Where To Exchange Money In Cartagena

where to exchange money in cartagena


The city of Cartagena, with its vibrant culture, colorful scenery, and fascinating history, attracts thousands of travelers each year. However, one of the first and most crucial questions often posed by visitors is, 'Where can I exchange money in Cartagena?' This article aims to guide you through the best available options for money exchange, whether you prefer locality, low fees, or high exchange rates.

1. Cartagena's Banks

In Colombia like most countries, banks are the traditional institutions for currency exchange. They are reputable and regulated, providing a safe and assured means of exchanging your money. Most of the major banks in Cartagena like Bancolombia, Banco de Bogota, and Davivienda have reasonable exchange rates. The downside, though, is that the process can be time-consuming, as they often require a copy of your passport and paperwork. Additionally, banks tend to have relatively high transaction fees.

2. Currency Exchange Bureaus

Known locally as 'casas de cambio,' these are small businesses operating specifically for exchanging currencies. Due to competition, their exchange rates are often much better than banks'. They provide a quicker and more streamlined service. You can find several of these bureaus around the city, particularly in tourist-friendly zones such as Bocagrande and the Walled City. However, the caveat is to make sure the bureau you are transacting with is legal and reputable.

3. Hotels

Most high-end hotels in Cartagena offer money exchange services. While the convenience factor here is quite high, particularly after a long flight, it usually comes at a cost: hotels generally provide poor exchange rates.

4. ATMs

Colombian ATMs, particularly those in Cartagena, provide an excellent option for obtaining local currency. They offer good exchange rates and the ease of 24/7 availability. However, it's important to keep an eye on fees: both those from the local bank's ATM and potentially from your bank as well. Before you travel, check with your bank about international ATM charges.

5. Online Money Exchange Platforms

This is a modern and increasingly popular approach to money exchange. Online platforms such as Revolut, Transferwise, or Xoom provide competitive exchange rates. Transferring your money ahead of time on these platforms allows you to pick it up in the local currency when you arrive. Nevertheless, these online platforms also charge service fees, so it's imperative you factor these into your calculations.


Set aside time to plan your strategy for currency exchange. Do some pre-emptive research with a focus on exchange rates and transaction fees. Ultimately, whether it's the convenience of the hotel route, the familiarity of the banking system, the dynamism of ATMs, the competitiveness of exchange bureaus or the efficiency of online platforms, choose an option that suits your personal preferences and circumstances. As you navigate through the colorful streets of Cartagena, trade your monetary concerns for an immersive cultural exploration. Good luck!