​Ursula Hosting, 2019

Solange in Cartagena 

December 27th to January 1st

Hello again, 

I would like to present to you the first version of our proposal for your trip to Cartagena.  I developed this plan based on your input. This is the first take on what we can do for you. We can add, remove, combine, and even create activities and options for you.  We can continue to work on this and tailor it until you are completely satisfied. 

First, I would like to tell you a bit more about Cartagena, and key places like the Rosario Islands. I am also going to recommend some activities, and services in addition to accommodations. I hope you like what we are proposing:

Cartagena

  • I usually recommend my guests to stay in the Colonial part of town, El Centro and Getsemani (marked in RED.) This is not only where most attractions and restaurants and bars are located, but it's also very walkable and beautiful.  That is the area that attracts tourism.  

  • The next area I like to recommend is Bocagrande, which is a newer part of town. A lot of hotels and condo buildings.  One of the advantages there, is that you have access to the beach, which may not be crystal blue Caribbean looking (because of river water), but nice nevertheless.

  • They are located next to each other, but not really walking distance for most people (including me). It is easy though to grab a taxi back and forth for about $3 to $4 each way. 

    • Uber is also an option, but have in mind it is illegal in Colombia. This means drivers expect you to sit in the front, and also that cops can and do stop cars at random to inspect. If they find you are using an Uber, they can take the car away and you will just need to get another car.   

  • I am sharing this with you mainly because at this point, the options for place within El Centro are limited.  Those dates are high season, so many places are sold out or prices are 3 to 4 times more, which I think it is not ok.  I have found two options for you.

  • One in el Centro, and one in Bocagrande. 

Islas Del Rosario

  • Las Islas Del Rosario are a group of small keys/islands approximately 45 minutes aways from Cartagena on fast boat. They are beautiful, but also in some ways very primitive. 

  • There are few places on the islands where visitors can stay, but yet a broad variety of types to chose from; from luxury to hostels without power.  They all share limitations (Like no hot water) but you can find the differences on how comfortable their accommodations are, or how private their beaches are (if they are even water front). 

  • For you, I am recommending the option of a day pass at one of the nicest resorts.  Some of these resorts sell day passes to visitors who just want to go for a day. I usually recommend staying for at least two nights, but with just 5 nights it might be too much of a hassle. Besides many places ask for at least 3-4 nights during these dates.  

  • Once you are there, you can use your time to relax at the beach, and even explore the island a little, or do extra activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, jet skies, island boat tours, etc.

Accommodations - Option One ​- New Hotel 

  • This option is in Bocagrande, the newer part of the city.  You can technically walk to the walled part of town, but it is easier to take a short cab ride. 

  • This hotel is beautiful, with great spaces, spacious rooms, and modern decor, all the amenities of a large hotel, great pool area, etc. 

  • Prices are up for this one, but not as much as other similar hotels like the Hyatt Regency, which at the moment would cost 30% more.

  • King size bed, ocean view, and breakfast included.

  • As mentioned before, I recommend guests stay in "El Centro" more because that's the touristic part of town.  With most of the hotels sold out or over priced, Bocagrande is more appealing :) . This is a good part of town, across from the ocean, and the hotel is one of the best in the city. 

Accommodations - Option Two ​- Guest House in El Centro 

  • This option is in El Centro. Walking distance from restaurants, cafes, plazas, museums, the wall, colonial houses and churches. 

  • This is a small but cute guest house. It has a great reputation for its services and amenities.  Rooms are comfortable, and although not as modern as the hotel, it still has colonial character and local vibe.  The location is really good. Close to many things, but also away from the noise at night. 

  • Prices are up for this one, but not as much as other similar options.  Most of the guest houses in this part of town are sold out though. I honestly think this one might not be because its photos are not that good on their page and other platforms.  

  • There is only one room left, so we need to act fast. 

  • Large double bed, gardens, colonial home, two small pools, cute rooftop, and breakfast included.

  • This guest house is not as glamorous and updated as others in this part of town, but it is beautiful and comes highly recommended.  

Proposed Itinerary, Experiences, and Services 

  • Friday, December 27th 

    • Arrival - Pick up at the airport. ​ Look for driver with sign. Your name will be on sign.

      • After check-in​, take your time to settle in and get familiar with your surroundings, store, money exchange, etc. 

    • Private Afternoon Historic Walking Tour (2-3 hours) You guide will come pick you up at the hotel, and take you for a lovely walk around town. Our guide will show you key landmarks,  and places of interest (useful to determine what places to go back to on your own) tell you history and fun facts, and can tailor the route also based on your interests.   

    • Dinner - As part of our included concierge services, we would provide recommendations, and make reservations upon request for you throughout your stay.    

  • Saturday, December 28th

    • Island Resort Day​​ (8:30 am to 4:30pm). Time to get on a boat and visit the beautiful Rosario Islands. We will get you a day pass for one of the best resorts in the islands, which will include private transportation, welcome drink, lunch, and access to their facilities.  This will be a day to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean, 

  • Sunday, December 29th

    • Day time - Enjoy the day on your own walking around the colonial streets, shopping, walking plazas, and grabbing lunch at some amazing restaurant (we are happy to recommend and make reservations for you.

    • Sunset Cocktail on Catamaran (5pm to 7pm approx) - Around 5pm head out to the local pier to board a sunset sail cruise. This one is a lovely plan to spend sunset in Cartagena. The Catamaran sails around the city bay so you get the see the beautiful skyline and the amazing sunset all at once. You will receive a welcome drink and cocktail on board. (Not private activity)

  • Monday, December 30th

    • Bazurto Market Tour (8:00 am to 10 am)- This is an opportunity to see another side of the city. This is the local farmers market. This is not for everyone, so you should be prepared to see a busy and hectic market. Our guide will take you there as part of a group, and show you the beauty and uniqueness of it, invite to try tropical fruits, and shares stories with you. This is a cultural experience. ​​

      • We can make this activity Private for just a small additional cost.

    • Afternoon - Enjoy the afternoon on your own checking out museums, and local galleries, or take a cab to visit the San Felipe Fortress.  

  • Tuesday, December 31st,
    • Free Day - ​I am thinking this day can be free.  You can relax by the pool, do last minute shopping, etc. 
    • New Years Celebration - I would like to suggest the following for New Years Eve:
      • Dinner at a nice restaurant - We are still on time to make a dinner reservation in a nice restaurant. Most places are reservation only this night. It is important to reserve soon
      • After Dinner - Walk around and join the festivities. This is my favorite time of the year to visit Cartagena because of this night alone.  Everyone is out celebrating, there are parties in the streets for all tastes. It is fun and entertaining all around. 

  • Wednesday, January 1st
    • Airport Transfer - Our driver will be ready to pick you up about 2.5 hours before your flight. 

Additional Options for Activities

  • Beach Days - We have other options for you is a day pass is not what you want.

    • Private Boat - Your own captain and crew member to take you island hoping. We would ​give you recommendations and information on which beaches and islands to go to (Usually for groups)

    • Private Car - Your own driver to take you to Playa Blanca. The only island and beach reachable by car. We would give you directions and all information you will need . to enjoy your time here. 

    • Overnight - You only have 5 nights in town, but if you so wish, I could look for overnight options these days.   

  • Coffee Roasting and Tasting  - Workshop. Fun and educational.  

  • Kayaking

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

  • Private Bike History/City Tour - This is the best way to discover the colonial town, but it does require a medium level physical activity. 

  • Private or Group Dance Classes

  • Museums - Free. No guide needed. I provide recommendations. 

  • Tour to Bazurto, local market - This is not for everyone. This market is large, full smells, colors, and lively local culture. Some might call it the real Cartagena.  

  • Colombian Rum Tasting​ (1hr - 1.5hrs) -  Try amazing rums, have some appetizers, and enjoy of an insightful and entertaining time. 
  • Bird Watching (2.5 hrs) - let us take you to mangroves and large swamps were migratory and local birds hangout. 
  • Stand Up Paddle at Sunset - Another great way to welcome the sunset while exploring another side of the city.  
  • Guided Tour of the fortresses - Cartagena has two main fortresses (Castillos):
    • San Felipe - The largest and located in mainland. Just a walk or taxi away,  You can take audio tours. No need for guided tour.
    • Bocachica - Smaller but located in Tierra Bomba Island.  We offer a private tour to this one with transportation and guide.  
      ​​​

Summary

The above package includes:

  • Airport shuttles

  • 5 night accommodation in Cartagena

    • New Hotel in Bocagrande

    • Colonial guest house in El Centro

  • Breakfast

  • Activities as noted  

    • Private Walking History/El Centro Tour​

    • Day Pass at one of the upscale/exclusive resorts in Islas del Rosario

    • Sunset Cocktail Cruise

    • Bazurto Market tour (Not private) 

  • Concierge services from the moment you book (i.g. reservation services, suggestions)

  • Our Cartagena Small Guide - Short blog about things to see and do, restaurants/bars/coffee shops recommendations

Estimated total at this point is:

  • With stay in hotel in Bocagrande =  $1899 

    • If you prefer hotel, but this is too high, we can look at smaller hotels, 3-4 stars, a bit older.​

  • With stay in Colonial Guesthouse in El Centro = $1149

    • If you like this option, but this is too high, we can look at smaller more simple places.  

PLEASE REMEMBER We can add, change, or remove things. Take your time reviewing everything and let me know what you think. As I said before, we  can change this as much as you want until you are satisfied.  

THANK YOU