Dangers & Annoyances

Cartagena is the safest metropolis in Colombia – around 2000 police officers patrol the old city alone. That said, don't flaunt your wealth, and stay alert at night in less-populated areas such La Matuna, the modern strip between Getsemaní and the old city. You're more likely to be irritated by peddlers than to become a victim of any crime. Aggressive hassling in the streets by unofficial vendors selling tourist tat, cocaine or the services of prostitutes is definitely the main nuisance here. A simple 'No quiero nada' ('I don't want anything') should shoo them away.

Embassies & Consulates

Cartagena has two consulates that might be of use to overland travelers.

Panamanian Consulate

Venezuelan Consulate

Entry & Exit Formalities

Migracíon Colombia can be found some way from the Old Town, but this is where you should head for immigration issues and visa extensions.


Casas de cambio (currency exchanges) and banks are ubiquitous in the historic center, especially around Plaza de los Coches and Plaza de la Aduana. Compare rates before buying. There are many street 'money changers' around Cartagena offering fantastic rates; they are all, without exception, expert swindlers, so don't even think of changing money on the street. There's a real lack of ATMs in El Centro and San Diego; however, there's a proliferation on Av Venezuela.

Tourist Information

The city's main tourist office can be found on Plaza de la Aduana. There are also small booths in Plaza de San Pedro Claver and Plaza de los Coches.