Hotel Isla Paraiso Secreto

Carrera 1a. No. 14-26, Bocagrande, Cartagena, 1000, Colombia
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Forum Posts

Are US Dollars Accepted for Museums and other Entrance Fees?

by jeana-r

Wondering if I can use US Dollars for entrance fees to local museums and places of interest like San Pedro Claver church. Many thanks. JT

Re: Are US Dollars Accepted for Museums and other Entrance Fees?

by tango_jd

I suspect not - Euros are likely.

Worth checking in some locations in Spain - some museums allow free entrance to visitors who show their passports.
That may no longer be the case but if you have your passport with you at the time.......

It worked for me when I visited the Alcazabar in Murcia.

Re: Are US Dollars Accepted for Museums and other Entrance Fees?

by mircaskirca

Just came back from Cartagena.

I don't think you can pay the entrance fees to local museums and other places of interest in US Dollars. You better change some into Colombian pesos. And there are many ATM machines to withdraw the local currency.

Hope you'll enjoy Cartagena. It's beautiful!!


Re: Are US Dollars Accepted for Museums and other Entrance Fees?

by jeana-r


Re: Are US Dollars Accepted for Museums and other Entrance Fees?

by mrmiata

There is not a charge to enter San Pedro Claver church. I've never seen anyone accept usd in Colombia (except airport departure tax) and it's been my experience that anywhere in the world you pay in dollars you pay more than you should. Hope that helps.

Travel Tips for Cartagena

time demands & feeling cooler

by richiecdisc

Cartagena is full of colonial architectural marvels. In fact, the whole walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site but there are some somewhat seedier parts of town that while not truly my favorite let me glimpse a bit into the town's storied past when perhaps it was not so squeaky clean. It was a fun place to wander around during the day but maybe not so great at night. It was close to our hotel and was certainly a good place to get a hair cut. Since we had spent most of the first month of our trip to Colombia in its considerable high altitude mountains, I hadn't really noticed that my hair had grown as of course it always does. I generally get it cut every two weeks but when it's cold at night, every bit of extra insulation helps. The last few days had been spent in sweltering Mompos and I knew I needed a trim and started to look for one as soon as I got to Cartagena. I prefer to get it cut in smaller towns as it's usually cheaper and easier to do but there was no small town on our immediate horizon and Cartagena was proving every bit as hot as Mompos, if less humid. Of course, one of the obstacles is trying to muster up what Spanish I have to get it cut to the right length as Hispanics tend to wear their hair a bit shorter than perhaps I'd like mine to be. I saw one large place on a street close to our hotel but it was packed every time I walked by it. This is typically a sign of it being very good or at least cheap so I walked by a few times over the course of the day and had nearly given up when one of the barbers from the shop called me in, from across the street no less. It seemed this was one gringo that would not have to wait despite there still being a considerable line. I was so happy I neglected to ask how much it would be, one of the few key phrases I know in a few languages and sat in the chair amongst the locals getting clipped. The barber was excellent, something I've found to generally be the case in South America. He took considerable time in getting it just right and I figured it was not going to be the cheapest haircut of my SA travel career so I didn't flinch when he said it was 10000 COP ($5). I imagine it might have been more than the locals had to pay if my past experiences were any measure. But I didn't have to wait and this was Cartagena, a town that demanded my time more than the extra couple bucks as well as a haircut to keep me cool, and now looking much cooler too.

An excellent tour guide

by Bernd_L

As we only had some hours time during our stop at Cartagena we decided to do a guided tour and we were lucky to meet taxi-driver and well informed guide Clarence Bailey.

This guy showed us around his city. He said he never left it in his entire life. So he knows the place very well. As his father was a British citizen his English is pretty well. We were very satisfied with his service.

If you want to contact him for a tour, here is his phone number:


one fruit eating giant iguana, please

by richiecdisc

Colombia had surprisingly proved itself as a great place for capturing photos of birds. Since our last trip to South America was to Ecuador which included excursions to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon, I was pretty confidant that Colombia would pale in comparison on that front. That said, I already had some of my best photos of birds I'd ever taken and I hadn't even come close to the tropical areas I might have expected them to come from. The coast was upon us but the first few days were going to be spent in the big city of Cartagena so I wasn't really thinking along the lines of wildlife photography as I marched into town to capture the town's noted colonial architecture. We noticed a park along the main thoroughfare into the old town from the less glitzy and somewhat run-down Getsemani area we were staying in, and decided to walk in there was it looked more pleasant. Once inside, it was obvious it more the haunt of derelicts than the pleasant city park we had hoped for so we walked along the edge close to the street we had just come from, making a beeline for the exit on the other side. There were no birds in sight but in the distance I noticed something very large walking along the path in front of us. As we neared it we saw a huge iguana feeding on a chunk of fruit thrown over the fence from one of the fruit juice stand girls that line the adjacent road. We are no strangers to large iguanas as we live in South Florida and there is a sizable population of them in our town even though they are not native to the area. Pets that have escaped over the years have not managed to propagate quite well in a climate that obviously suits them. So, we were not taken aback as much as say a person from the UK might be but it was still a sight to behold and gave me my first non-bird wildlife shots in Colombia aside from a few stray wild horses in El Cocuy National park nearly a month earlier.

Get out and walk around...

by travelmad478

Get out and walk around Cartagena! The old city is a real gem of colonial architecture, with brightly painted buildings and beautiful churches and streets. Don't worry about walking around all day by yourself--we had no safety problems whatsoever.

The Cabalgata

by richiecdisc

The Cabalgata is an equestrian parade that takes place around February 2nd. It is a fun-filled time in Cartagena and we happened upon it quite by accident. The woman who owned our hotel asked if we were going to the parade, obviously assuming we would say yes, and was astonished that we didn't know anything about it! She told us we absolutely must go since it was literally just up the street from our hotel. We spent the day as usual, taking photos early morning, snacking around, and resting up in the afternoon. When the sun was heading back down, we went back out to get some photos of the old fort just beyond the city's nearby walls. It was only a stone's throw away but once in the area, we saw that is pulsing with people awaiting the very parade we had been told about. Soon enough, the riders started to stream through the streets and much to our initial delight, they were quite able to make their horses “dance.” Some were much better than others and some horses more cooperative. It was a bit disconcerting when horses fought back and riders even more so in retaliation but overall it was certainly something to see and thankful for the recommendation.

It was great light for these photos as well as the ones of the old fort which the parade puts you in perfect position for and at the ideal time, late afternoon!

It comes right down Calle de la Media Luna


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