The Next Hot Caribbean Travel Destination: Cartagena

Royal Decameron Barú

Remember, you heard it here first.  Well, maybe, unless you caught this recent article by CNN Travel.  Even before reading the CNN article, I had the opportunity to attend an Apple Vacations training seminar here in Columbus, and I learned about their newest Caribbean beach destination: Cartagena, Columbia.

Columbia is located on the northwestern tip of South America, sharing borders with Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, and Equador.  Columbia boasts a pleasant, tropical climate with an average temperature of 81 degrees.   The city of Cartagena lies on the Caribbean coastline, less than a three-hour flight from Miami.  The government has made dramatic changes to its socio-economic landscape and as a result, tourism has thrived in the past decade.

Apple Vacations is currently offering only a few resorts, and the highest rated one in the brochure (using Apple Vacations “apple” rating system) is the Royal Decameron Barú Beach Resort.  This 330-room resort is located in the Rosario Islands (specifically Barú) only 90 minutes (including ferry ride) from the Cartagena City International Airport.  An all-inclusive resort,  it features five restaurants, five bars, and three swimming pools.

Some points about Columbia from the CNN article:

  • Between January and August 2010, more than 111,000 international visitors came to Colombia, up 9% from the year before, according to Colombian immigration authorities.
  • Historically, Colombia’s struggles with crime have scared away tourists.  But violence associated with Colombia’s infamous drug trafficking is steadily declining, and Cartagena continues to be one of the safest cities in Colombia.

Sources: CNN and Apple Vacations

Related: The Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the United States also benefits Tourism
Also see: A Cartagena Quarter Emerges (NY Times)