Bogota is the center for Colombian emeralds. When it comes to buying emeralds,"easier and cheaper" don't always win the race...
Bogota has a large emerald district downtown (Av Septima y La Catorce) full of comicionistas plying their trade. Nearby is the Emerald Trade center filled with shops and wholesalers. If you have a favorite jeweler back home he may be able to offer you some free advice.
In Cartagena, try Joyeria Caribe. It's in Bocagrande just a few blocks from the Hotel Caribe. Excellent service and quality stones available.
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