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Travel Guide of Cartagena in Colombia by Influencers and Travelers

Cartagena, known since the colonial era as Cartagena de Indias, is a city and major port on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region, bordering the Caribbean sea.

The Best Things to Do and Visit in Cartagena


1 - Cartagena de Indias

   8 km away

The city of Cartagena, known in the colonial era as Cartagena de Indias, is a city and major port on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region.

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Cartagena de Indias things to do in Cartagena Cartagena de Indias things to do in Cartagena

2 - Cartagena Cathedral, Colombia

   6 km away

The Cathedral of Cartagena in Colombia, officially the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, is located in the historic centre of Cartagena.

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Cartagena Cathedral, Colombia things to do in Cartagena Cartagena Cathedral, Colombia things to do in Cartagena

3 - Shore Excursions in Cartagena

Private tour to visit in detail the principal sites of interest located in the old city of Cartagena. The tour starts leaving the downtown area to go to Manga neighborhood, where you can appreciate the beautiful mansions built at the beginning if the XX Century. Then it continues on to the highest part of the city where there is a convent dating the beginning of the XVII Century.(Subject to availability) after we visit San Felipe de Barajas Fortress which is considered the most important fortification in South America. Then the tour heads to the walled city, first a stop for shopping in the last build fortification  named "Las Bovedas" , after we take a walking tour, visiting the different squares of the city (St Domingo Square, Bolivar Square, Los Coches Square, Aduana Square, Clock Tower, St Pedro Square) and admiring the old colonial houses filled with history and legend. At the end we take a tour by the modern part of Cartagena (Bocagrande, Laguito and Castillogrande.

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Shore Excursions in Cartagena things to do in Cartagena

4 - Tierra Bomba Island

   8 km away

Tierra Bomba is a Colombian island off the coast of Cartagena de Indias. The island is within the legal administration of the municipality of Cartagena in Bolívar Department, and covers a surface area of 19.84 km² that house an estimated population of 9,000 people.

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Tierra Bomba Island things to do in Cartagena

5 - Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría

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Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría things to do in Cartagena

6 - Sightseeing Cruises in Cartagena

2 hour cruise through the peaceful waters of Cartagena's Bay while enjoying the magnificent skyline and the colonial city views in the comfort of the Sibarita Master boat. While on board you will taste a 4-course dinner of international world class cuisine, with an excellent service by our crew.

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Sightseeing Cruises in Cartagena things to do in Cartagena

7 - Arte Moderno

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Arte Moderno things to do in Cartagena

8 - Walls of Cartagena

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Walls of Cartagena things to do in Cartagena

9 - Mountain Bike Tours in Cartagena

2 hours bike tour with a local tourist professional guide ... in a fun way you will know each of the most important tourist sites of '' cartagena de indias '' (streets, churches, parks, monuments , and else)

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Mountain Bike Tours in Cartagena things to do in Cartagena

10 - Santa Teresa Square

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Santa Teresa Square things to do in Cartagena

11 - Santander

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Santander things to do in Cartagena

12 - Coffee & Tea Tours in Cartagena

You will choose your bean, roast and grind it yourself for an experience of all the senses. The true masters are those who know so much that they make it seem simple, in this tour you will meet the best master of all. Learn about the process of coffee from its types, roasts and preparations as well as its significance in the history of Colombia.

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Coffee & Tea Tours in Cartagena things to do in Cartagena

13 - Isla Barú

   24 km away

The Isla Barú or Isla de Barú is a former peninsula south of Cartagena, Colombia. It was cut off from the mainland by the Canal del Dique, but is still connected by bridge.

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Isla Barú things to do in Cartagena

14 - Barú

   35 km away

The Isla Barú or Isla de Barú is a former peninsula south of Cartagena, Colombia. It was cut off from the mainland by the Canal del Dique. It projects out southwest from the southern end of Cartagena towards the Islas del Rosario. It is approximately 25 km long and in places is less than 1 km wide. Approximately 20,000 people live on the island.

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Barú things to do in Cartagena Barú things to do in Cartagena

15 - Snorkeling in Cartagena

Enjoy the most complete day tour in Cartagena going to different islands and beaches in Barú and Rosario Islands. Corales del Rosario National Park is the name of a group of islands in the cost of Colombia, located just an hour by speed boat from Cartagena, 45 mins from Cartagena. Blue water, white sand and awesome coral is the perfect mix for a sunny beach day, this paradise is the favorite destination in Cartagena. We visit unique destinations we have been working to offer the best places in the islands, we go to a Private Island where we are the first arriving so the beach is just for us you also can decide if you want to do the snorkel for free no extra charge and then we will visit a popular party island called Cholon where we will stay for 45 mins then we will go to a beach club in Baru called Mambo Beach Club Baru where you will take your lunch with many options you have a limited bonus for lunch you pay extra for special dishes like lobster, seafood casserole, and special fish.

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Snorkeling in Cartagena things to do in Cartagena

16 - Isla Grande

   35 km away
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Isla Grande things to do in Cartagena

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Pictures and Stories of Cartagena from Influencers

20 pictures of Cartagena from Ricardo Gomez Angel, alan bajura, Luis Vidal and other travelers

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Why should you visit Cartagena ?

Travel to Cartagena if you like:

  🏘️ Town     🏰 Temple     🗼 Landmark     🌆 Skyline     🏖️ Sailing  

How to visit Cartagena ?

Why travel to Cartagena, Colombia?

Cartagena is a charming coastal city in Colombia that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and beautiful beaches. With its well-preserved colonial architecture, vibrant colors, and friendly locals, it's no wonder Cartagena is a favorite destination for travelers seeking a unique experience.

How to get there?

Cartagena's Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) is well-connected with direct flights from major cities in the United States, Europe, and other Latin American countries. Once you land, it's a 15-20 minute taxi or shuttle ride to the city center. You can also reach Cartagena by bus from other Colombian cities like Bogotá, Medellín, and Santa Marta.

What to book in advance?

It's a good idea to book accommodations and popular guided tours in advance, especially during peak travel seasons (December to April). Consider pre-booking activities like a tour of the historic walled city, a day trip to the Rosario Islands, or a visit to the Totumo Mud Volcano.

What are the costs?

Cartagena is an affordable destination for travelers, with a variety of options for different budgets. Expect to pay around $20-$30 for a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant and $3-$5 for a local beer. Accommodations range from budget-friendly hostels at $10-$20 per night to luxury hotels at $150-$300 per night. Guided tours and activities can cost between $20-$100 per person, depending on the type and duration.

What are the best things to do?

Some top activities in Cartagena include exploring the historic walled city, visiting the Palace of the Inquisition, and taking a stroll along the vibrant streets of Getsemaní. For beach lovers, a day trip to the Rosario Islands or Playa Blanca is a must. Don't forget to catch the sunset from the walls of the city or from the popular Café del Mar.

Where to eat?

1. La Cevichería: Known for its delicious ceviche and seafood dishes, this restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
2. Restaurante Carmen: Offering a fine dining experience with a fusion of Colombian and international flavors, this is the perfect spot for a special night out.
3. La Mulata: For affordable, traditional Colombian fare, La Mulata is a great choice with a cozy atmosphere and friendly service.

Where to stay?

1. Casa San Agustin: A luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of the historic city, offering beautiful rooms and top-notch service.
2. Selina Cartagena: A stylish and budget-friendly option with a mix of private rooms and dorms, perfect for socializing and meeting fellow travelers.
3. Hotel Casa del Curato: A charming colonial-style hotel with comfortable rooms and a lovely courtyard.

Off the beaten path:

For an unusual and authentic experience, visit the Bazurto Market, a bustling, chaotic market where locals shop for everything from fresh produce to clothing. Guided tours are available to help navigate the maze-like market and provide insights into local life. Make sure to try some of the delicious street food, like arepas and empanadas, while you're there.

Learn More about Cartagena

The historic center of Cartagena de Indias is a city of paintings, a Caribbean romance with tropical heat.

With its multicolored walls, its wooden balconies, its exuberant bougainvillea, its splendid varnished wooden doors, its beautiful locks, its fine details, its town squares, its horse-drawn carriages, and its palenqueras,
From the morning light to the afternoon heat, from the golden glow of sunset to the midnight lights, the heart of Cartagena offers multiple faces.

First of all, the one of a very very touristy city where the feeling can quickly be negative, compared to other much quieter places in Colombia. The other face of Cartagena reveals itself to those who will make the effort to discover it, by going out of the most touristic itineraries and by talking with the inhabitants, the sellers, the cabs.

The essential on the city of Cartagena de Indias

Located in the department of Bolivar of which it is the capital, Cartagena de Indias or Cartagena, in its more familiar sense, is the most visited city in Colombia!

And for good reason, the fabulous architecture of the colonial historical center earns it a privileged place in the world heritage of humanity UNESCO.

Founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, the city has known hours of glory and tumult that have marked its history and its present. Its labyrinth of cobbled streets, balconies wrapped in bougainvillea, its sometimes imposing churches, and its shady squares: the old city is a place to be experienced, more than to be visited. The writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who worked in the city in 1948, was also forever marked by Cartagena, whose memories often permeate his novels.

The heart of Cartagena offers a multitude of facets to the image of its palenqueras, its fishermen, its street artists of Getsemani... facets that we advise you to discover by crisscrossing its streets. To go even further, we suggest activities with local flavors in the neighborhood of La Boquilla or at the Bazurto market.

Cartagena de Indias also has important fortifications that form one of the most complete systems of military fortifications in South America. 13km of centuries-old fortifications surround the old city exactly.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Cartagena

When to visit Cartagena?

The best period to visit Cartagena is from December to April: This period corresponds to the dry season with milder weather and low rainfall. 

  • You can also visit Cartagena throughout the year. 

  • To be avoided: Christmas and Holy Week periods as Cartagena becomes very congested. 

Here are our top 5 visits to Cartagena :

  • The Castillo San Felipe
  • Santa Catalina Cathedral
  • The Cerro de la Popa
  • The submarine cruise in Baru
  • The market of Bazurto

There are 4 important areas in Cartagena: 

  • The historical center and Getsemani
  • The modern area
  • The northern zone (Airport)
  • Manga (port area). 

You can walk around these areas and get from one area to another we recommend you use cabs (yellow cars). There is the possibility of renting bicycles.

Finally, the network of buses and busetas allows you to reach all the most remote areas, including the Baru Peninsula.

The cab is one of the most used means of transportation in Cartagena.
  • The official cabs are yellow and have a plate with a number and the inscription "Servicio public". Cab rates in Cartagena are regulated (all official rates)

This system is called Transcribe and consists of buses with dedicated lanes (like the Transmilenio in Bogotá) and side buses that connect with the main roads
  • On the other hand, the traditional small buses run along the streets and can be taken anywhere by raising your hand..

   Where to Stay in Cartagena

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