Climate: Cartagena has a pleasantly warm climate, with a temperature ranging from 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Altitude: 2 meters above sea level
Location: Cartagena is on the north coast of Colombia, on the Caribbean.
Dialing codes: + 57 (5)
Tourist information points: The tourist information points are strategically placed for you to consult matters of interest.
Although Spanish is mostly spoken in Cartagena, you will find English spoken at hotels and some restaurants.
The currency is the Colombian Peso. Cents are not used. The companies in charge of the service of transactions in foreign currency are the offices of commercial banks or authorized currency exchange houses. Additionally some hotels give this service to their guests. For your security, never exchange money with informal vendors on the street.
The banks have a common schedule from 08:00 to 11:30 and from 14:00 to 16:00. On Fridays the schedue is until 16:30. Most commercial establishments in Cartagena accept Visa, Master Card, American Express and Diners credit cards.
All professionals and students are encouraged to dress business casual. Men should wear nice jeans, khakis or dress pants. Suits are not necessary. Wear a polo shirt, collared short-sleeved shirt or long-sleeved shirt (Guayaberas) and either loafers or dress shoes. For women; slacks, skirts and dresses are common and acceptable.
- Take sports shoes for guided tours of the historic center
- Take a thin sweater or jacket in case the temperature drops suddenly or the air conditioning is too cold for you (e.g. airport, convention center, restaurants etc.).
- Take analgesics and antihistamines in case of headaches or over exposure to the sun or insect bites.
- Make sure you take plenty of liquids during walks through the streets.
- Have a yellow fever vaccination a week before traveling.
- Always use a sun-blocker.
- Apply insect repellent.
Come explore the city and find the most beautiful and elaborate handicrafts in the Caribbean. While walking the bougainvillealined streets, visitors can shop for Colombian emeralds of the highest purity or visit shops owned and operated by famous Colombian fashion designers. Cartagena’s modern side has world-class shopping centers, stores and movie theaters.
Shopping in the Old City: Exclusive Colombian designer boutiques such as Ketty Tinoco, Silvia Tscherassi, Beatriz Camacho and Gaby Arenas among others are located on Antonio Ricaurte Street and Santa Teresa Street, right in front of the Plaza Santa Teresa.
Shopping in The Vaults: Between Calle del Torno and the Las Bovedas Street in the Old City right next to the Baluarte Santa Clara are the vaults where you can buy crafts of all kinds.
Safety and Security
Cartagena — the only risk is you won’t want to leave!
Cartagena is a popular tourist destination and venue for major conferences and presents a low risk to business travelers. However, as with travel to any major city, it is important to take responsibility for your personal safety and exercise common sense security precautions at all times.
The primary security concern for attendees is petty crime. Crime is concentrated in the lower-income areas on the outskirts of the city, though petty crime does occur in the main business and tourist areas. As in many cities, scams targeting tourists are not uncommon. Attendees should observe common sense security precautions and not venture outside the main business and tourist areas unless accompanied by a trusted local guide.
Important Information for Travelers
Temporary Health Insurance
AAPG’s Committee on Group Insurance has arranged for insurance plans designed to cover the special situations international travelers might encounter that may not be covered by their domestic insurance.
HealthCareAbroad — for residents of the United States under age 85 traveling outside the United States — provides medical, accidental death and dismemberment and worldwide assistance coverage. HealthCare Global — for citizens and residents of the United States under age of 71 and for foreign nationals traveling to destinations outside of the United States — provides accident and sickness coverage plus worldwide assistance coverage.
Complete details, including the information on cost and the applications for coverage, may be found at www.wallach.com.
You may reach Wallach and Co. by phone at +1 800 237 6615 or +1 540 687 3166 or by e-mail. The AAPG Insurance Program’s brokers may be reached at +1 800 254 4788 or +1 703 367 8970.