Néstor Meléndez 
Top Colombia Tips

Cartagena de Indias is a top Caribbean destination to be enjoyed by travelers from all around the world.

Since the late 1940’s Cartagena became a touristic city especially for Colombians from the Andean cities of the country.

In 1984 the Unesco proclaimed Cartagena as a World Heritage City, because of the preservation of its military defenses, fortifications, the port and old colonial city. Since then, it has turned to be an international hot spot for world class tourism that is attracted to history and also to the beaches and the surrounding islands.

The best hotels of Cartagena are located by the beaches and by the walled old city.

This are some of the recommendations for your stay at this wonderful place on earth that will give you unforgettable vacations.

This are hotels that offer good quality and are very well rated by their guests.

There are many more hotels at Cartagena which will be reviewed in following blogs.


The hotel Caribe is the classical hotel of Cartagena de Indias. It opened its doors in 1945 in the Bocagrande sector that in those times was a fisherman village.
The neocolonial architecture is a trademark that has been maintained since then.
When you enter the Caribe you can feel the ambience of those times and at the pool area the tropical feeling of the garden and the animals that inhabit it make you sense the Caribbean in a natural way of life.

There is a new building added to the old structure but it can be barely seen as the dominant structure in the one built back in the 1940’s.

The Hotel Caribe is a good place to stay at Cartagena. It has 5 stars and good price overall. The food is good at its restaurants and the pool is very enjoyable.

The beach is at Bocagrande, which is a good beach but sometimes is very crowded, though the hotel has a kiosk where guests can have a good time while at the beach.


The hotel Santa Clara was the first big major reconstruction that happened in Cartagena after the declaration of Unesco as a World Heritage Site. This place was a noun convent for the order of the Clarisas, a jail, a hospital and also acted as a morgue.

It is an upscale hotel with superb attention located in a wonderful building filled with history and evocations from the past.

The pool is wonderful, the neighborhood of San Diego, where is located is historic, the restaurants at the hotel are very good and the spa is world class.

Good hotel to live the colonial city as an experience to take back home in the memories.


It is also a hotel made over the structure of a colonial times convent that had many other uses after the independence of Colombia from Spain. It turned to be a jail, a pasta factory, an only for girls school and then it turned to be the city police headquarters, till 1980, when it was bought by the Banco de la República, the Nation of Colombia central bank, that subsequently sold it to convert it to a hotel at the end of the 20th century.

Its architecture is a mix between colonial and republican, and it is one of the preeminent buildings of the old city. It is located by one of the few entrances of the walls by the west side, so the sunsets are really incredible.

If you want to be at Cartagena, watching the sea, the fortifications and the walls with superb attention at a premium hotel with an out of this world swimming pool the Santa Teresa is a wonderful choice for your stay.

At the hotel lobby there is the restaurant by the top acclaimed Colombian chef Harry Sasson, a gastronomic experience to be delighted with. 


The first hotel that conquered the beaches of the north zone of the city was the Hotel Las Américas back at the end of the 1990’s.

It is a beach and family oriented hotel with great swimming pools and a marvelous open waters beach right in front of it. 

But also is a great hotel for business as it has an impressive convention center that meets all the requirements for business success. 

The spa is designed to make guests feel pampered and relaxed. It is highly recommended if you want to take the stress out of your body.

It has good restaurants and the breakfast is famous for its abundance and several choices of different kinds of fruits and many types of carbs and proteins, and also for the arepa de huevo a local fried corn patty with an egg inside and some other additions of your choice.

Make sure you go to Erre de Ramón Freixa, its flagship restaurant at the top floor of the Torre del Mar, and be delighted with their delicious food designed by a world acclaimed Spanish chef.

It is one of the top choices for beach hotels in Colombia, and you will not need to go out of the premises if you don’t want to do so.


The Capilla del Mar is a legendary hotel at Cartagena. It was built in the late 70’s and has maintained since then very high quality standards that has made it one of the preferred hotels of the city.

The rooms are completely renovated and the service is really one of the best that you can find in Cartagena. Good restaurants that offer exquisite typical and international food have been since always one of the main reasons to be a guest of the Capilla as is widely known by all in the city.

At the top floor a very nice swimming pool with a cafeteria and bar make the sun tanning experience a great moment to enjoy the always hot temperatures. Also the beach right in front of the hotel makes this a great place to stay at.

It is a 5 star hotel that offers very good prices and service at a great location right in the heart of the touristic sector of Bocagrande.


This Hilton hotel is opened since 1980 and it’s a luxury beach hotel with great swimming pools, gyms, convention center and recreational areas.

The rooms are totally updated and the location is one of the best for any hotel at the city, because it is at the touristic zone of El Laguito, very near to Bocagrande, the old city and the airport.

It was for many years the hotel that housed the Reinado Nacional de la Belleza ( Colombian beauty queen pageant). It has been the designated hotel to house the president of the United States and other international dignitaries at many Colombian State events.

The restaurants and cafeterias serve very good food and it is a hotel that can house families, couples or corporate guests. All of them will be pleased for the experience.


Is one of the newest additions to the Bocagrande touristic sector.  A modern building that has all the amenities to make your stay a perfect one.

The pools are perfect to get a suntan and the attention of the personnel of the hotel is superb. The rooms are updated with all the commodities required to have a great vacation or doing business at town.

If you want to have a good time this hotel is a good choice for families and couples. The beach of Bocagrande is few steps away and also it has all of the advantages of staying in this part of town which is very near to the historical city and in the heart of the touristic sector.


This is a recently built hotel located right in the Plaza de los Coches at the main entrance of the old city, overviewing the Torre del Reloj.

It is, in my opinion, the best location of the city center for you to stay. Is a small hotel with cozy rooms and great views of the colonial Cartagena. It is the highest of them all at the old city, because it’s made over the structure of a building that was rised around the beginning of the 20th century, when there was no height code. At the top there is a small swimming pool that has an astonishing view of the surroundings.

Great hotel for business, as is located steps away from the Convention Center and near to all the main activities that happen in downtown Cartagena. And if you want to live the love in the colonial city is a great choice to do so.

Check my tours of Cartagena at:
And also the GPS Audio tours at:

Remember always that “Travelling makes you a better person”
Néstor Meléndez Soler


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