Getting Around - Get from 21st century A to 18th century B in unique Cartagena style

Getting AroundGet from 21st century A to 18th century B in unique Cartagena style

The tourist attractions of Cartagena are clustered closely together in the historic centre and in the districts by the beach so navigating the city is straightforward.

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If you are staying in the old town much of your time will be spent roaming the picturesque streets on foot or in one of the horse-drawn carriages that still ply their trade within the walled city, easily the most elegant way to see the city. Another environmentally-friendly and fun option is to rent a bicycle.

Most hotels have them available or they can be rented for $15,000 (US$8.45) a day from a number of bike rental shops.

Venturing further afield to the seafront condominiums to the north of the city or in Castillogrande and Bocagrande there are plenty of taxis that will take you where you need to go.

Taxi meters are not used to calculate the cost but most registered taxis have a chart that explains the cost of journeys in the city. The minimum fare of $5,000 (US$2.75) will get you to most places if you stay in the principal tourist areas.

Multi-coloured buses also hurtle around the city at breakneck speed competing for business and are a fun way to see how the locals get from A to B. Most fares are set at around $1,200 (US$0.66).

The principal landmarks on route are written on boards displayed the front window although they don't always take the route you would expect.

We wouldn't recommend it but if you're feeling adventurous, motorbike taxis are a popular form of getting around charging as little as $1,000 (US$0.55) for an early afternoon adrenalin rush.

They cluster at the main exit points of the walled city. There have been attempts to ban their use on safety grounds.

In 2012, the town is set to get its first public transport system with the opening of Trans Caribe, an automated bus system linking the centre to the rest of the city.

For those seeking to move beyond the Bay of Cartagena to the Rosario Islands or Playa Blanca on the island of Baru, 30 to 45 minutes from the city, speedboats leave from the Muelle Turistico de la Bodeguita.

Yachts and sailboats can also be chartered for a more exclusive trip to the best beaches the city has to offer. Speedboats also shuttle residents to and from Tierrabomba dropping passengers in Castillogrande on the beach in front of Bocagrande Medical Center.

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