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Taxis in Cartagena: Getting Around Using Taxi Cabs

Taxis in Cartagena are one of the most common transportation methods to use in the city.

These bright yellow taxi cabs are hard to miss. They are scattered around the city and serve as a convenient and efficient way to get around in Cartagena. 

During my time traveling in the city, I used taxis as my primary mode of transportation, and they never failed me. They got me from Point A to Point B without any major issues. 

In this blog post, I’ll share some things I learned and experienced while taking taxis in Cartagena, providing tips, insights, and essential information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride through the colorful streets of this historic city.

Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links which means that if you book one of these activities using my link (which I know you will because you loved how helpful this blog post is *wink*I am going to receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting BCJ! 

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Know what the taxi cabs in Cartagena look like 

In Cartagena, the cabs are typically small – mid-sized and bright yellow, making them easily recognizable as they ride up and down the streets. 

The sides of the cars are marked with signage or stickers displaying their registration number(s), which proves their status as official taxis. 

I didn’t have any issues with getting scammed when it came to using taxis in Cartagena; as I read, it can frequently happen sometimes. However, I’m sure that knowing what the traditional taxi cab looks like made it less likely to happen!

Taxis in Cartagena are everywhere and easy to hail

Now that you know what the taxis in Cartagena look like, you know that they are literally everywhere and very hard to miss. 

As I stated, taxis are an extremely popular way to get around in Cartagena. 

This is mainly because they are everywhere, making it easy to flag and get a ride. I found it easier to hail a taxi than ordering an Uber most of the time, and using Uber in Cartagena was also a very seamless experience. 

Anytime I saw a taxi I simply raised my hand and they would pull over on the side of the road I was standing on. 

No matter where you find yourself in the city, you’re likely to spot a taxi coming by within seconds, if not already in front of your eyes. 

Check the price before you get inside a taxi

Before arriving in Cartagena, I read that many taxis use a metered system to determine the price of rides. However, I never saw any meters inside the taxis in Cartagena, and they were not used. 

It is common practice to negotiate a price or ask the taxi driver what the price is for where you are going before you enter the taxi cab. 

If you agree on the fare, which I always did, you hop in and start the ride! If you need help getting a ride after not agreeing with a fare, you can continue looking for alternative transportation methods or try another cab driver to see what fare they offer. 

I would never recommend hopping in a taxi without knowing how much it costs to avoid any issues. 

A taxi driver in Cartagena
I was able to use the very few Spanish words I have in my vocabulary to attempt to communicate with drivers when I was alone!

Getting a taxi from the Cartagena airport is easy due to the system in place  

If you’re worried about taking a taxi in Cartagena from the airport as soon as you arrive, you’ll be happy to learn that there is a system in place that makes it super easy. 

As you come out of the airport, there is this taxi ticket station where you can input the details of your desired destination in the city, and it will print out a ticket with the price quote that you’ll pay. 

You simply find a taxi driver, or they will be standing behind you, offering you a ride. Give them the ticket so they know where to bring you, and you will be on your way! 

This was such an easy system that took the stress out of bargaining and having to negotiate a rate when you had just arrived in the city and did not know what to expect. 

The taxi ordering ticket stand at the Cartagena airport
This is the stand you’ll see as you are exiting the Cartagena (CTG) airport to get the fare of a taxi to your destination.

Have cash on you to pay your driver 

When it comes to paying for your taxi ride in Cartagena, it’s essential to have cash on hand. It’s the most reliable form of payment. 

If you can, have a variety of bill denominations available in case change is an issue for your driver. They may not be able to provide change for larger bills. 

I’m not sure if taxis in Cartagena accept card payments, but having cash makes the experience quicker. 

A taxi cab riding through Getsemani, a neighborhood in Cartagena
I was surprised at how taxi cab drivers would even pass through the smallest of roads and alleys, looking for their next passenger!

Spanish may be needed to give directions 

If you do not speak Spanish, taking taxis in Cartagena can still be done, but there may be some moments where you need to string some sentences together to get your point across. 

The times when this did happen, I was with my Spanish-speaking travel buddy, so thankfully, I did not have to do this while on the road to my destination, but if you are traveling solo or with other people who don’t speak Spanish, Google Translate will be your best friend. 

Practice some basic transportation-related phrases like “go straight”, “turn right”, etc. or you can use Google Translate to input directions before the ride starts and communicate! 

98% of the time, every taxi ride I embarked on got me to and from my destination without needing any additional help getting there, so I would not overthink this too much and understand that it is just one of those things to keep in mind. 

I hope this blog post was helpful in terms of knowing what to expect when you get to Cartagena and need to hail your first taxi ride.

If you have any questions about Cartagena, please feel free to drop them in the comments below, or if you have visited Cartagena and I missed any important tips, be sure to leave them in the comments for future readers! 

4 Responses

  1. I’m from the US but lived in Colombia for about a year. It blew my mind how frequently cabs are used throughout the country, and how affordable they are! I never use them at home — the price adds up way too fast.

  2. This will be very useful!! I’m looking at going to Colombia this year!! Taxi’s oversees are so affordable.

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Christina Jane Travel Writer

About The Blogger

I’m Christina, a travel blogger and content creator from Fort Myers, Florida.

Being Christina Jane is my way of inviting you to join me on my travel ventures by sharing the knowledge gained from my adventures and experiences— both good and bad.

This travel blog is filled with helpful travel tips, information, and is a recollection of the lessons I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had while traveling.

My goal is to curate a space that interconnects my love for travel and transparency and I hope you will join me on that journey. 


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