Getting Around Cartagena
The best way to get around Cartagena is by taxi. Taxis make it easy to get between distinct points in the city, including Cartagena's Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG), while short jaunts ought to be made on foot. According to area hotels, taxi rides from the airport to the central tourist areas cost about $10. Rental cars are available in Cartagena (an international driving permit is required), but the U.S. State Department advises against driving in Colombia due to lax traffic laws and poor infrastructure.
For the same reasons, travelers should avoid taking the busses from nearby cities into Cartagena. Instead, visitors should opt to arrive by air, which is the most common means of arrival in the city. Local buses are also available at the airport and stops throughout Cartagena, but public transit can be challenging to navigate and is not recommended for tourists.
Warm weather and compact areas with lots of attractions make walking through the kaleidoscopic streets of Cartagena a treat. With some careful planning, travelers can plot a short stroll by the city's architectural landmarks, shopping centers and beaches.
As a tourist town, taxis are abundant and safe, but drivers will not hesitate to overcharge unsuspecting travelers. Visitors should plan to negotiate a price before they enter the vehicle to avoid overpaying. Also, keep in mind that rides generally start at COL$7,000 (about $2) and additional fees are at the discretion of the driver, as there are no meters. Tipping taxi drivers about 10 percent or by rounding to the next thousand pesos is a nice gesture for honest and helpful drivers.
Uber is available in Cartagena, but its legal status is in jeopardy. The concentration and reliability of taxis generally make the local companies a better option.
Busses are best left for traveling between Cartagena and nearby cities. TransCaribe is the city's public transit network;it has a number of large buses that service the city's main arteries. Rides on TransCaribe busses cost COL$2,300 (about $0.75), and must be paid via cards, which can be purchased at each station for COL$4,000 (about $1.30). Because of the complexity of the bus system, most visitors stick to taxis for getting around.
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