CARTAGENA - NEIGHBORHOODS
Bocagrande / El Laguito
Bocagrande is the city's main beach neighborhood (similar to Miami beach), Bocagrande has been the vacation destination of choice for the locals since the 1960s. The long stretch of beachfront and towering buildings, clearly visible from throughout Cartagena, serves as a call out for beachgoers, luxury vacationers, and the glamour set. Some of the world's most well-known luxury hotels have even set up business in Bocagrande and scramble for real estate space with casinos, bars, residential buildings, and restaurants. Bocagrande may lack the authenticity or history of Centro or Getsemani, but it makes up for it in glorious, glamorous fashion. Major attractions include Bocagrande Beach, El Laguito Beach, and The Breakwater.
Cartagena's burgeoning hipster neighborhood, Getsemani was once a haven for crime and prostitution but has turned a corner to become the area of choice for young travelers, artists, and musicians. It’s still a little rough around the edges, and there are parts of it that get a bit sketchier late at night, but it’s a bustling neighborhood full of life and Caribbean charm. Although outside the walled city, Getsemani still features the same beautiful colonial architecture, and an excellent street-art scene gives it an edge that Centro lacks. The bustling nerve center of Getsemani is Plaza Trinidad, where, every night, a mix of tourists and locals come to eat, drink, dance and enjoy the neighborhood's laid-back attitude. Major attractions include Arsenal Street, Pegasus Wharf, Convention Center, Iglesia de la Trinidad, and India Catalina Monument.
Walled City / Centro
Walled City is touristy and busy, but Centro's perfectly preserved colonial architecture, picturesque streets, and photogenic beauty mean that it remains the classic Cartagena neighborhood for anyone wanting to soak up some of the city's Caribbean charm. With more luxury and boutique hotels, restaurants, cafés and bars than it is possible to list here, Centro is the epicenter of Cartagena tourism and impossible to avoid on a visit to the city. Centro’s touristic highlights include the San Pedro Claver Church, the Palace of the Inquisition and an evening cocktail at Café del Mar to watch the Caribbean sunset. Major attractions include The Walled City, Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver, Plaza Santo Domingo, and Plaza de San Diego.