Cartagena is a very large city of almost 1 million inhabitants. And many neighborhoods compose it. So it is difficult to know what is the best neighborhood for tourists. As in some other cities in Colombia, districts in Cartagena are classified according to a social index of quality of life from 1 to 6. They are called “estratos”.
These “estratos” were defined to adapt the costs of the public services according to the inhabitants, their financial and social situation.
Thus, estrato 1 corresponds to the poorest neighborhoods. So these neighborhoods will have benefits for essential services to facilitate survival. Water, electricity, gas and even the Internet are cheaper than in the higher “estratos”. Obviously, the poor and popular neighborhoods are sometimes places to be discouraged to tourists … And very often, these are the least safe areas of Cartagena.
Best district in Cartagena to book your hotel
For my search for hotels, I preferred to select the “estratos” higher. The Estrato 3 is that of the middle class and beyond until the estrato 6, it is the rich and very rich districts of Cartagena. Some say it’s the “best neighborhoods in Cartagena“.
Here are the main ones: BOCAGRANDE, EL LAGUITO, CASTILLOGRANDE, ISLA MANZANILLO, LA MATUNA, CENTRO, GETSEMANI, MANGA, MARBELLA, EL CABRERO, SAN DIEGO, CRESPO …
Two main parts make up the city center:
- The historic center (fortified colonial city) which seems to be a place rich in heritage, culture, with nice restaurants, small colonial hotels …
- Modern neighborhoods around Bocagrande with huge “sea view” buildings and crowded beaches in high season.
Among these beautiful neighborhoods, the most interesting for tourists are those located near the historic center. Also, I have defined the map below that includes the best neighborhoods to stay as a tourist.
Map of the best areas of Cartagena
Getsemani district – My favorite neighborhood in Cartagena
Compared to the neighborhoods selected above but also in relation to prices and services, my choice fell on the district of GETSEMANI where I booked the following hotel: HOTEL PLAZA DE LA TRINIDAD
For some, this district is nicer than the historic center of Cartagena (much more expensive). Indeed, in the heart of the historic district, street vendors and other touts restaurants constantly seek tourists.
But I’m looking for a real neighborhood inhabited by Colombians. And this is the case of GETSEMANI. Pretty little colorful houses and small streets where tourists and locals mix in a quiet atmosphere.
Do you want to visit Cartagena?
Discover my day visiting Cartagena