The best ways to get to Colombia's Caribbean gem
Cartagena is one of the best connected cities in Colombia and the Caribbean with more than six million visitors a year arriving by air, sea and land.
If you are arriving from abroad it is likely that you will fly in to Bogotá to catch a short one hour connecting flight to Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Jet Blue, American Airlines, Avianca, Spirit Air and Copa Airlines operate direct flights to the Rafael Nuñez Airport.
Direct international flights from USA, Spain, Italy, Panama, Chile and the Dutch Antilles plus more than 20 flights a day to Bogotá make Cartagena one of the best connected cities in Colombia.
More than half a million visitors every year arrive by air, 80% on national flights with domestic operators. Avianca-Taca, AeroRepublica | Copa Airlines, and LAN, ADA, Viva Colombia and Easy Fly, all operate regular flights to and from the city.
Cartagena's international airport, named after the only Colombian president to come from the Caribbean coast, had almost 240,000 international visitors in 2010. Most nationalities including the US and most EU nations (with the exception of the Republic of Ireland) don't need visas to travel to Colombia. Check out the visa situation below.
Cartagena's Rafael Nuñez International Airport is found in Crespo, a short 10-minute taxi journey from the old town and 15 minutes from hotels in Bocagrande.
Those of the 350,000 people fortunate enough to be sailing into the famous bay of Cartagena de Indias on one of the 170 cruise ships that arrive in the city each year get to see at first hand what it would have been like to run the gauntlet of the impressive fortifications built by the Spanish to fend off pirates in the 18th century.
If Roman Abramovich lent you the yacht for a couple of weeks then park it at one of three moorings close to the historic centre - Club de Pesca and Marina Todomar.
Bus services to the city are also extremely regular with voyages between Colombia and the capital, Bogotá.
The bus station is located 40 minutes from the old town on the outskirts of the city. To get to other cities on the coast - Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Riohacha, Monteria, there are buses leaving every 15 minutes.
For journeys along the Caribbean coast there are people carriers that shuttle between the principal cities picking you up from your hotel and dropping you at your final destination in the nearby cities of Barranquilla, Santa Marta or Monteria.