I will tell you Things to do in Cartagena in this travel blog. Cartagena was a feeling when I was traveling to the city. Cartagena has an incredibly long list of Pleasures. It features fantastic beaches, a stunningly colorful walled city full of incredible Spanish colonial buildings, exceptional world-class cuisine, along exciting history.
It showcases this kind of intriguing juxtaposition of modern and ancient throughout town. “Romancing the Stone” movie location was Cartagena as well as showcased in”Love in the Time of Cholera” by Nobel Prize-winning. It’s an intimate charm and mystique.
There Are Lots of awesome things to do in Cartagena, and that guide will Talk about the very top of them.
With colorful colonial buildings, tropical fruits, fresh Fish, Legendary nightlife, and famous Caribbean warmth, Cartagena is often the first city on travelers’ Colombia itinerary. If this is the first taste of Colombia, Be Ready for Sensory overload.
There’s a palpable energy that buzzes throughout the streets, and you’ll find color and culture around every turn. I can suggest you talk to locals who are living in this beautiful place, and they’ll tell you about it!
In the evenings, see as the streets fill with people and food sellers and listen to salsa music sounds until dawn. With both overseas travelers and Colombians vacationing in their home country.
If you know where to look for things and what to eat in Cartagena, we think you will come to love this vibrant city by the ocean. Two segments: the modern skyscrapers and condos of the city and the pastel colonial structure of the Old City.
While the Caribbean Heat may be a lot to handle sometimes, you’ll definitely want a couple of days to Research what this city has to offer.
A Concise History
The French tried to invade in 1563, followed closely by the English and Dutch within the following Century. In the 17th Century, Cartagena turned into a hub for the slave trade in the Americas. It was a critical port for the export of silver in Peru to Spain. During the 1800s, Cartagena headed the fee for Colombian independence from Spain, succeeding in 1821. Cartagena is the fifth-largest, most prominent city in Colombia.
This city is home to around one million people in town and the surrounding region. Cartagena is the nation’s biggest port city and a substantial exporter of coffee, sugar, platinum, and fabrics because of these exports the city saw a lot of violence in the 20th Century civil war.
It continues to prosper as an economic hub for the nation. Because of this, it is among the hottest tourist destinations in Colombia. Mainly because of the tourist on cruise ships, even though many tourists do flock to the place by themselves.
UNESCO World Heritage Website
” It’s regarded as an”Outstanding Universal Value.” According to UNESCO, “Cartagena is located on northern Colombian coastline on a beautiful blue water Caribbean Sea, Cartagena de Indias’s city boasts the most extensive and among the most complete systems of military fortifications in South America.”
Supply: UNESCO Site.
I got to know UNESCO websites to be exciting and rich with history. I really hunt them out in the regions that I travel to and find they’re worth seeing.
Inside the Colorful Walled City
Cartagena’s region inside the city walls is a number of the most scenic areas of the city. This vibrant and quaint place is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Inside the walls it packed with background, providing for several things to see and do.
You can spend days just wandering this place finding a new preferred road or building. Various articles are showcasing the many instagrammable places. It gives a fantastic break in the very active and suburban area of the old city.
Peter Claver was a priest and Spanish Jesuit Missionary that invited people to look at the slaves arriving in town in the 1600s as Christians. He worked on this assignment eternally 40 decades. Claver fulfilled the new slaves in the interface with meals and medicine. Headed them adapting to life in the Americas and has been called the “patron saint of slaves.”
ClockTower (La Torre de Reloj) and Carriage Plaza (Plaza de Los Coches)
One of Cartagena’s old walled town entrances is the Clock Tower. Entrances will take you to the Getsemani area into the Old City through a drawbridge. The name of the Bridge is Boca del Puerto (the mouth of this Bridge). It’s among the city’s most renowned landmarks, and also the neoclassical tower has been included in the 1850s.
Many vendors line the tunnels throughout the wall selling books and memorabilia. This is the iconic square you will find taxi stand also slaves were sold and bought in this place.
There’s still a bustling market each day where Palenque (girls from the city of Palenque) promote their candies. The Clock Tower is found in the southern region of the old city.
Playa Blanca is one of Colombia’s most amazing beaches. Situated on Baru island, it’s 45 minutes by boat from Cartagena port or about a two-hour vehicle journey from the central city. Crystal-clear waters lap the white sand, and people have the choice to spend a day relaxing with this incredible shore.
Come for the day and take advantage of some yummy fresh fish served alongside coconut rice. Stay the night, and you can enjoy the shore in total stillness and quiet once all of the day-trippers leave. In any event, a trip to the beach is essential for anyone spending more than a day in Cartagena.
Have a Free Walking Tour
Are quite a few free walking tour alternatives, and that I urge Past Colombia. The excursion begins just outside the city walls in Mártires Square and strikes each of the prime places within the city walls.
The manuals are plentiful and supply a good deal of fantastic information regarding this town’s history, the people, and Cartagena things. At most of the suggested tourist destinations. This TourTour offers a fantastic orientation to the city and is well worth doing. The TourTour matches in the large statue of Camellón in p Los Mártires Square (White Umbrellas). Tours are just two hours.
And Spanish (the Spanish excursion is solely in 10 per day ). This excursion is complimentary and Takes pleasure in the excursion, or involving 30-35,000 COP).
Museo de Oro
Virtually every big Colombia town has a gold museum. Also, Cartagena isn’t any exclusion. Even though the town is small, gold of the Zenú (also called Sinú) individuals, who inhabited the sections of Bolívar, Córdoba, Sucre, and northern Antioquia before the Spanish Conquest. Consider special exhibitions as well as the guided tours, provided in both Spanish and English.
Hang around in La Boquilla
La Boquilla is a fishing village outside Cartagena. It lacks aesthetics in credibility and character since it is the beach preferred by neighborhood Cartagena local. Should you go back on the weekend, you will find it heaving with Cartagena residents who’ve come to kick back, take some beer and sunbathe.
The food available is excellent. You can feast some freshly caught yummy fish and try the local delicacy Arroz con coco (rice with coconut).
San Pedro Claver Church
San Pedro Claver ChurchJust is the historic church, San Pedro Claver, with the other fine surrounding square around the corner. If you face the church in the plaza, it will be the Modern Art Museum on the left side if you want to hang around for a bit.
Plaza de Santo Domingo and Plaza Bolívar
There are 16 squares in the old city area of Cartagena within town walls? Plaza Bolívar or Plaza de Bolívar is a gorgeous oasis in the middle of this old city since it’s usually understood. It’s full of mature trees and many fountains. It is a neighborhood hangout and has entertainment typically in the evening together with singers and dancers valued by locals and tourists alike.
Since it’s in the shadow of the Cathedral, then afterward Plaza Mayor, followed by the plaza de la Inquisicion. In 1896this square had been renamed plaza Bolívar following a statue of El Libertador Simón Bolívar had been installed.
It’s been called that since. Plaza Bolívar was full of lovely white lights along with white-light butterflies once I was there in December. Get your very first sighting of a mythical Botero statue in. Interestingly, facing a church and nestled between numerous restaurants and shops would be your beautiful la Gorda Gertrudis.
She’s a nude statue with average Botero exaggerated parts. It’s assumed to be blessed to touch her breast, and you’ll find that you are in great company with people who did award the bright shininess of it. Check out the other squares within the city center and see the
Chocolate Museum (Museo del Cacao)
How can you possibly go wrong with this particular museum? As an enormous chocolate enthusiast, I guess I am possibly biased! It gives several tours and workshop choices, both paid and free, which provide many interesting stories and details about chocolate.
Obviously! Discover the history of chocolate, how it’s created, as well as the health advantages. You will find rooms with interactive learning opportunities so that it’s an excellent location for all ages. It’s an excellent shop showcasing locally-made chocolate bars, hot chocolate, assorted chocolates, which also provides a great deal of tasting chances to try before purchasing. Chocolate Museum open daily from 10 am to 10 pm.
For More Information, see the Chocolate Museum site.
Watch the Sunset
Cafe del Mar Is a Superb Spot to See The sunset out of its place on the city walls. It is well worth taking a stroll, then get there first to evaluate a prime seat to see the sun go down along with your favorite local beer or pisco sour. The drinks are a bit pricy here (USD 10+ for a mixed drink), but you are paying for the opinion. Cafe
Del Mar is placed on the old town wall in Baluarte de Santo Domingo, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia. Another excellent spot to watch the sunset would be at the top Of the Sofia Hotel. Sit on the beautiful rooftop from the pool sipping a cocktail, And see the sunset. Cartagena, Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar, Colombia.
Dine on Locally-Caught Tasty Fish
Cartagena is correct on the sea so that you know you’re getting the freshest of fish where you move. The excellent part about
it is that you pretty much can not go wrong with anything you purchase. Fish can be served as a la plancha (grilled) with fresh herbs, fried garlic sauce, or coconut sauce. Frequent accompaniments are little green lemons, plantain green plantain, and sweet coconut rice.
Frequently fish is included in the soups. Cazuela de mariscos (seafood stew) is a regional Cartagena favorite, frequently including shrimp, calamari, and clams. And needless to say, there’s ceviche, fish treated in citrus juice.
Don’t forget to enjoy Street Art.
There’s a Good Deal of street art in Cartagena. However, the artwork in Getsemani is just breathtaking and is everywhere! There are a couple of roads that have it lining a lot of the road. It is imaginative, engaging, and magnificent. This historical Neighborhood is well worth seeing.
The artistic ability represented on the walls of this component of the town is well worth a look. You can get lost In the rear alleys at your own rate, or you could join a guided free road art tour which begins at 10 am every day. The Tour is in English language and lasts for two hours. Sure to tip your guide in the end!
Plaza de la Trinidad
Plaza Trinidad is a Special spot to go in the day, and by night it is worth taking some time to research this lively area. The church around the square is impressive also.
Mártires Square and the Harbor
Mártires Square offers a fantastic view of The Clock Tower and the entry to Cartagena’s old town. By day, there are plenty of little seller tents selling local products and handicrafts. There’s a steady stream of people passing through this square, and it is a beautiful location for neighborhood people watching. When you Require a Rest in the foot Traffic, walk to the harbor and respect the twin Pegasys figurines near the water.
Playa del Bocagrande
Dip your feet within the sand as you’re visiting Cartagena. Playa del Bocagrande is where to go! It’s only a brief cab ride in the walled city. Playa del Bocagrande delivers the closest shore on a very long strip of plain water.
You get views of this uber-modern region of the town in Bocagrande. There’s a walking trail by the water you will observe tourists and locals on. Or you may walk the sandy beach and revel in the sea views.
Mercado de Bazurto
Drive in the old walled town and across the street from Cienaga de Las Quintas Lake. It showcases unlimited stalls with vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, and everything you could imagine. If it could be marketed, it is here. Vendors begin setting up at two am, and just-caught fish is put up early morning to help you know it’s brand new.
That is no tourist marketplace but a marketplace for the sailors and, therefore, a fantastic people-watching experience. It isn’t a good idea to accept any flavors as things aren’t nicely cleaned.
The ones washed in water could lead to stomach upset if you aren’t utilized to the local water. Do make purchases, but intend to cook or peel off the things before eating. And Naturally, be Conscious of your surroundings and keep a close handle In your own bags.
Though this sector isn’t appropriate for everybody, it’s considered a number of the most important things to do in Cartagena.
Day Trips around Cartegena
There are many thoughtful things to do in Cartagena. You will find quite a couple of day trips that are worth doing if you’ve got a few additional days. Below are a few of the ideal.
Totumo Mud Volcano
The Totumo sand volcano is a favorite half-day excursion from Cartagena. There are quite a few excursions that will deal with the logistics of pickup and fall off, allowing for some opportunity to soak in the sand. This tour supplies for transport only, in which there are various other tours which provide lunch too for an extra price.
First freed town in the Americas. This village of only 3,500 individuals is around one hour from Cartagena. These individuals escaped Cartagena and the surrounding regions in the 17th Century and established the town of Palenque. Just San Basilio survives into the present day while holding its unique cultural heritage intact Heritage Site.
Learn more about the town using a native, find some Palenque terminology, and play music with a locally famous and world-recognized musician. It’s a day excursion you will never forget and one of the top things to do in Cartagena.
I Urge Juan Ballena tours for USD 99. They will pick you up and return to the location you are staying, Pushed to Palenque, get a local guide, and get a huge and delicious lunch.
Tayrona National Park
Even though this isn’t a day trip, I highly suggest a trip to Parque Tayrona. It’s a 5-hour bus journey into the park and really worth seeing the stunning Tayrona National Park. Tayrona National Park found within Santa Marta, the oldest town in Colombia, along with the 2nd oldest town in South America. Spanish found this place in 1525.
Tayrona Park provides a lot of the biodiversity in Colombia of fauna and flora, with a selection of tropical beaches to lush jungles. There’s also an archaeological ruin called Pueblito to see. Tayrona provides a number of the most picturesque scenery in the nation.
Best restaurants in the Walled City
LaCevecheria provides incredible ceviche and showcases a film of my favorite traveling documentarian, Anthony Bourdain.
MontesacroResto Bar is a fantastic restaurant with fantastic service and incredible food. You can find a balcony chair overlooking the beautiful PlazaBolívar.
Porton Desan Sebastian is a fantastic alternative in the old city, new Plaza Santo Domingo.
I will recommend local food are awesome and very inexpensive. Grab a drink in addition to the old town wall in Cafe del Mar to watch the sunset across the sea.
Where to Stay in Cartagena
Staying inside the colorful walled city of Cartagena is a straightforward option. There are many unique accommodations to select from, including hotels, flats and Airbnb’s, and a few hostels. The resorts are more small and large local and boutique-style resorts.
I opted to remain in this region of the town for advantage. Since I had been visiting for only a couple of days, it was a handy spot to tour the region. It’s generally safe also.
Only a Brief drive from the old town of Cartagena is your Bocagrande Neighborhood. It is a Really modern place along quite a long time Sandy shore with palm-lined promenades. There Are Lots of large, modern resorts in This place, and there’s a whole lot to do, including thriving nightlife.
Bocagrande has many casinos and tons of restaurants ranging from fast-food chains to locally-owned areas. You can also do lots of shopping out of local boutiques and an upscale mall. This is only one of the priciest places in town but has all the conveniences of its own contemporary affluence.
This area seemed somewhat less crowded than the old walled city area and is merely a 15-minute walk or so from this area. There are a whole lot of little hotels and hostels in addition to apartments to pick from. The rates are a bit lower on average, and it is somewhat quieter. However, there are tons of restaurants and shops, so there’s still lots to do in the region.
Cartagena Weather and When to Visit
Cartagena weather is quite hot and humid throughout the year. It could be cloudy and overcast during that period. The dry period, generally in December and January, and July and August, is frequently windy. Temperatures vary from 76 degrees Fahrenheit to 88 degrees and may vary by a couple of degrees in each direction.
The very best time to go to Cartagena is only after the high season (In March) and June to August. The very best time for the nation as a whole is between December and March. This is since it rains the least during those months, particularly in the Andean areas. That can be Colombia’s peak tourist time, and costs soar at this moment.
Why You Should Visit Cartagena
Cartagena is a favorite tourist destination in Colombia, and it’s easy to see why! Its proximity to the shore, natural beauty and vibrant, exciting architecture, history, and also the very long list of adventurous things to do in Cartagena make it a favorite spot to see.
What actually makes Colombia stand out, however, are the folks. When there’s 1 thing you have to know concerning Colombia, the people are actually the most appealing reason to proceed.
Colombia is a colorful and beautiful country, but the people are very kind and proud of the culture, and I always saw curiosity in their faces. They’re the reason to see, and they’re why you’ll fall in love with the nation.