Playas de la Boquilla

Playas de la Boquilla, Cartagena: Address, Phone Number, Playas de la Boquilla Reviews: 3/5

Playas de la Boquilla
Top ways to experience Playas de la Boquilla
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

81 reviews
Very good

Thomas L
San Francisco, CA5 contributions
Approached by nearly everyone selling goods or their restaurant as soon as we got on the beach. We seemed to be the only non locals around, which was a nice change. However, we immediately received all the attention.

We agreed to take a mangrove tour with a seemingly nice person named David. He agreed to give us lunch and the tour for 70k COP. We took a canoe thru the mangroves, which was rather boring. No animals and bland scenery.

We ended up at another secluded beach where his friends were waiting for us. We were served a pretty good meal as we expected, but were then hit with a large bill around 700.000 COP... I immediately laughed, knowing we were being scammed, as I had a feeling once all of his friends had showed up at this secluded beach.

We were defeated, outnumbered and not knowing how to get back. I was able to haggle the price down to around 270000 COP, listening to their empty threats to go to the police and yelling at me and my girlfriend to sit down.

While I consider myself a world traveler, I have yet to be scammed in a manner where I had an agreed upon price. This violates a principal that I have yet to see broken in my travels, and obviously a criminal bait and switch on their behalf. Please avoid David or Pepe trying to sell mangrove tours. Check out my lovely photo of David, serving us a wonderful meal! Otherwise, do enjoy what is probably a nice beach to get away from the bustle for the day.
Written June 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Haslett, MI428 contributions
We took a bus from Cartagena to La Boquilla. We had read that it was a quaint beach and fishing village. The village itself is generally very poor with a lot of abandoned and rundown buildings. The beaches in this area are very dirty. There is a lot of litter and refuse. There are also many vehicles driving on the beach, including the buses.

There are many small restaurants along the beach. Generally, the food is no better or cheaper than that in Cartagena itself. There were a number of aggressive men trying to get you to go to a specific restaurant. There was hardly anybody on the beaches, except for a few locals and some fishermen.

My recommendation is if you want to go to a beach very near Cartagena, go to Bocagrande. It is not a great beach and it can be crowded, but it is a better beach than La Boquilla.
Written September 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lauren T
Edmonton, Canada47 contributions
This is the best location for kitesurfing in or near Cartegena. Good wind conditions, long open beach. Check out Samir Kite (Sk) School for high guality equipment and instruction. Fewer vendors than Boca Grande (a plus in our books) but can still get cold beer, good food (some great ceviche). The community of Boqilla is poorer so be cautious if going off beach into the village. 10 minute (10 mil Cop) taxi from Centro.
Written January 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Canada24 contributions
We rented a tarp and four chairs (two couples) and negotiated the price first. $50.000 pesos was high but acceptable to us. We confirmed it was the total price. Later we were offered fish for lunch but declined. When it came time to leave, these hustlers wanted to charge $50.000 PER PERSON or $200.000! They were quite threatening but we stood our ground, and were glad for fluency in Spanish. My recommendation is to avoid this decent beach unless you are ready to challenge them. I told them for every foreigner they overcharge, five more won’t come to their beach (hopefully learning from our experience). But it was an unpleasant way to end the day, and I’m distressed the Colombian authorities permit this type of behaviour.
Written February 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Martin K
5 contributions
We were cheated in a very bad way:
We arrived in Playa de la Boquilla by bus. Directly after the arrival a nice young guy named Elias offered a tour to the mangroves by boat. We asked about the price for the tour and we agreed. After some minutes another guy arrived (named Francisco) and explained the whole tour to us. He said that his father has a boat, he would like to take us to the mangroves and bring us to a nice heavenly beach and that his aunt has a fish restaurant there. The boatrip was joined by both guys. The trip through the mangroves itself was okay. After we arrived the lonely beach the guys offered some drinks, crabs and fresh fish. Everytime we asked for the prices and we agreed to it. After having received the bill they wanted us to pay four instead of two crabs, two soups we never ordered, a personal security service and entrance for the private beach as well. So the bill was four times higher then it was communicated before! We had not enough money with us. The guys offered to join us to our hotel. During arguing with them and knowing that we were dependent more and more locals gathered us.The situation was pretty tight. Finally we could find a solution and were brought back to the beach- angry and disappointed!

The beach itself is dirty and abandon. During the week the surrounded restaurants are closed and empty.

All in all it is not worth to go there!

Written October 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Koen V
17 contributions
I took a bus from Cartagena to La Boquilla on my last day in Cartagena, a monday. In my travel guide La Boquilla was described as a charming fishing village and a great place to hang out.
On the bus I was approached by a friendly man who asked me if I was interested in a tour through the mangroves. I had only a small amount of cash with me, about COP 40.000, but he said that was more than enough. On the canoe we were joined by another man and after a 20 minute tour through the mangroves we walked through a very poor village "El Paraiso" an arrived at a seaside bar where I was offered a rum an coconut cocktail. There we were joined by the owner of the bar. When I told them I had to leave and asked what the price was for the drink and the (very short) tour in the canoe, they refused to say a price, telling me that in the mangroves everything is about friendship and not money. I was the only tourist around an by that time I started to realize I was held 'hostage'. They started drinking heavily and wouldn't let me leave and kind of obliged me to order some food (inedible dried out salted shrimps). After a while they said I had to pay COP 300.000. Since I had an expensive camera with me and was getting scared, I didn't start an argument and said I would pick up the money in my hostel in Cartagena. Finally they hailed a taxi and the two men joined me to Cartagena. In the taxi they all of a sudden told me I had to pay them COP 800.000, that the( already outrageous!) amount of COP 300.000 was only for the canoe tour. I didn't argue with them and tried to stay calm as the atmosphere was getting really nasty now. When we arrived at my hostel the two waited outside. I went in and told the owner of the hostel that outside were two men trying to rip me off. After some negotiating with him and they left with COP 300.000.
I join this story to warn other travelers of this "charming" place, which in reality is a very poor and dangerous neighborhood.
Written April 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

3 contributions
Don't go here! The mangrove tour itself was okay. However, don't fall for the trap that is a seafood lunch. I should have known better than to agree to lunch without asking for the price first, but you just don't expect to get hit with a $200 bill for a meal in a country where your average meal is $5! ABSOLUTE RIP OFF!!! DON'T SUPPORT THIS TOURIST TRAP! They act nice, but they're absolutely HORRIBLE people!
Written November 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Charleston329 contributions
I don't like to say STAY AWAY from any place, but sadly don't take this risk. If I could give a place a minus rating, this would be it. We went there as two families. Our friends have 3 kids - 5 to 8 years of age. We found a place on the beach for a sunset dinner. 2 lobsters, 2 fish, 2 servings of shrimp, French fries and salad for 4 adults and 3 children. We ordered 2 beers and 3 glasses of wine. Nothing for the kids to drink as they had waters.
Our mistake is we did not ask specifically for price when we order. When the time came to pay the bill, they wanted US$355. That was $50 per adult or child. We told them for what they served us it was ridiculous. One member of our party is in the restaurant business and a world traveller. We were not full and could have had a bit more, but it was just enough for everyone.
In the dark, we were surrounded by quite a few men as we tried to resolve this and it became intimidating with all the men, in the dark, kids getting scared as it was very clear that we had a bad situation escalating. Lucky for us it did not turn violent as we stood our ground and was not going to be ripped off, but left under the most unfortunate circumstances.
We will never return, and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT RECOMMENDED THIS BEACH to anyone. In 30 years of off the beaten path travel, we have had challenges of people sometimes trying to pull a fast one, but nothing like this ever and it is so sad as one bad group results in my saying stay away from the entire beach. Any I know this hurts the good people but it was such a bad experience, we stand by this sad decision. There are many wonderful people and places worth a second chance, or just new places to visit, but this is way to high a risk for taking.
Written December 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tulsa, OK6 contributions
I went to La Boquilla and overall would not come back, even though it was not a completely negative experience.

First the pros:
1) Almost no tourists
2) Very quiet
3) Great food

That said, I gave it 1 star for a few reasons. First, the beach isn't something to write home about. It's dirty, windy and bare. Second, the moment we arrived we were accosted to get food.

We wanted to eat fish in La Boquilla anyway so we asked the lifeguard for a recommendation rather than the pushy guy following us from the moment we left the taxi. He told me about another guy who showed us 5 different kinds of fish to choose from. We asked him the price and he said 25,000 pesos for fish, including rice and salad. That was ~$9 and seemed like a great deal.

Everything after that point was great. The food was fantastic and delicious and they even brought us a pitcher of lemonade. We ate under a tarp by the beach and watched the sunset. Before eating the restaurant guy asked if we wanted a mangrove tour, which he talked about as if it were the Pyramids of Egypt. I politely told him we did not have enough time and did not want to rush our meal.

Upon eating, we asked how much it was. He said it was 105,000 pesos. We had ordered 25,000 x 2 (fish) + 5,000 (coca cola). We also had the pitcher of lemonade. I told him his math was off. We were expecting the lemonade to be 10,000 pesos tops (~$4-5). So we were expecting our meal to be 40,000 pesos cheaper (~$15). He said the pitcher of lemonade was actually 25,000 pesos (which is $10 and absurd for lemonade). We had not asked the price of lemonade and assumed it was the same as the Coca-Cola. That was our first error.

Then I said, OK well that's still not 105,000 pesos. He said the tarp was 25,000 pesos too. In other words, a tarp for one hour was $10, a complete rip-off.

In other words, for everything we did not explicitly ask the price of, they made it extremely high on purpose. I'm glad we didn't take the mangrove tour or we would have been ripped off tremendously.

On top of that, he asked for a tip for his excellent service, because he had told some beach beggar to shoo. I gave him $2.50 and left.

Overall, we weren't extremely ripped off as others here. I think the fact that I'm a fluent Spanish speaker was a deterrent of sorts, since I could communicate with everyone. That said, we wound up paying $45 for a meal we thought would be closer to $30.

If you are an English speaker, I strongly encourage you NOT to come to La Boquilla. You will be taken advantage of and you will not be able to talk your way out of it as an English speaker. In La Boquilla, there is no Tourist Police, only locals. If you get into trouble, you are on your own. If you do go, ask for the price of EVERYTHING. Don't eat anything without knowing the exact cost. The tarp? Ask. The lemonade? Ask. Ask for the total cost before you even get the meal.

If I could go back, I would do the math in front of him and ask him the total price of the food in advance. Do not give them wiggle room to take your hard-earned cash.
Written April 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vít V
Prague, Czech Republic14 contributions
At the begging everything was good. A tent and chairs for 20000 pesos. Then we ordered water, the price 2 thousand was suprisingly cheap.

The problems started when the guy brought two bottles of water. We did not care much with the price and drank. After a while he asked for a payment. He wanted 10000 pesos for a one bottle of water and 40000 for tent and chairs. He said that he had brought a different chair because we asked him and that was for 20000.

We refused to pay and wanted to leave. We wanted to give them 15 thousands as a compansation, we were there for 1 hour, but they wanted 40. Then we had a quite long argument, they did not let us stop a taxi.

Afterwards the police stopped by and ať the end we had to pay 30 thousand, because it is regular price for two waters and a tan with chairs.

Besides that the massage ladies are there super agressive and they also want to take advantage of you.

Always ask about the price and time of the service for everything and be paranoid there, it is good to not trust anyone at this beach 🙂.
Written September 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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