I have actually intended to see Cartegena given that viewing Romancing the Stone in the 1980s. This lovely city has actually astounded the hearts of tourists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers. As I checked out the leading points to do in Cartagena, it was understandable why the city has actually been a magnetic background for countless motion pictures and publications.
On my trip there, I fell for the food, the vivid shades, and the background. Cartagena is the ideal place to obtain your fill of background, society, and remarkable Latin food. But there is a lot even more to the city than its abundant past.
Best Things to do in Cartagena
There is a lot to see and perform in Cartagena that it’s difficult to fit whatever right into your travel plan. Whether you are a background enthusiast or looking for experience, right here are a few of our favored points to do.
1. Explore the Walled City (Ciudad Amurallada)
Cartagena’s walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with colonial design, vivid roads, and historic spots and early american structures.
The old city has several of the very best areas to see in Cartagena. Be certain to quit at the Torre del Reloj, Cartagena’s regal clock tower that stands at the entry to the old walled city. You can likewise schedule an exclusive excursion of the city for a much more intimate experience beginning at $156.
2. Take a Walking Tour
One of the very best methods to obtain accustomed with any type of city is to schedule a strolling excursion. Free strolling trips utilized to be supplied, yet it appears to not function any longer. However, you can schedule this strolling excursion of the historical city to find out about its abundant background as you absorb the old community’s design and see Cartagena’s elite, that still possess a lot of the grand early american homes in the old city.
When you go through the rock roads, you obtain a look right into what the city resembled centuries back. The Cartagena Full Day City Tour takes you with the highlights of the city, consisting of Las Bóvedas, the roads of Getsemaní, the passage system of Castillo de San Felipe, and much more for simply $49 each.
3. Shop at Las Bóvedas
A collection of safes became stores offering neighborhood crafts and mementos. This dynamic market is loaded with travelers. If you endure the groups, you will certainly obtain a possibility to look for distinct ornaments, mementos, and lovely mochila bags made by the ladies of the Wayuu aboriginal people.
Las Bovedas is a view by itself. One of the last frameworks constructed within the walled city, it has forty-seven arcs and twenty-three domes. It likewise has a checkered previous working as an artilleries shop and after that a dungeon prior to its existing standing as a busy market. Get Your Guide provides city trips and tours around Cartegena with simple termination approximately 24-hour beforehand.
4. Street Art of Getsemani Neighborhood
The Getsemani community is an additional quit you must contribute to your travel plan. It’s among one of the most vital areas in Cartagena, plus a social and political center. It’s loaded with remarkable road art.
Bright shades and lovely murals embellish a lot of the wall surfaces there and maintain you astounded as you stray about. Known for its vivid roads, graffiti art, and vibrant environment, this community is a social hotspot.
5. Visit Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Visiting Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas is not simply a journey to the historical citadel of this prepared city on the Caribbean Coast. It’s an immersive trip right into the heart of Cartagena’s early american background. This enforcing framework, happily standing atop the San Lázaro hillside, is an icon of the tactical value of Cartagena in the colonial period.
Recognized as one of one of the most substantial strongholds constructed by the Spanish in the Americas, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas is a building wonder and has extraordinary breathtaking city sights. The Castillo is quickly among the leading tourist attractions and among the very best points to do in Cartagena.
The citadel, initially constructed in the 17th century, played an essential duty in protecting the city versus pirates and intruders throughout early american times.
Visitors can take assisted trips to find out about the citadel’s background, tactical value, and building information.
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas lies simply outside the walled city and is quickly obtainable by a brief taxi experience or a modest stroll from the town hall. Its noticeable placement on San Lázaro Hill makes it a noticeable spots. The top of the citadel provides impressive sights of Cartagena and the Caribbean Sea, perfect for digital photography lovers.
6. Relax at Playa Blanca
Located on Barú Island, this sensational white-sand coastline is a piece of heaven, understood for its crystal-clear blue-green waters and stunning setup.
The coastline is excellent for swimming because of its calmness, clear waters, and sunbathing on the soft, white sands is an enjoyable means to appreciate the exotic sunlight. You can go snorkeling, and there are a number of beachside dining establishments and shacks to appreciate fresh fish and shellfish and conventional Colombian seaside recipes.. Relaxing at Playa Blanca in Cartagena provides a best mix of all-natural charm and peaceful atmosphere.
Playa Blanca is a preferred excursion from Cartagena, and you can see it as component of an excursion or by yourself. The most prominent means to get to Playa Blanca is by watercraft. You can capture a watercraft from the Muelle de los Pegasos near the Cartagena Convention Center. These watercrafts generally leave in the early morning and return in the mid-day.
You can likewise get to Playa Blanca by roadway. It’s regarding a 1.5-hour drive from Cartagena. You can work with a taxi or sign up with a team excursion that consists of transport. These ideal islands supply crystal-clear waters and are ideal for snorkeling and diving.
7. Take a Rosario Islands Day Trip
Just 100 kilometers (62 miles) offshore, yet relatively a globe away, is the Rosario Islands. The Rosario Islands are a team of over 28 islands and belong to Colombia’s National Natural Park system.
There you can appreciate the neighborhood fish and shellfish and whatever that you enjoy regarding the Caribbean – the clear blue skies, white sand coastlines, and surviving “island time.” The islands flaunt several of one of the most lovely coastlines in Colombia.
The clear Caribbean waters and reef make this a prime place for snorkeling and scuba diving diving. : Many trips supply the possibility to check out numerous islands in the island chain, each with its distinct beauty and functions.
To get to the Rosario Islands, think about Sunset Sailing Cartagena, which provides day trips. This extremely ranked excursion provides cruising journeys to the Rosario Islands beginning at $86.
Taking an outing to the Rosario Islands is an emphasize for several site visitors to Cartagena, supplying a superb getaway right into an island chain renowned for its sensational all-natural charm and vivid aquatic life.
8. Experience the Nightlife in Cartagena
The Old City comes to life during the night with an abundant, vivid night life.
Make certain to see the vibrant bars, clubs, and coffee shops, specifically in the locations of Getsemaní, the Old Town, and Plaza de la Trinidad. Plaza de la Trinidad has a lot of food delays offering road food at affordable costs and road suppliers offering unique fruits and mementos. The square is to life with road entertainers, dance, and songs.
In the night, Plaza de San Diego likewise changes right into a dynamic night life place.
9. Visit the Palace of the Inquisition
The Palace of the Inquisition is a gallery that provides understandings right into the Spanish Inquisition’s background in Colombia. This famous spots, situated in Plaza de Bolívar in the heart of Cartagena’s walled city is not just a home window right into Colombia’s colonial past yet likewise a testimony to the durability and improvement of its individuals.
Visiting the Palace of the Inquisition in Cartagena is an extensive and informing experience, diving right into a considerable element of the city’s abundant historic tapestry.
The Palace of the Inquisition is positioned in the dynamic Plaza de Bolívar, quickly obtainable from any type of component of the Old City. Its main area makes it a practical quit for site visitors checking out the historical area.
The structure itself is a building wonder, with its baroque design, lovely frontage and unspoiled indoor yards mirroring the Spanish early american design. It was when the seat of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Cartagena, developed to evaluate and condemn heresy and various other spiritual offenses. One of the much more chilling displays consists of the tools of abuse utilized throughout the Inquisition, supplying a raw peek right into this dark duration of background.
The gallery likewise showcases a range of historic artefacts, early american art, and files that repaint a dazzling photo of life in Cartagena throughout the colonial period.
10. Explore La Popa Monastery
Exploring La Popa Monastery is an exciting trip to among Cartagena’s most famous spots, set down atop the highest possible hillside in the city it offers sensational sights of the city and residences spiritual art and artefacts. La Popa Monastery, formally referred to as the Convento de la Candelaria, provides not just a spiritual hideaway yet likewise several of one of the most impressive sights of Cartagena.
La Popa Monastery lies on La Popa Hill, the acme in Cartagena. It is quickly obtainable by taxi or a led excursion, which is suggested because of the pitch and privacy of the roadway causing the abbey. The trip to the leading deals glances of the city from various viewpoints.
Originally constructed in the 17th century, the abbey is soaked in background and has actually offered numerous functions throughout the centuries, consisting of a citadel and a spiritual facility. Inside, site visitors can see an abundant collection of spiritual art and artefacts, consisting of the popular sculpture of the Virgin of the Candelaria, the patroness of Cartagena.
Perhaps one of the most sensational attribute of La Popa Monastery is the breathtaking sight it provides of Cartagena, the Caribbean Sea, and the bordering locations, making it a great place for digital photography.
11. Go Dancing
Learn regarding neighborhood dancings like salsa and champeta. The individuals of Cartagena enjoy to dance and the very best means to submerse in the society is to head out and dance with the citizens.
If you aren’t positive regarding your dancing abilities, don’t fret! Brush up on your salsa abilities at Crazy Salsa. Their specialist dancers will certainly aid you understand your relocate no time at all and present you to this prominent Latin American dancing. Cafe Havana is an additional location that has salsa experiences where you can enjoy individuals dance or participate in.
There are trips that accommodate dancing your means around the old community and its neighborhood bars. This is an excellent excursion that consists of consuming at neighborhood road food places, a mixology course, and an evening of dance.
12. Visit the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Zenú)
Visiting the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro Zenú) in Cartagena provides a deep study Colombia’s pre-Columbian heritage. It presents a collection of gold and ceramic from the Zenú society. This gallery lies in the heart of Cartagena’s historical midtown and showcases the social background and workmanship of the Zenú aboriginal individuals.
The Gold Museum is comfortably situated in the Plaza de Bolivar, in the historical facility of Cartagena. This main area makes it quickly obtainable walking from several various other visitor destinations, resorts, and dining establishments in the Old City. Plus, the Gold Museum provides complimentary access, making it an obtainable tourist attraction for all site visitors.
The Gold Museum provides a unique possibility to comprehend the old worlds that when grew in this area.
13. Relax in the Plaza de San Diego
Relaxing in the Plaza de San Diego is a perfect Cartagena experience supplying a dynamic piece of neighborhood life. This stunning square is snuggled in the heart of Cartagena’s historical area. It is a best place to take a break and people-watch.
The plaza is bordered by a range of cafés and dining establishments, supplying a possibility to taste neighborhood Colombian food along with global recipes. The square frequently comes to life with road entertainers, artists, and musicians, including a dynamic social ambiance to the environment.
Plaza de San Diego lies within the walled city, making it quickly obtainable walking from a lot of the city’s leading tourist attractions. Its main area in the San Diego community positions it near numerous resorts, dining establishments, and stores.
14. Set Sail on a Sunset Cruise
Enjoy the seaside charm of Cartagena from the water. One of the very best points to do in any type of exotic location is to go cruising. This charming sundown cruise ship leaves from the Muelle de la Bodeguita pier before the walled city. Book it right here.
You’ll set out with the Bay of Cartagena de Indias as you pay attention to songs and absorb the sky line of magnificent Cartagena. You’ll see the Manga and Bocagrande community, Castillo Grande, and Manzanillo Island, and after that you’ll proceed along to the El Laguito community and Tierrabomba Island.
15. Stroll Along the City Walls at Sunset
If you aren’t up for striking the water, take a walk along the city wall surfaces for a sight of the historical centre from above. These wall surfaces supply an enchanting and stunning sight of the city. Make your means to Cafe del Mar for sundown alcoholic drinks.
The wall surfaces were constructed to shield from pirates as Cartagena de Indias was a calculated area and port for export to Spain.
16. Coffee sampling at San Alberto
Do a coffee sampling at Cafe San Alberto, led by third generation coffee cultivator Gustavo Villota. In the course, you will certainly find out about coffee plants and just how to refine coffee. You’ll experience a sensory workout as you appreciate newly made coffee.
This is among one of the most granted and popular specialized coffees expanded in Buenavista, Columbia. When you taste this, it simply may be the very best coffee you’ve ever before tasted. After your course, see the coffee shop listed below the class to look for high quality beans to earn.
Libertario Coffee Roasters is an additional coffee shop where you can appreciate tasty Colombian coffee. You truly can’t fail with any type of coffee shop. Colombia has fantastic coffee.
17. Rum and Chocolate Tasting at Sofitel Legend
Tempt your detects with a rum and delicious chocolate sampling at the Sofitel Legend. There you will certainly experience several of the finest aged rum in the Caribbean completely coupled with a range of tasty Colombian delicious chocolate, all curated by the somellier.
While there, absorb sights of this historical resort, which was previously a convent.
18. Visit the National Aviary
If you enjoy birds, after that see the National Aviary of Colombia Tour. It residences 135 types of wild birds and allows site visitors find out about the various types with 21 interactive terminals. Expect to see flamingos, parrots, emus, Harpy Eagles, and much more.
Where to Stay in Cartagena
Historical homes and brought back convents currently house several of the glamorous shop resorts in Cartagena.
Sleeping in quarters constructed in Spanish early american times, you will certainly discover that the majority of the spaces are focused around al fresco yards yet have actually been upgraded to house modern-day features. Here are a few of our favored areas to remain.
Casa San Augustin – The Casa San Augustin is a store resort that exhibits deluxe from its colonial-era white-washed structures to its prime area in the heart of Cartagena.
It’s 17th-century magnificence at its finest. The 20 spaces and 11 stunning collections lie in 3 residences to provide it the feeling of home.
The building information are incomparable, from the timber light beam ceilings to the spiral stairs in several of the two-story collections. Suites are provided with all the animal conveniences, bathrobes, and Ortigia Italian features.
The resort likewise consists of an enjoyable health club and a 300-year-old aqueduct in the facility of the resort with a stunning L-shaped swimming pool. Fine eating is offered in the Alma dining establishment, which likewise acts as the morning meal space in the early morning.
Casa Cochera del Gobernador – Staying at the Casa Cochera del Gobernador for 2 evenings and we might have quickly remained much more.
Located in the historical Cartagena de Indias by the Santa Catalina Cathedral and is housed in among the city’s earliest structures, going back to the 16th Century.
The spaces are perfectly assigned with glamorous bed linens and a light and ventilated feeling, providing you the ideal background for a night of remainder. A tasty morning meal is offered by pleasant personnel on the 2nd flooring, and the fresh, neighborhood fruit on the buffet is mouthwatering.
Enjoy Local Cuisine
Try conventional recipes like arepas, ceviche, and fresh fish and shellfish.
The city’s cooking scene is prospering in Cartagena. Locally sourced foods are bountiful right here.
From the bounty of the sea to the fresh, in your area expanded fruits and veggies, a lot of the neighborhood dining establishments utilize this abundant source to produce conventional recipes with an island panache. Here, you will certainly discover conventional recipes like ceviche, or Arroz con coco or Pargo Frito.
Whether you are eating at a first-class dining establishment or getting hold of a fast bite from a road supplier, you won’t be let down. In Cartagena, there is no lack of remarkable dining establishments and coffee shops to experience.
Concina de Pepina – Depending on your preferences, you can attempt the ceviche or Mote de Queso at Cocina de Pepina, for conventional Colombian price and among one of the most popular dining establishments on the north coastline.
Just make sure to arrive early, as they don’t take bookings.
Carmen Restaurant – One of my favored lunch places is Carmen Restaurant.
I liked the picture-perfect modern-day design and the lavish tree-filled patio area. Food is art at this family-run dining establishment, providing neighborhood tastes with a modern-day spin. Try the skillfully offered salads and ceviche recipes, and keys with fresh fish.
Marea by Rausch – Another waterside choice is the Upscale Marea by Rausch Restaurant. There, you can appreciate tasty watermelon salads, Ceviche, and fresh fish and shellfish recipes.
Carne fans can appreciate well-prepared beef filets offered with a glass of wine jus. Expect to appreciate Michelin-celebrity solution and food without the substantial price offered you by the popular Rausch siblings.
Book in advance for a table on the in-demand waterside balcony, where you not just obtain a remarkable river sight you can appreciate the cupolas of San Pedro Church.
Cartagena de Indias is the gem in Columbia’s crown. This seaside city is abundant with naval background and dynamic with experience, beauty, and a previous loaded with pirates.
Founded in 1533 by Spanish leader Pedro de Heredia, the city expanded thriving swiftly, and with the newly found treasures came the risk of strikes from looting sea pirates.
After several strikes, Cartagena started to shield itself by creating walled substances and castles. Many of these exist today and wait for being checked out.
Cartagena lies in Colombia, South America. The major language is Spanish. The money is the Colombian Peso: 1 USD = 3019 Colombian Pesos. See Currency Converter for updated prices. Copa Airlines provides everyday trips to Cartagena with Panama City (airline company center). Flying with Copa Airlines enables you a ‘24-hour layover in Panama’ at no additional expense. It’s an excellent possibility to see Casa Viejo and the Panama Canal.
When to see Cartagena
The weather condition continues to be continuous in Cartagena. It is warm year-round. The just points that transform are moisture and rainfall.
December to March is the very best time to see Cartagena: The weather condition is cozy throughout the day and windy during the night, and the moisture is reduced. But it is the high period so there are much more travelers. If you like night life, benches will certainly be jumping right now of year.
There is an additional second high period the week prior to Easter. It is crowded throughout this moment, and costs are much more pricey. June with September is the damp period and the best months. Temperatures array throughout the year from 24 – 32 levels Celcius. (75-91 Fahrenheit)
And since you recognize much more regarding all things to do in Cartegena, I will certainly leave you with a tale.
One of one of the most popular authors from Colombia was Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
While functioning as a reporter for El Universal, the neighborhood paper, he learnt more about the exploration of a remains of a girl with copper hair as they were refurbishing the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Hotel, a previous convent and medical facility. The crypt where she was located can still be accessed with a glass gateway at Santa Clara’s El Coro Bar.
This experience influenced his bestseller, Of Love and Other Demons.
Photo politeness: Joe Ross from Lansing, Michigan by means of Wikimedia Commons