Travel Recommendations from the DevelopingEM team

We know you have already requested your leave to attend DevelopingEM but now its time to think about

  • Registering for the conference and workshops
  • Booking those flights
  • Getting your accommodation sorted
  • Planning your travel

Here are some tips and tricks from our our planning team who had the task of scoping out this amazing city prior to the conference.

Travel to Colombia

• When you book your ticket make sure the Colombian departure tax/airport fee is already

    included so you don’t have to bother with a cash payment whilst checking in at the



   We cant stress this enough for all of our events

• Make sure you have your Yellow Fever immunisation documentation

   This is mainly to assist re-entry to Australia and other home countries after visiting

    the region

• For Aussies check and record your trip on the Smart Traveller website

Entry into Colombia (Cartagena)

• Check the following guide to the Rafael Nunez Cartagena Airport

• No visa is required for Australians visiting for < 90 days (check the situation in your own


• Customs forms are handed out on the inbound flight

• There is a standard customs area beyond the arrival point

• Most customs officials will speak some English

• Past the customs area is a standard baggage claim area

• Past baggage claim is an area for any declarations

• Past declarations are two currency exchange booths



   and both open from 7 am to 8pm

   It has been suggested that better exchange rates are obtained from ATM’s and there

   are ATM’s in the domestic arrival and departure area

• There is a taxi area on the street outside arrivals and there are usually taxis waiting

    Taxi rates are meant to be fixed but they often are not and can vary between 13000 and

     20000 COP depending on where you are going

    Most taxis will accept USD as well and $10 USD is enough

• Uber is also available with an average rate of 15000-30000 COP depending on the dropoff

• The drive time to the old city is 15 mins from the airport

Departure from Colombia (Cartagena)

• Check in for international flights is 2.5-3 hrs from time of flight

• Online check in is dependent on the airline but could speed the departure process if you

   don’t have bags to check

• Lines can be long at check in on the weekends and we suggest arriving early

• An Airport fee / departure tax is collected at the check in counter if it hasn’t been

   included in your ticket- it needs to be paid in cash (60,000 COP)

• There is a standard exit with customs and security

• The airport lounge is comfortable but basic with a couple of basic food options and a

   couple of souvenir stores

• The airport wifi is free

Accommodation options

• There are literally hundreds of room type and budgetary options

• There are 3 main accommodation areas

   Cielo Mar- near the airport

   Old Town (El Centro / San Diego)- the walled historic old city

   Getsemani- historic (now hipster) area outside the walled old city

   Bocagrande- Miami-like new area of multiple high rise apartments and hotels

• Hotel options that we have personally reviewed include

  Old Town

  – Sofitel Santa Clara


  – Hyatt

  – Estelar

  – Intercontinental

   Cielo Mar

   – Las Americas

• Air BnB options that we have personally reviewed

  – Edificio Centenario

• A Tour Company we have used previously and can Highly Recommend is

   Two Travel

Bars and Restaurants

• There are many options

  – the following can be recommended by the organising team

  Old City

  • El Baron

  • Alquimico

  • Cafe del Mar

  • KGB

  • Bar at the Sofitel- El Coro

  • Rooftop at the Movich- La Terraza


  • Demente


  • Hyatt balcony- Amacagua


So now you have that you have booked your flights, accommodation and social schedule it’s time to Register for DevelopingEM 2020 and ACEM 2020.

March in Cartagena is going to be amazing- See you there!!

Leave a Reply