hostel review: las tortugas, cartagena

$70,000 pesos per night, double with shared bathroom and air-con, 17th - 20th January 2015


Popular with latin travellers, the patio area (which is the majority of the social area) is often full of beer bottles and music. Definitely one for the younger and more social crowd.



A little further (albeit it only minutes) from the main drag, it is still very central to all the bars, restaurants and sights of Getsemani. It's location on the side street means we would probably recommend walking back with someone if returning late at night.


best bit

Although the kitchen is small, it is very well-stocked with cooking utensils, pans etc. Also, the patio area is a lovely sun-trap and a great place to enjoy breakfast.


worst bit

The noise. We stayed in one of two private rooms which are directly above reception, and clearly there is no insulation - we could here everything, including the loud music being played until three in the morning. The fact that this was a 'party' that the management not only allowed, but also joined in with and encouraged is what makes this so unacceptable - it loudly carried on till 5 a.m.  . Given the small size of the hostel, and the location of the dorms, we can only imagine that it's even worse there.

Secondly, the room began to feel a little cell-like after a couple of days. There are no windows, and they're not really large enough for two people once two large backpacks are inside as well.


value for money

Pretty awful. For the price we paid, we would expect a private bathroom, and at least a window. All the bathrooms for the hostel are in one room without a door, and the same goes for the showers, which just isn't good enough really for this price. 


recommended for

Young backpackers who don't mind staying up drinking rather than trying to sleep through it.



Small but well-stocked kitchen, TV, wifi, patio, 24 hour reception selling soft drinks and beers etc.


Rating: 5

cartagena is full of art and a photographer's dream - take a look at these posts to find out for yourselves!