​Ursula Hosting, 2019

New years in cartagena

Hello New Years Crew, 

 

I am excited you have all confirmed your attendance. I will try my best to make sure you all fall in love with Cartagena! 

I have one main update.  After getting your inputs, and reviewing what's available, we have selected a house. and what a house.  

This place is in a good location, meets all requirements like wifi, one bathroom per room, swimming pool, hot water (not too common in old town), and big enough to host many of us.  It has 6 rooms.  

Another good news is the price. It is in the lower spectrum of the prices we had seen before, So it's a win win situation.

Oh and let's not forget that this house has been reviewed for its design in the famous magazines Wallpaper and GQ, and it was awarded by Airbnb for having one of the hundred best swimming pools in the world.  So you are welcome.. thank me later in person ;)

Let me know if there are any questions. I have requested to reserve this one for now. I will confirm once I hear from the owner. 

THE ONE -  $1100 to $1300 per person. See breakdown at the bottom of page.  

  • 6 Rooms

  • 6.5 bathrooms

  • Long pool, large dinning/living room area, terrace

  • Cook and Butler 

  • Located in Getsemani.  Close to my favorite salsa club in Cartagena, restaurants, cafes, bars. 

Details to Remember:

This is what comes includes in the price.  We can look later into additional group activities

  • Accommodation 5-6 nights

  • Rosario Islands experience  (see below)  

  • Maid/cook service 

  • Breakfast, and some drinks/mixers for the house. I recommend everyone buys a bottle of their favorite alcohol in the duty free shop in Cartagena before picking up luggage. 

  • My assistance and total support to make reservations, set up tours, etc., from now on until the actual trip. During the actual trip I will be more like another guest.. who just happens to have all details. Not an actual host. 

  • One or two led activities in the city by me, like walking tours. 

  • I will also share a guide and tips about Cartagena. 

Plan 

  • 5 - 6 nights in Cartagena, Colombia - Dec 27 to Jan 1/2.

  • Stay in the colonial area. Have a house with a pool, terrace, maid and cook service

  • We would do a big purchase for food and drinks to have at the house, and split the cost.  

  • Have breakfast made for us at the house. Have drinks and cocktails at the house too. 

  • I am happy to lead some fun walks, maybe eat our way through the old town, or a bar hopping, but everyone will have the freedom to explore the city on their own,. 

  • We could also plan one or two activities to do a group.  I will send options for group and individual activities later in the year. 

  • We could arrange for one or two group meals at the house, or make a reservation at one of the nice restaurants in the city, 

  • Rosario Islands

    • Spend Dec 29/30 (Saturday/Sunday) in a hotel Rosario Islands. We would leave in the morning Saturday and come back Sunday afternoon (Cost for boat ride is not included, it wouldn't be more than $40-50)  Once in the hotel, we would have a day to explore the island, swim, snorkel, etc. We could go explore and swim in the bioluminescent bay at night, etc.  This is a more chill/escape from the world type of option.  OR

    • Island Option December 30 (Sunday).  Instead of staying one night in one island/hotel, we would rent a private boat and go island hopping. We would leave around 10 AM and get back around 6 PM. We would sail through small keys, jump dive from the boat, hit couple of beaches, get drinks on the boat, swim in the ocean, have lunch in the islands, etc.  This would be more of a party/adventure option.  This one would also require about $40-50 more per person.  

  • New Years!!!!  I say nice dinner at the house, have the maid make something delicious for us, have drinks, etc. Then head out to see fireworks, and hit the streets to party. Almost the entire colonial town becomes a street party; life music, locals and tourists partying together, drinking in the streets and also on the wall, etc. I did that last new years and had a blast. We had a bottle of whisky and aguardiente in hand, made friends with other tourists, and partied until 5 am.  

    • Another option would be a private party. These are usually with open bar, some include dinner, and they also have Dj's or live bands.  Last New Years they all seemed to cost around $250 per person.  I don't think I would do this myself, but it's an option for those who would.  I'd say it's up to each person what to do that night.  I am happy to help looking into options for those interested in private parties.

More on Rosario Islands 

 

Those of you who have been to Cartagena, or know of Cartagena, understand that to actually enjoy the crystal blue Caribbean water, in everyone's mind, you must go to the islands near by (Baru, and Rosario Islands).   The best way to get to do that is on a private boat for the day, or to stay at least one night in one of the resorts located there.  Both options are good. 

 

Staying the night would be a nice escape from the world, more nature time, no rushing to enjoy the island since we would be staying the night (about 28 hours total). We would have the chance to do snorkeling, scuba diving, stand up paddle, bike, meet locals, explore the local fauna and flora, mangroves, swim, kayaking, and even visit and swim in the bioluminescent bay at night (Visible where there is no moon) etc. For now, I made reservations at a cute hostel with good reputation, and amazing location. We would share our own private dorm room, and one couple could get to sleep in a private room ($80 more).  Price already includes stay at hotel, but not transportation, which might be just around $35 per person. 

 

Renting a private boat for the day would be more about sailing around the islands, stopping for swimming, snorkeling (no scuba diving), etc. We would make about 3 - 4 stops. One being a private resort where we can have drinks, another would be a party beach where many boats gather to party, and another one a large beach where we could relax, grab lunch, etc.  We would have a captain and a crew member catering to us. We would have a cooler where we could keep drinks/snacks, etc. This option would cost about $40 more per person to cover full cost of the private boat rental and crew.

See some photos from trips I have done while Island hopping on private boats, and others from the hotel on the island below. Let me know what you all think.  

  

Breakdown of Rooms and Cost

Based on input, number of people, length of stays, and my own assumptions, I have come up with the following breakdown. 

 

If we fill a 6th room, we all would save around $200 each. Let's find two more lucky people

 

  1. Master Bedroom

    • Jon and Bethany  (5 nights)

    • $1200 per person

  2. Large Room

    • Nayibe and Eric (5 nights)

    • $1130 per person 

  3. Large Room (double and single bed)

    • Unassigned for now

    • If Vijay and Chris want this one instead, I can readjust numbers.  Their total would go up and everyone else's down

  4. Single Beds Room 

    • Vijay (5 nights) - ​$1050

    • Chris (6 nights) - $1300

  5. Small Room

    •  Nelson and Mike​ (6 nights)

    • $1300 per person 

  6. Small Room 

    • Charlie and Morris (6 nights)

    • $1300 per person 

NEXT STEPS

  • Confirm everything looks good

  • Pay deposit.  I need money for downpayment/reservations.  I can send payment request through Zelle (sorry no Venmo or Paypal)  $500 per person now, and the rest a closer to the trip. 

  • If we get more people, i will adjust remaining balance accordingly. 

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