Transport in Cartagena
Getting around Cartagena is easy by taxi, though they are the most expensive in Colombia. Nonetheless, they remain more affordable than in many other developed countries. The key is to know the correct taxi prices in Cartagena to avoid getting overcharged. You can easily spot licensed taxis by their yellow color, license plate number, and a “servicio publico” label. They are readily available on the streets, but it can be a challenge to find one very late at night or early in the morning. Hotels or bars can call a taxi for you, or you can use the EasyTaxi app to track your taxi in real-time. Keep in mind that Cartagena taxis do not have meters, which means drivers can charge a higher fare than necessary. And, unfortunately, taxis in Cartagena have a reputation for overcharging, so it's essential to always ask for the price before getting in the taxi. It's recommended to establish an agreed-upon price before starting your journey. While official, legal prices for Cartagena taxi fares are defined each year by legal decree based on distance and different zones, there is no control over taxi fares.
Is there Uber in Cartagena?
Uber has always operated in a legal gray area in Colombia and has faced opposition from taxi companies and unions. While it can be a safer alternative to potentially overcharging taxi drivers, there are not many Uber drivers in Cartagena and the service is not very reliable. A better alternative to Uber is InDrive, which allows passengers to make their own offer for the fare, or apps like Easy Taxi, Easy Tappsi, Didi, and Cabify. It's important to note that InDrive only accepts cash payments, not credit cards.
Taking a Taxi from Cartagena Airport
There are electronic kiosks in the airport where passengers can enter their destination and receive a ticket with the correct fare to avoid being overcharged. Taxis are usually available at the airport, but it's best to get a ticket first.
The estimated fare from Cartagena Airport to the historic center of the city is around $COP 15,400 Upon arrival (on an international flight), look for the electronic machines located on the right after passing the customs control. When you enter the address you want to go to, the machine issues a ticket that shows the price to pay.
Shared Taxis in Cartagena
Shared taxis, also known as collective taxis, follow a set route and charge a fixed fee per person. They wait until they are full with four passengers before leaving or picking up more people along the way. They can be easily identified by the quick beeps of their horn.
Various options for private transportation are available in Cartagena. One such option is a fleet of white SUVs that typically work directly with hotels, although they may be willing to pick you up on the street. If hailed on the street, expect to pay a price similar to that of a regular taxi.
Motorcycle taxis, also known as mototaxis, are available in Cartagena, although they are restricted in some neighborhoods. They can be useful if you are looking for a cheap and quick ride.
Cartagena also has a public transportation system called Transcaribe, launched in 2016. It operates like a subway system, with dedicated lanes and stations in Centro and along the city's main thoroughfares. The system is still in the process of expanding to cover the entire city, but it offers a cheap option for getting around. The buses are comfortable and come equipped with air conditioning. To access Transcaribe, you need a card with money loaded onto it, which can be purchased at the stations or at Giros Colombia. You can add money to the card at the stations.
Busetas in Cartagena
In addition to Transcaribe, there are other buses in Cartagena, often called busetas, which are not part of the Transcaribe system. These buses are not as well-organized, and there are no designated stops. Passengers can hail them down or call for stops anywhere along their routes. The busetas are typically brightly colored and have conductors, known as sparrings, hanging out the door and shouting out the route.
Car rental in Cartagena
Car rental companies are available at the airport, but parking in Cartagena can be difficult, especially in Centro. It is also worth noting that the driving style in Cartagena can be aggressive.Read more about Car Rental