We spent a week at this beautiful spot with our three children, ages 10, 9 and 7. The apartment is part of an old monastery that overlooks the old wall surrounding the historic part of Cartagena. Just one block away is the Santa Clara hotel, which was an old convent. The location is very safe and perfect for families. Shopping, restaurants and coffee shops are just a block away.
When we were looking into places to stay in Cartagena, we looked at some high-rise condos in the Boca Grande area, which is a 10 minute taxi ride away. Thank HEAVENS we didn't stay there!!! The cement block buildings are dull and dingy. The beach is o.k., but the water isn't the clear water we are used to seeing in the Caribbean or most parts of Mexico. We walked along the beach one day and were immediately mobbed by vendors offering hats, watches, necklaces, massages, hair braiding, etc. It was fine for an hour, but it really started to wear as the entourage followed us down the beach. Needless to say, it wasn't the peaceful experience we had imagined. Taxis are very cheap - $5-$7 USD for pretty much anywhere you'd want to go. We were so happy to be able to visit the beach, but return to our little sanctuary in Casa de Bocatillo!
We also looked at some apartments in other parts of the walled portion of the city. Again, we were relieved that fate directed us to our special location as other apartments, though charming, would have been noisy due to street and pedestrian traffic. Taxi drivers in Cartagena honk frequently! I truly can't image another spot that would yield a better combination of location and quietude!
A description of this property would not be complete without mentioning Clari. She is the housekeeper and also prepares breakfast. Clari is a fabulous cook. We hired her to prepare three other meals. Her chicken dish is amazing! The kids adored her and consider her to be one of the best parts of our trip to Cartagena. To the best of our knowledge, she doesn't speak English, so brush up on your Spanish!
The owners, Thomas and Jim, are accessible via a free Vonage phone line to the U.S. They are also a tremendous resource for restaurant recommendations. Thank you, gentlemen, for a wonderful stay!