Sometimes vacations are synonymous with rest. To help you spend a pleasant moment by the sea, I have selected the best Cartagena resorts.
I have been exploring Colombia since 2015 and have traveled regularly to Cartagena de Indias (the last time in December 2021 for over 45 days).
Among the great hotels in Cartagena, I have selected a winner for each category:
- Cartagena Resort with the best beach: Gente de Mar
- Cartagena resort with the best rooftop pool: Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa
- Best resort in Cartagena for families: Hotel Las Americas
- Best all-inclusive Cartagena beach resort: Estelar Playa Manzanillo
- Best Resort on Isla Barú for families: lsla del Encanto
- Cartagena beach resort with amazing trees: San Pedro de Majagua
- Best quality/price beach resort on Isla Grande: Islabela
- Best 5-stars Cartagena beach resort: Sofitel Barú Calablanca
- Best original Cartagena beach resort: Las Islas
- Cartagena beach resort with the best pools: Hilton Cartagena
- Best Cartagena beach resort on Tierra Bomba: Blue Apple Beach
Read on to know why I picked them.
👉 I spend hundreds of hours researching the best hotels for each destination in Colombia. You’ll save time and avoid booking accommodation you don’t like.
Best Cartagena Resorts: Our Reviews
Here are our thoughts on 11 standout Cartagena de Indias resorts.
1# Best Resort in Cartagena For Families: Hotel Las Americas
The Hotel Las Americas Casa de Playa is a family-friendly beachfront complex located only 1.3 miles from the Rafael Núñez International Airport. The upbeat staff welcomes you in the bright, spacious lobby. With a gorgeous ocean view, the clean, spacious rooms are ideal for a getaway with the whole family.
- Start the day with a classic American buffet with options for even the pickiest eaters.
- Its gorgeous pools are equipped with chairs to lounge in and slides to keep the kids entertained.
- You can hit the spa while your kids are enamored with the resort’s entertainment center, the Capitán Estrella Club.
- Service and food were among the resort’s lowest-rated amenities.
Price: from COP 600,000/2 pers Superior Room | Cancellation Policy: 7 days | Location: near the airport, a 15-min taxi ride from the historic center | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 3/5
2# Best Beach Hotel in Cartagena: Gente de Mar
Just a short boat ride from the dock in Cartagena de Indias, Gente De Mar is the perfect beachfront hotel if you want to relax by the sea. Take your swimsuit and your towel and get ready to sip cocktails under the shade of the coconut trees.
- It is home to two natural beaches.
- There are bungalows available with a gorgeous, airy atmosphere.
- There are plenty of options for fun in the sun: available water activities include snorkeling and fishing.
- A tranquil hammock area is available for all of your lounging needs.
- The food service can be a bit slow here.
- Daytrippers come every day from Cartagena. This can be unpleasant.
- There is no hot water for shower.
Price: from COP 700,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 30 days | Location: Isla Grande, 45 minutes from Cartagena | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 3/5
3# Best All-Inclusive Cartagena Beach Resort: Estelar Playa Manzanillo
Estelar Playa Manzanillo is one of the best Cartagena all-inclusive resorts with gorgeous rooms and lavish amenities. Between the sparkling infinity pool, peaceful picnic area, and spacious rooms, your time in and outside at the resort will be nothing short of a relaxing getaway. The wide variety of restaurants is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
- Excellent SPA services: massages, Turkish baths, a jacuzzi, and a sauna.
- They provide a free daily shuttle service to the old city.
- On-site wellness centers include a gym and a salon.
- There are spaces to hold special events and weddings.
- Beach is ok but you can’t compare it with Rosario islands’ beaches.
Price: from COP 955,00/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 3 days | Location: Manzanillo beach, 25 min in taxi from the historic center | What’s included: All-Inclusive | Facilities: 4/5
4# Best Resort on Isla Barú For Families: lsla del Encanto
Isla del Encanto is one of the best beach resorts for families. The fantastic pool area is decked out with a plethora of seating and exceptional service. The high, wooden ceilings and hardwood floors make for a clean, relaxing stay. There are also beautiful bungalows available to relax amongst the peaceful island vegetation.
- There are two outdoor swimming pools: all saltwater and open all year round.
- You’re in the middle of nature.
- The service and food both received very high praise.
- Spa and wellness packages are available on-site.
- Snorkeling and aviary trips are available for guests.
- Daytrippers come every day from Cartagena de Indias.
Price: from COP 1,320,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 3-day | Location: Isla Barú, 1-h by boat from Cartagena | What’s included: 3 meals/day | Facilities: 3.5/5
5# Cartagena Beach Resort With Amazing Trees: San Pedro de Majagua
Surrounded by singing birds and vibrant, green trees, Hotel San Pedro de Majagua is the hotspot for good views and relaxation. You can lounge in the shade under the plentiful trees or warm up in the sunny sand. The rooms are peaceful, with neutral hues and soft lighting.
It’s one of the most famous beach hotels on Isla Grande.
- Guests can enjoy the wildlife by bird-watching.
- You can enjoy the private beaches along with the wild Rosario islands.
- There are plenty of activities, including a dive center, cycling center, and hiking area.
- There are private hammocks available in the suites.
- Kayaks and paddleboards are an additional charge, even for guests. There is no swimming pool.
- Daytrippers come every day from Cartagena.
Price: from COP 690,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 7-day | Location: Isla Grande, 1-h boat ride from Cartagena | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 3/5
6# Best Quality/Price Beach Resort in Cartagena de Indias: Islabela
Being on a budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing paradise. Nothing beats a bright, modern room with crisp bedding and an ocean view. The friendly staff will also give you the royal treatment for a modest price. Islabela is a budget-friendly resort comparable to other luxury resorts you’ll find on Isla Grande.
- There is an option to book three meals a day for an excellent value.
- You can enjoy the luxury of semi-private beaches.
- The resort features a terrace with access to lovely views.
- Excursions & cocktails are affordable.
- Food is delicious!
- Daytrippers come every day from Cartagena. No swimming pool.
Price: from COP 550,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 7-day | Location: Located on Isleta, in front of Isla Grande, 1-h boat ride from Cartagena| What’s included: 3 meals/day | Facilities: 3/5
7# Best 5-Stars Cartagena Beach Resort: Sofitel Barú Calablanca
This luxury hotel has architecture as incredible as the amenities. Large, ocean-facing windows surround the main bar. Every room has attractive stone accents and a balcony that looks over the crystal clear pool. Between its services, amenities, and gorgeous presentation, the Sofitel Barú Calablanca is a true five-star hotel.
- Breakfast for everyone: continental, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, American, buffet
- There are both indoor and outdoor bars and lounges.
- A fitness center and holistic-approach wellness center are available.
- One of the best areas in Isla Barú.
- The hotel is new, and the staff still needs to be trained.
Price: from COP 1,770,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 3-day | Location: Isla Barú | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 5/5
8# Best Original Cartagena Luxury Hotel: Las Islas
The perfect mix of nature and luxury makes for an unmatched vacation experience. Las Islas lies in vibrant nature, surrounded by mangroves and facing the ocean sea. Winding staircases lead to upscale bungalows with gorgeous views.
- There are various tours available, including helicopter tours.
- Buffet breakfast is available for all guests.
- You can move around on a golf cart.
- Unique activities like cooking classes are available.
- Guests have access to the connected private island, Isleta.
Price: from COP 1,680,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: none | Location: Isla Barú, 1-h boat ride from Cartagena | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 5/5
9# Cartagena de Indias Resort With the Best Swimming Pool: Hilton Cartagena
Surrounded by the vibrant Caribbean Sea, the Hilton Cartagena is a modern paradise. Pops of color are present throughout the resort, even in the rooms. Gorgeous views greet you at your room’s large sliding doors.
- The resort has four clean, large outdoor pools. One pool is designed for kids.
- There are three tennis courts on-site for guest use.
- A gorgeous solarium is on the premises.
- Guests also have access to a private beach area.
Price: from COP 660,500/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 1-day | Location: Laguito, 15-min taxi from the historic center | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 4/5
10# Cartagena Resort With the Best Rooftop Pool: Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa
You will love the Charleston Santa Teresa hotel if you are looking for a luxurious and large hotel in the center of Cartagena de Indias. The contemporary decoration of the rooms blends perfectly with the colonial architecture of this former convent. Don’t forget to get on their rooftop to enjoy the view. At sunrise or sunset, it’s up to you!
- The rooftop pool is large and offers terrific views.
- You’re near all the best Cartagena restaurants.
- Top-notch SPA.
- You should book a room with a sea view.
- Soundproofing isn’t excellent (it’s an old colonial building).
Price: from COP 1,400,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: 3-day | Location: historic center | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 4/5
11# Best Cartagena Beach Resort on Tierra Bomba: Blue Apple Beach
Its intimate atmosphere differentiates Blue Apple Beach from other resorts. This beach club makes an ideal location for lounging. Take a dip in the pool shaded by island vegetation, or relax in the white sands. At nightfall, the place becomes peaceful and romantic —only ten rooms.
- Romantic bungalows with private pools are available.
- Guests have access to complimentary beach cabanas.
- Entertainment includes yoga classes, an arcade, and horseback riding rentals on-site.
- In-room massages are available.
- It’s located on the best side of Tierra Bomba.
- Fabulous place to have fun during the day and rest at night.
Price: from COP 900,000/2 pers | Cancellation Policy: None | Location: Isla Tierra Bomba, 20-min boat ride | What’s included: Breakfast | Facilities: 4/5
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Booking Guide for Cartagena Resort
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What is an All-inclusive Resort?
An all-inclusive resort is a one-stop spot for all of your travel needs. Food, drinks, free wifi, entertainment, shopping, and wellness centers are all available on-site. You can get everything you need without having ever to leave the resort.
Many resorts also have tours and family activities available. There are often kid entertainment centers and daycare services for an upcharge. Other unique excursions at resorts include scuba diving, horseback riding, and visiting the aviary.
Secluded or Modern Cartagena de Indias Hotels? Pick Your Resort Location
Where your resort is can make or break your vacation. You can choose a resort directly in Cartagena de Indias, Isla Barú, or Isla Grande.
Within Cartagena City
The resorts located right in Cartagena are more modern and practical but lack impressive natural features. The beaches are not comparable to those in more isolated locations in Isla Grande.
→ If you care about the architecture of the building, I recommend you to stay in the historic center. Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena or Charleston Santa Teresa will impress you with their colonial facades.
→ Do you want the comfort of a resort hotel with a limited number of rooms? You will love the luxurious Hotel Casa San Agustin.
Best hotel resorts on Isla Barú
Isla Barú is located outside the city but is still accessible by car. These are the most luxurious resorts, but the water is not as extravagant as in Isla Grande. It is more expensive to book a resort here than directly in the city because it is more private and isolated. Isla del Encanto and Las Islas are examples of beautiful resorts in-between the city and total isolation.
Best hotel resorts on Isla Grande
Isla Grande is secluded and breathtaking. Extravagant views surround the resorts on the island. They can get crowded on the weekend but are still spacious and easy to navigate. You can only access Isla Grande by boat (1h approx). You’ll love staying in San Pedro de Majagua, Gente de mar, or Islabela.
Wildlife to Watch Out For
The insects on Cartagena’s islands can be annoying. Don’t like bugs? You should stay in the city 😉
Picky Eaters: Be Careful
Blue Apple Beach House offers free, made-to-order breakfasts for guests daily. The on-site restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine. Many reviews from past guests had high compliments of the food and cocktails.
Islabela has delicious food for a great value. There is an option to book 3 meals a day for a great price. For breakfast, they offer a continental or an à la carte option. The on-site restaurant offers an à la carte menu with Caribbean-style food.
Get your Money’s Worth: Resort Expenses
Cartagena de Indias is a hotspot for tourism. With this reputation comes an uprise in prices. A significant factor in price is resort location. The more secluded the resort, the more expensive it will be to stay there. On average, a stay within the city itself will be cheaper than one on a secluded resort on Isla Grande or Isla Barú.
A gorgeous resort that is friendlier for your wallet is Islabela. They have price-friendly options that don’t take away from the luxury of Colombia. Other resorts with high price value are Blue Apple and the Hilton.
When you travel to a foreign country, language barriers are inevitable. At resorts like Sofitel Barú Calablanca, not all staff speak English. However, they can still provide fantastic service, and it is crucial to prepare yourself for some barriers in communication.
Relax and Take it Easy
In the Caribbean region, service can often be disorganized and slow. Take it easy and enjoy your stay.
Access to hot water and quality internet on the island resorts is often scarce. Enjoy the seclusion and unplug from the rush of your daily life. The simple pleasures will often outweigh the need for a steamy shower.
Q&A: Frequently asked questions
Here are the most common questions readers ask about the best Cartagena resorts.
Is Cartagena de Indias Safe?
Yes, the tourist districts and islands are safe. However, you should always be cautious, as you would be in any big city.
Are there beaches in Cartagena?
Beaches located directly in the city of Cartagena de Indias are unremarkable and can't be compared to the beaches on the Rosario Islands. A few resorts surrounded by luxurious beaches are Gente de Mar, San Pedro de Majagua, and Islabela.
Which are the all-inclusive Cartagena resorts?
One gorgeous inclusive resort is Estelar Playa Manzanillo. The all-inclusive rates for this hotel even include the drinks, which not many resorts do. Islabela and Isla del Encanto are full board.
Full board means that breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the rate paid. All-inclusive adds in the drinks and additional snacks for no charge. Both are great options.
Are there luxury beach resorts in Cartagena, Colombia?
Although there is no specific set of standards or ratings for luxury resorts, they are often 4 or 5-star resorts with luxurious accommodations. There are multiple luxury beach resorts in Cartagena. Las Islas, Santa Teresa, and Sofitel Barú are 3 hotels considered luxury resorts.
However, this does not guarantee perfect customer service or prevent language barriers.
Do they speak English in Cartagena de Indias?
Many residents in Cartagena have stronger English speaking skills than most other parts of Colombia. However, a language barrier is always inevitable. A resort that usually has English speakers is Isla del Encanto.
Do not let the inconvenience of language barriers deter you from the incredible experience of traveling.
Colombia is the perfect destination for a much-needed vacation, offering travelers an unforgettable experience through its unbelievable sights.
Stay in the walled city or Bocagrande if you easily want to explore the city, or decide to hit the Rosario Islands if you want some quality beach time — or do both!