 

    • Restaurants: Medellin has a pretty good food scene, usually Colombian food but there are more and more international and fusion options everyday.  Again, the area where you will be staying is perfect to walk around and find some good spots, for all kinds of food.

      • Give small restaurants a chance, they are usually tasty and have good lunch specials. 

      • Try one of the Paisa (From the region) typical restaurants. They feel like places from small towns, cool vibe and the food is always good.  Fun to try at least once. I like Hacienda Original, not too far from your place 

      • If you feel like spending good money for a unique experience, check out El Cielo.  It's an experience for all the senses. ​

      • I have not been but I have been told Mercado del Rio is a fun place to go. It is one of those "markets' where you find multiple restaurants and bars in a social and communal atmosphere.