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There are many reasons to visit Cartagena, Colombia’s Caribbean gem, from its stunning old town, to its proximity to tropical islands and white-sand beaches, to its incredible Creole cuisine. For lovers of stylish boutique hotels, this fairy-tale city impresses with a wealth of affordable options, all of which offer great style (from traditional to quirky), impeccable service, and great rates.
Here are our three favorite Cartagena boutique hotels that won’t break the bank:
If you, perhaps wisely, chose to refrain from the pandemonium of holiday travel, a new 48-hour JetBlue promotion could have you back in the sky sooner than you thought. The appropriately titled, if slightly laborious, FLY LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA sale went up this morning, covering 49 departure cities scattered all over the map – Albuquerque, Long Beach, St. Thomas, Charleston, San Juan, Las Vegas, to name a few. Even for January, a notoriously dead travel season, we found some pretty decent rates like New York to Oakland for $317 roundtrip, or Boston to St. Thomas for $330 roundtrip.
All flights must be booked by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday December 18th, with a travel window spanning from January 7 – February 12 (individual blackout dates apply for specific routes).
So, what’s on offer? Let’s take a look:
Every cruise vacationer has a favorite port of call. For some it’s posh St. Bart’s in the Eastern Caribbean or St. Tropez in the Western Mediterranean. Others value the culture of Barcelona or the Nordic history of Copenhagen. These destinations are common port calls for most major cruise ships, but there a handful of emerging ports around the globe that are getting the attention of both cruise lines and travelers looking for something a little different. Check out these five lesser-known, but up-and-coming ports… Read more
Every destination has a taste or sound that burrows deep into our memory, instantly transporting us back. For me, In Cartagena, Colombia, the taste is mojitos and the sound is live music by a son cubano band.
Moments after the music strikes up, locals are on the dance floor, entangled in twosomes or gatherings of old friends. Both inside and out of the old walled city of Cartagena, there are bars, clubs, and outdoor venues where ceiling fans spin, mint leaves are muddled, and the band takes the stage several times a night. For music, mojitos, or both, here are some favorite places to drink and dance in Cartagena. Read more
No matter where we call home, we share one thing in common: gathering around the table to break bread and crack open a bottle or two. Sometimes when the conversation and local liquor get flowing, the result is a big old headache the following morning.
Approaches to alleviating the hangover vary by destination. Some are healthy, some are indulgent, and some are plain crazy – while others turn to a cheeky afternoon drink as the ultimate cure. Here are five hangover cures from around the globe. Read more
Timing, as they say, is everything. It’s true of romance, successfully poaching eggs and, of course, booking travel. That’s why it’s important to know that it’s currently shoulder season in the Caribbean. The interim period between peak winter and low summer travel months, shoulder season is the perfect time to visit the region without counting dollars or dodging crowds.
Better still, a number of major carriers are celebrating new routes to hot Caribbean locales with killer fares. From unstoppable rates to Colombia’s sexy seaside city, to the first-ever direct flights to Martinique, here are the season’s best new ways to save. Read more
While exploring charming Cartagena, Colombia, a colonial gem of a city fronting the Caribbean, I bumped into a group of New Yorkers who had just flown in on a nonstop 4.5-hour JetBlue flight from NYC. Exciting news! The airline recently launched the only nonstop service between New York’s JFK and Cartagena this fall, making it easier (and cheaper!) than ever before for Northeast-area travelers to make their way to this sexy South American hotspot. Read more
Upon arrival in Cartagena, you’re immediately struck by the Caribbean feel of the city. The pastel colored low-rise buildings, high humidity, and infectious salsa music reminds you that this coastal enclave is very much part of the Caribbean. The old town of Cartagena, a walled city, is charming and designed for casual strolls with its small shops, cafés, bars, and several inviting squares. Stop by the Charleston Santa Teresa around sunset for a rooftop ron punch (rum punch) or mojito and enjoy the sunset over the sea. Read more
Plan ahead and escape the cold this December by hopping aboard the Norwegian Star as it sails for 13 nights, westbound through the Panama Canal. Rates start at just $699, with travelers also receiving a 4-category room upgrade and 10 percent discounts on select shore excursions! On December 5, the Norwegian Star departs Miami with a stop in Cartagena, Colombia before making a daylight transit of the Panama Canal. The Star then heads north along the western side of Central America calling to port in Puntarenas, Costa Rica followed by three stops in Mexico: Huatulco, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas before arriving in Los Angeles on December 18.
THE VALUE: This cruise is at a 56 percent discount, and the starting price of $699 is equal to $54 a night!
THE CATCH: During cruise the Star calls to port just five times, meaning seven full days at sea, though one of those days is spent traversing the Panama Canal.
THE DETAILS: The Norwegian Star sails this route on December 5 and January 16. To book your cabin, visit www.cruisesonly.com.
Find more international cruise deals.
Use our Travel Search Comparison tool to find cheap flights to Miami.
The Luxury Noted Latin-American fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi opened her Tcherassi Hotel + Spa last September, and already the opulent mansion turned high-end hotel in Cartagena’s old city has earned rave reviews. Each unique room – named for fabrics used in Silvia’s collections – boasts lofty ceilings, Tcherassi-branded luxury amenities, and private balconies with garden or city views. Read more
There’s no excuse for missing out on a South American adventure thanks to Spirit Airlines’ new sale to Colombia. Those seeking to soak up some sun and culture can now fly to Colombia from 10 different U.S. cities for as little as $49 one-way! Travelers can choose to fly into the exuberant capital of Bogota, the city of Medellin (which rests amongst the Andes), or the coastal city of Cartagena – all of which are brimming with history and personality. Whether you’ve needed an excuse to make it to South America, or just want an on-the-fly vacation, this sale simply can’t be beat. Tickets must be purchased by May 1 for travel through May 20. Round-trip travel is required.
One-Way Sample Fares (Before Taxes):
• Fort Lauderdale?Cartagena: $49
• Orlando?Bogota: $89
• New York City?Medellin: $99
• Washington D.C.?Bogota: $99
• Atlanta?Cartagena: $129
• Chicago?Medellin: $149
• Los Angeles?Bogota: $179
• And more!
To book your flight visit www.spiritair.com
Opening this fall, the Tcherassi Hotel + Spa is a 250-year-old mansion turned boutique hotel that reflects the contemporary glamour of its maker, Latin women’s wear designer Silvia Tcherassi. Located in the heart of Cartagena’s Old City, the haute hotel will feature large guestrooms and suites with high ceilings, private balconies, original walls restored and brightened with a light dusting of real gold, and custom-made amenities by the designer. The hacienda-style bolthole will also offer a spa, an indoor/outdoor Italian restaurant, and four pools – one of which is located on the third-floor roof deck, complete with daybeds, a bar, and 360-views of the city and sea. Opening rates start from $275 per night. Reservations can be made as of September 15; 888/575-2799; www.tcherassihotels.com.
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