Cartagena -- how safe is it these days?

Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 07:17 PM
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Cartagena -- how safe is it these days?

I am supposed to go to Cartagena on business the first of next year. Can anybody who has been there recently or is familiar with the city reassure me on the safety (or warn me of the lack thereof)? I know Colombia has a pretty bad reputation and that the State Dept. is warning Americans not to go there, but I also hear that Cartagena is much safer than the other big cities.

Any advice or opinions?
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 05:13 PM
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Old Aug 4th, 2002, 09:35 AM
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Cartagena is perfectly safe. There is no guerrilla activity and street crime is pretty modest by any South American standards. It`s also the only city in Colombia where there is any significant number of gringo visitors. Keep your wits about you, by all means, but do please go there. Try to stay in the fantastic hotel Santa Clara )or the Santa Teresa)in the old town.

Joe (in Bogota)
Old Aug 4th, 2002, 06:22 PM
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Thanks for the help, Joe. Actually I think I'm staying at the Hotel Charleston Cartagena, which also seems to be in the old town. Photos of the city look beautiful, and I speak Spanish which should help, but I get a little nervous about going to places the government is warning people not to go to. ;-)
Old Aug 4th, 2002, 10:36 PM
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Joe - I stayed at the Charleston Cartagean a couple of years ago. Cartagena is safe from guerilla activity. (of course there is some of the usual urban street crime) Large rooms and great service, and a nice rooftop pool with wonderful views over the old city. The old part of Cart. is excellent for just wandering around.

By the way, your hotel is also known as the Santa Teresa - it is on the square of that name.
Old Aug 5th, 2002, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for the tip, Howard -- the hotel looks pretty great on the website, so I'm glad to hear from somebody who has actually stayed there.

I'm feeling better about Cartagena now. I'm also thinking that the fact that I made it two weeks in Rio de Janeiro without being mugged or pickpocketed probably means I can make it anywhere. ;-)
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 06:39 AM
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A couple bombs went off in Cartagena this week. RCN news in Colommbia has shown stepped up military presence to show securtiy for tourists. Stay in the city and do not venture out of cartagena. Petty theft is unlikely if you are prudent. Meaning no late night drunken walking in the city. I would not think twice about going though. Cartagena is a great town. For beach, go to Las Americas and pay a day fee. You will not be molested by trinket salespeople. For taxi, ask hotel for reliable driver and negociate hourly rate of 5 dollars hour.
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