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Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

Oakland, California
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Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

During this most recent stay in Cartagena, I traveled to two nearby beaches accessible by taxi - Boquilla and Manzanilla - and thought it might be helpful to offer a brief report on each.

Boquilla is north of the airport. It's where the new Morros development is located. It was a $20,000 COP taxi ride from Bocagrande. Our driver took us past the new developments through a local neighborhood. We wound up on the beach in front of a restaurant named La Caracolin (not sure about the spelling). The beach was very sparsely populated on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It was really tranquil compared to Cartagena, with just a small handful of peddlers (vendedors). The beach and water were just like Cartagena - grayish sand and murky water. I would like to think the water here is somewhat cleaner here due to the distance from Cartagena (but don't know if that's true). We had a great meal from the restaurant, cazuela des mariscos with langosta (lobster) for $45,000 COP. Everything was very good and the prices more than fair ($8,000 COP for a canopy and chairs). Service was friendly.

Manzanilla is quite a bit farther north. We were quoted a taxi fare of $40,000, but eventually paid $30,000 each way for the round trip. It's a reasonable fare given the distance involved. The beach was moderately crowded on a Sunday afternoon. The sand was a little cleaner than Cartagena's, but the water was still murky. It stays shallow for quite a ways out, great for kids to play in, but a long ways to walk if you want to get your hair wet. There was a strong southward current once we got in deeper water - I wouldn't be surprised if it pulls people out from time to time. Again, very few vendedors. The restaurant was a total rip off though. They basically tried to triple all the prices on us. A lengthy argument ensued when we asked for la cuenta, with both sides threatening to call the police. We wound up paying probably a 50% premium over what locals would have been charged.

On the whole, we preferred Boquilla. I would definitely go there again. Much more pleasant than Cartagena, but without the added complications of catching a boat to Playa Blanca or the Rosarios. Manzanilla really didn't seem worth the extra distance or taxi fare.

Edited: 12:09 am, February 18, 2013
London, Canada
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for Cartagena
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1. Re: Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

Acek is correct in his assessment of the beaches at La Boquilla and Manzanillo del Mar. I've spoken about these two beaches in the past.

My preference is also La Boquilla. You won't get hassled by so many vendors and the beach is nicer than in town.

Both beaches do tend to be busier on weekends when the locals go to the beach.

It takes about 25 minutes to get to Manzanillo from the old city. La Boquilla is about 15 minutes.

Lecheria, Venezuela
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for Cartagena, Colombia
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2. Re: Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

Not sure if you were ripped off by food vendors. A (small) plate of fried fish is $25,000 in Manzanillo. A good policy in places without a menu is ALWAYS to ask for prices before you order.

Manzanillo is my favourite beach by far as I go early saturdays and sundays for a 10km run-walk...but I have a car and live close.

Forgot to mention that theres pretty good steakhouse right near the detour to manzanillo....its pretty good too(albeit pricey).

Oakland, California
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3. Re: Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

It was a total rip off. Should have been about $90. They asked for $260. We got out for $133. I was with a Calena, boy did she go off on them!

Willemstad, Curacao
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4. Re: Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

260 is a lot of money for a 'cheap' meal..

5. Re: Cartagena Taxi-Accessible Beaches

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