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Getting around

Officially all of Cartagena has numbered Carreras and Calles, as in the rest of Colombia, but it is only used in Bocagrande. The old city still uses streets names, which change every block. Some businesses, however, do use the numbered system.

It is easy to get around the walled city and to Bocagrande on foot. For longer distances, catch a buseta (city bus, $0.80 from India Catalina monument. Buses to Bocagrande, the airport and La Boquilla depart from the northeast corner, and the White and green Metrocar to the bus terminal from the northwest corner (30-60 min, $0.90). For San Felipe fortress or La Popa, catch one from the southwest corner. Busetas from Bocagrande to downtown pass along Carrera 3. TransCaribe, like Bogotá’s Transmilenio bus service, will run between the bus terminal and Muelle Turístico La Bodeguita; it will (hopefully) be done by the end of 2011.

Taxis are unmetered. Settle on a price before boarding. Taxi stands at the bus terminal and airport post official prices and sell vouchers. To downtown the fare is $6.50 and $9 respectively. A cab caught a block from the terminal complexes charge $4-5 and $5-7.

Most car rental agencies are at the airport or in Bocagrande. Three dealers are in Bocagrande’s Edificio Torremolinos (Cra 2 and Ca 10): National (Tel: 301-756-0313), Car Renta (Tel: 666-4120) and International Car Rental (Tel: 665-5148). Hertz is the airport (Ca 70, 1D-124m local 4, Crespo. Tel: 690-6232). Cartagena has pica y placa, which designates vehicular circulation days according to license plate number.

Shops leasing bicycles are cropping up all over, especially in Getsemaní; most charge $3 per hour. Ciclo Sport gives discounts for all-day and multi-day rentals (Ca Larga 8B-74, Centro Comercial Getsemaní, local 1B-174, Getsemaní. Tel: 660-1582 / Cell: 314-547-5758, E-mail:

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

23 Jun 2011

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