Cartagena has become an extremely trendy destination in recent years, partly because the whole country had been considered a no-go zone due to security issues in the decades prior. Now things have changed, and budget travelers in particular are flocking to Colombia in general and Cartagena in particular.
Cartagena is probably the best bargain in the Caribbean at this point for hotels, food, drinks, and entertainment. The walled Old City is gorgeous and filled with excellent bargains, while the beach area of Bocagrande also has plenty of great-value options for everything you need.
Hotels are quite cheap, even during the high season, so this is a very popular destination for sun-seekers during the North American winter. The beaches close to the city aren’t the best you’ve seen, as the sand is more like a fine dirt. Still, that’s a minor point and the value here is fantastic.
As beautiful as the Old Town area is, it’s also the best place for bargain food and drinks because it’s a real city filled with locals and tourists from other Spanish-speaking countries.