Cheap Flights to Cartagena
Cartagena Airport (CTG) has all the advantages of a small international airport. It serves multiple countries with more than half of the flights to Cartagena coming from the United States. The airport is just a few miles from the historic city center and is close to many of Colombia's sandy beaches, so you can start exploring the area soon after you land.
Rafael Nunez Airport
Both of Columbia's major airlines, Avianca and Aero Republica, fly in and out of Rafael Nunez as do American Airlines, Mexicana and Copa Airlines. The airport's air-conditioned terminal serves 3.5 million passengers annually on flights to Cartagena. The terminal's main hall contains check-in counters, restaurants and duty-free shops. There are no jetways to the aircraft from the departure gates, but it's a short walk, and assistance is available for those who need it.
Transportation to the city of Cartagena is available by bus or taxi for only a few dollars and can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on traffic. Buses will take you to a terminal on the east side of Cartagena, but a taxi will drive you all the way to your hotel.
Attractions in Cartagena
Cartagena welcomes visitors with a number of historic attractions, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. Horse-drawn carriages can be hired at the Plaza de Los Coches where you can take in local street vendors and the atmosphere of Cartagena's famous historic district. El Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, a 14th-century military fort, is another popular destination full of underground tunnels and high stone lookouts.
Beaches abound in Cartagena, each with a different atmosphere from the traveler-heavy Bocagrande to the more secluded Castillogrande. Those with an appetite for more Caribbean sunshine may venture to nearby Colombian beach resorts on the Rosario Islands.
Most travelers to Cartagena stay in accommodations near the historic district, which is valued for its atmosphere and its extraordinary beauty. Within this walled inner city, you can find lodgings that are mid-range or upscale. Less expensive inns can be found outside the walls.
Cartagena Travel Tips
Restaurant fare in Cartagena is justly famous for its fresh, Caribbean seafood. As with hotels, upscale and fine dining can be had inside the walled historic district. Asian fusion cuisine, traditional Colombian food and international restaurants can be expensive, but many of them also have live Cuban music. The average cost of dinner for two in the historic district is about $80 to $100.
Music and dancing can be found everywhere in Cartagena. Other cultural events include the annual Cartagena International Film Festival, which takes place a week before Easter; the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria, which includes a parade of horses at the end of January; and the four-day Fiesta de la Independencia, which is celebrated at the beginning of November.
Cartagena is warm, sunny and humid all year with temperatures that are consistently between 75 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season spans from June to November with most thunderstorms happening in September.