updated 6/4/2009 9:48:20 AM ET 2009-06-04T13:48:20

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare to Cartagena on an Avianca or Copa airline carrier, three nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, hotel taxes, and airline fuel surcharges, from $399 per person—plus airport taxes and fees of $130.

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When: Depart Sundays, June 7–June 28, July 12, Aug. 9–Nov. 22, 2009; add $50 for July 5, 19, 26, Aug. 2, Nov. 29, Dec. 6; $200 for Dec. 13.

Gateways: Miami; add $205 for Chicago, $250 for New York City, $495 for Seattle, $597 for Houston, $620 for L.A., additional gateways are available.

The fine print: Taxes and fees are an additional $130 per person. Airport-hotel transfers are an additional $25 per person each way. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $121. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

Why it's a deal: According to a recent search on Kayak, the lowest round-trip fare between Miami and Cartagena is at $359, including taxes, for travel in mid-June (Copa). For an additional $170, the Gate 1 Travel package covers international airfare as well as three nights' accommodations, breakfast daily, and all taxes and charges.

Lodging: The starting rate is for three nights in a standard room at the 115-room Regatta Cartagena Suites Hotel near the beach. Add $50 per person to upgrade to the 85-room Hotel Dann Cartagena or $400 per person for the 119-room Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara.

Highlights: Since no guided activities are included, you'll be free to enjoy the city your way—whether that's relaxing by the ocean or a rooftop pool, strolling the cobblestoned alleys of the walled inner city, having an alfresco meal at a café, or all of the above. Get inspired by our recent feature about Cartagena's rebirth, From Cartagena, With Love.

More: Gate 1 Travel offers two optional activities: On day two of your stay, a half-day Cartagena city tour that takes you to monuments like St. Philip's Fort and the Convento de la Popa, as well as the residential districts of Bocagrande and Castillo Grande ($36 per person). On day three, you can go on a full-day excursion to Pirate Island, one of the Rosario Islands, with a 50-minute high-speed boat ride and lunch on the beach ($50 per person). If you'd like to extend your stay, extra nights at the Regatta Cartagena start at $92 per room per night. Or you can book the Bogotá and Cartagena package, which starts at $499 and includes a night in Bogotá, three nights in Cartagena, and airfare.

Before you go: For more background information, visit Colombia's official Web site and check the country-specific travel alerts posted on the State Department's Colombia page. U.S. citizens must present a valid passport to enter and leave Colombia, but a visa is not required for a stay of 60 days or less.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


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