Being able to speak the language in Cartagena makes it much more fun.
Se Habla Español
The main language is Spanish but the locals, or Costeños as they are known, spit their words out like rapid machine gun fire. A few letters - namely the S, R and T - bite the dust on the way making it difficult for even their cousins from the interior to understand. 'Por favor, puedes hablar mas despacio,' (Please can you speak slowly) is probably the first thing you should learn how to say at one of the Spanish schools dotted around the old town.
While the Spanish might seem a long way from anything you have ever heard before at least you will get plenty of opportunities to practise.
As the top destination for visitors the city is a welcoming place with a population that is keen to greet new arrivals and make them feel at home. You will never be short of people to talk to.
Spend the afternoon hanging out in Plaza Bolivar, under the giant rubber trees around the old town or at the beach trying out those linguistic talents you never knew you had.