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Getting to and away from Cartagena

Cartagena’s Terminal de Transportes is about 30 minutes from downtown, on the road to Barranquilla (Diagonal 57, 54-236, Pozón. Tel: 663-0289). The station has restaurants, shops, ATMS, 24-hour taxi stand, phone and internet stands and other services. See Getting Around Cartagena for information on how to there. Buses depart for many corners of the country. Various companies have service to:

Barranquilla and Santa Marta: hourly, 2 hr / 4 hr, $6-7 / $13-19

Riohacha and Maicao: frequent, 6.5 hr / 8.5 hr, $29 / $34

Valledupar: Brasilia (3 buses, 6 hr, $22)

Bucaramanga: hourly in morning and evening, 8 hr, $48

BogotĂĄ: frequent, 18-24 hr, $77-80TolĂș: hourly 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., 3 hr, $20. Brasilia continues to Coveñas ($22)

Magangué: Brasilia (6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 2:45 p.m.; $23)

MompĂłs: Unitransco (7 a.m., 5-6 hr, $30)

MonterĂ­a: hourly 7 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 hr, $20. Transfer here for Turbo.

MedellĂ­n: hourly in morning and evening, 13 hr, $66

MarSol has door-to-door service toSanta Marta ($22), as well as to Barranquilla and Valledupar (Ca 70, 6A-120, Crespo. Tel:656-4172). In GetsemanĂ­, tickets may be bought at Luna Nueva Restaurante-Bar (Ca de la Media Luna 10-36). Also ask at your hostel.


Aeropuerto Rafael NĂșñez has service to national and international destinations. The airport has a variety of services, including car rental agencies, ATMs and Exchange house (open daily; also exchanges American Express travelers checks). The airport is 1.5 kilometers (1 mi) from downtown, in the Crespo district. For information on getting there, see Getting Around Cartagena. It opens at 4:30 a.m.The following airlines serve Cartagena. Check their websites for super-saver fares.

—AerolĂ­neas de Antioquia (ADA) (Aeropuerto Rafael NĂșñez. Tel: 658-4095, URL:

—AeroRepĂșblica (Carrera 6, 8-116, Bocagrande. Tel: 665-0428. URL:

—Aires (Cra 3, 8-128, local 2, Bocagrande. Tel: 666-8919, URL:

—Avianca (Ca del Arzobispado 34-52, El Centro, Tel: 664-7376. Also Ca 7,7-17, local 7, Bocagrande, Tel: 655-0287. URL:

—Lan (Aeropuerto Rafel NĂșñez. Tel: 01800-956-4509, URL:


Boats to Playa Blanca, Islas del Rosario, Isla de Tierra Bomba and Bocachica depart form the Muelle TurĂ­stico La Bodeguita (Av Blas de Lezo). To the west of the docks are ticket windows of 10 agencies that also offer trips to VolcĂĄn Totumo, chiva tours and other excursions. Buy tickets to Playa Blanca and Islas del Rosario directly from the window ($20-28); the touts charge more. Tours Playa Blanca has service to Bocachica (every 0.5 hr 8 a.m.-4 p.m., last return 4 p.m.; $8 round trip, $14 with lunch). The local boat is cheaper ($3-4 one way), but you’ll have to be insistent to get the regular price. The Muelle charges an additional $3 dock fee.Lanchas (launches) to Punta Arena on Isla de Tierra Bomba depart from next to the Hilton Hotel in Laguito, Bocagrande ($3-6).From Mercado Bazuarto (between Av Pedro de Herredia and del Lago, 3.5 km east of downtown), local cargo-passenger launches leave 7-9 a.m. for Isla BarĂș and Playa Blanca ($3 one way). These are rudimentary craft, leaving from a non-salubrious locale. Deal only with the captain. The yacht club (Club NaĂștico) is on Avenida Miramar on Isla Manga.

The Greek-staffed Nissos Rodos sails from Cartagena, Colombia, on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, and from ColĂłn, PanamĂĄ, on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. It will leave port at 6 a.m. and arrive at approximately 6 p.m. The passenger-cargo ferry has a capacity for 1,484 passengers, 500 autos and 2,000 meters of cargo space, with the capacity to haul 175 shipping containers.

Passengers have the choice of traveling in reserved seat ($99-119), dormitory ($209) or private cabin ($598-678). Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance, with payment.

In Cartagena, reservations may be made with Promised Land Tours (Calle de la Media Luna 10-113, GetsemanĂ­. Tel: 57-5-660-2565, Cel: 57-300-449-1906 / 317-355-1186, E-mail:, URL: The agent in Panama City is Pan American Seaways (Tel: 209-2000 / 380-0900 and via or E-mail:, URL:

For information about other boats to Panama, see Colombia-Panama Border Crossings.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Cartagena: Getting To And Away From La Boquilla,

By Lorraine Caputo

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

07 May 2012

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