Cartagena and Hotel Caribe | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Hola! Just got back from Cartagena and Hotel Caribe. Wonderful Clean accommodations, attentive/friendly staff, good food. Very relaxing….do not expect to be entertained with activities other than the "house band" at nite and a lovely show Friday nite. Go Travel Direct and Zoom airlines: excellent. City tour and Chiva bus were wonderful, Rosario Island organized tour was not worth it, and I heard from others who hired a local down near the Hilton was more beneficial. Centro was wonderful and safe-but be street smart. Great restaurants. Better to shop in Pesos but will take the American dollar too. ATMs are plentiful and the hotel will exchange your money too. Emerald factories are plentiful and they all have a "promotion" and a "certificate of guarantee". Shop around. The beach and streets are very annoying with vendors and girls who want to massage you but if you ignore them or don’t mind constantly saying "no gracias" they eventually back off. Each week the tourists come seems to get better. The beach chair price keeps going up though?! >:(and do not trust anyone with your belongings. Take nothing or take turns swimming. Learn some Spanish(or take a dictionary like I did) French helps too, ask lots of questions when in doubt, take nothing for granted, be patient and receptive to a different culture and you will love Cartagena! Loved It, Loved It, Loved It
lilyapple,It’s great to hear you had a good time.What was the price of the beach chairs? The hotel didn’t have any of their own?Is there any type of beach bar? Were there any a la carte restuarants included in your package? There is confusion on the Go travel site about this. We are going with Go Travel to the Hotel Caribe in March and would like all the information you can give us.

Thanks!

Hi capercanuck…a canopy was supplied by the hotel on the beach, but the chairs had to be rented by the day. Started out at about 2 pesos per chair, 4 peso per lounge then went to 4 pesos per chair and 7 pesos per lounge. It didn’t matter if you wanted it for 1/2 an hour it was by the day. There was a beach bar..very, very slow and this was also where you could reserve a table for lunch(included but you had to make sure you reserved). Very good…mostly fish. There were 2 other a la carte restaurants included and you can order off a menu if you are not interested in the cafeteria style buffet. There was a cost for anything above 20 peso approx. items. The one restaurant was like a banquet hall…no ambiance. The other was under a big hatched roof…grilled food(beef,chicken,pizza). They are all located right beside each other. There was also a "sports bar" in the hotel, that we really couldn’t get the drift of. It seemed like you could order a drink up to about 6pm then had to pay after this, but didn’t seem to be open after 9:00pm??? Anyway this is where we got to watch the Superbowl, the beer was cheap and the football fans happy ;D. Hope this helps.
Regarding chair and loungers rentals – 7 peso would not even be a penny Cdn unless the exchange rate changed drastically since March/05!We used the ATM twice in the 2 weeks we were there and the first time we got 1,822 pesos per $1. Cdn and the next week, we got just over 1,900.If you went 1,500 to the $1 Cdn, 750 pesos would be $0.50 Cdn, 375 would be $0.25 and 75 pesos would cost you $0.05 Cdn…. not much!!

I agree with you about leaving anything on the beach – we took turns swiming. The Capilla (where we stayed) did have a "roped" off area for their hotel guests with free chairs, tables and towels along with a security guard…. The Caribe does not have that.

Sorry…..just to clarify…when I said 2 pesos…I am meaning 2000 pesos, 4 pesos =4000 pesos…I forgot the zeros. So yes it is basically $1 Cdn = 2000 pesos, to round it off. P.S. Don’t forget there is a service charge at the "home" bank everytime you withdraw money from an ATM. Mine was $5.00 CDN.
yes, my bank charges $3.00 per ATM transaction and I had that calculated into my rate. Because of the charge, we took 300,000 pesos out both times.We figure if we don’t use this trip, next one we have currency when we land.

We used only pesos for everything – tours, shopping (grocery store for rum), etc. We had a store refuse our U.S. dollars and we were soooooo thirsty – wanted a bottle of water – no pesos as it was the day we arrived!

gtown Guest

did you guys get much sleep in Cartegna ?? I know when i was there in ’93, i sure as hell didn’t, fun tho !

Gosh, it seems like a life time ago that we were there. Sorry I didn’t reply sooner, but only because we are leaving for DR on the 20th of April and I was checking for info that I thought of checking this site again. Forgot to keep checking this particular thread. We had no problems with sleeping in Cartagena. The resort and area were very quiet. I see that Go Travel has since dropped Colombia as a destination. Too bad. It was a wonderful holiday and so glad we went when we had the opportunity. We’re now going to experience a wedding at the Bavaro Princess in DR. Can hardly wait.

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