Most mongers in Cartagena will tell you that you should stay in Boca Grande if you're mongering there, as the neighbourhood is nice and for proximity to La Dolce Vida, and it's hard to argue the point. Many guys will also agree that renting private apartments is the way to go in Cartagena as well. There are numbers od people that rent them, and they are as cheap or cheaper than hotels, and nicer. One of the most reputable guys in the field is Juan Ventura. He rents several places, is great service wise and is a real good guy, known and recommended by many.
I have rented from him several times, and he has been great every time. His apartments are ocean front n a couple of building and can be had for $70/night. The one I typically rent (just because I like it) is a pirate themed apartment on the 12th floor with 2 bedrooms, a balcony, living room and kitchen. The apartment buildings have security downstairs and liquor and convenience stores close by, with a grocery store 5 mins by cab away, also several restaurants. Right on the beach, 5 minute walk from LDV and a 10 minute cab ride (cheap) to the historical centre, it's hard to beat.
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