Top destination - Why go there in Cartagena, Colombia ?

Cartagena De Indias

Cartagena De Indias - View from a speed boat
View from a speed boat

Cartagena de Indias, founded in 1533, is an old, famous and beautiful colonial city, classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. With 11km of fortifications along the Carribean coast, beaches, high end hotels and restaurants, it is the most popular touristic destination in Colombia. The old colonial town is an architectural pearl, the local meals are very tasty, and there are plenty of activities in the city and around, mostly around beach, sea and island entertainment.

  • Is tap water safe to drink in Cartagena, Colombia ?
  • Yes
  • Average prices in CO (USD - 1€ = USD$1.2209 )
  • Public transport ticket : 0.72 |
  • Taxi (5km) : 1.71 |
  • Train (200km) : n.a. |
  • Restaurant (2 persons) : 90 |
  • 5* hotel : 280 |
  • 3* hotel : 150 |
  • Appartment rent : 380 |
  • Women haircut : 14.03 |
  • Men haircut : 8.28 |
  • Weekend city break (2 persons, 1 hotel night, without flights) : 590
Amazing Amazing 6/6 (1)  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena, Colombia

 Best hotels - Where to stay in Cartagena, Colombia ?

Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillon Hotel

Radisson Cartagena Ocean Pavillon Hotel - Rooftop jacuzzi
Rooftop jacuzzi

This exceptional hotel, situated right on La Boquilla beach, offers great views from both sides, with the Caribbean sea in front, and the lake in the back. Service is exceptional, food is awesome, and hotel comes fully equipped : outdoor swimming pool, kids paddling, private beach access, lobby / pool bar, fitness room, spa, and the hotel particularity : rooftop jacuzzi. Yes !

Amazing Amazing 6/6 (1)  |No problem experienced with free wifi during the stay Perfect wifi  |Expensive-Expensive Expensive  |120 EUR  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Carrera 9 #22-850, Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia
Nearby :  La Boquilla beach   

 Finest restaurants - Where to eat in Cartagena, Colombia ?

El Balcon Eat Drink Love

El Balcon Eat Drink Love - Cocktail with square view
Cocktail with square view

Probably one of the nicest places to eat in town. El Balcon Eat Drink Love, on top of having a great name, is a restaurant on a balcony, with direct view on Plaza San Diego and its animations. Food is great, and cocktails are awesome. Go there, and do as they say: eat, drink, and love !

Great Great 5/6 (1)  |Free wifi is fine but could be better Good wifi  |Affordable-Affordable Affordable  |20000 COP  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia plaza de san diego, esquina 2º piso 130001 Cartagena, Colombia

Cafe del Mar

Cafe del Mar - Sunset behind the DJ
Sunset behind the DJ

Known locally as the best place in town to watch beautiful sunsets on the Carribean sea, it is the case ! Built on the fortifications, at a western corner, it has a large choice of food and drinks. Service can get a bit slow during peak hour, sunset time, but it allows to enjoy this beautiful sightseeing. When the sun does ends it course below the horizon, nobody can stop himself from clapping at this awesome natural spectacle. Our advice : come early, about an hour before sunset, to be able to get a good seat next to the border of the fortifications.

Good Good 4/6 (1)  |Free wifi is working, but often too slow Slow wifi  |Expensive-Expensive Expensive  |30000 COP  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Baluarte de Santo Domingo., Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia

 What to see in Cartagena, Colombia ?

Carribean sunset from the fortifications

Carribean sunset from the fortifications - Sunset on the Carribean sea
Sunset on the Carribean sea

A must do in Cartagena, is to take the time to admire an awesome natural wonder, the sunset on the Carribean sea. Cafe del mar is a place of choice, but it can be admired from many places along the 11km long fortifications. Clapping is strongly advised at the end of this beautiful spectacle !

Amazing Amazing 6/6 (1)  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena fortifications

Cartagena fortifications - Fortifications and Caribbean sea
Fortifications and Caribbean sea

With 11km of wall along the Caribbean sea, surrounding the old town, there is a lot to say about these fortifications - and even more to see. Built over centuries, to protect the Spanish city from pirates and military, mostly French and British, and the gold and silver roads, these walls have a huge history behind them, and are now a beautiful sight in the city. Great for a walk, to stop at one of the restaurant, or to admire the Caribbean sea and beautiful sunsets, the wall themselves, classified with the city as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a reason alone to visit Cartagena.

Great Great 5/6 (1)  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena, Colombia

Plaza San Diego

Plaza San Diego - Square view on central tree at night
Square view on central tree at night

For both street animation and souvenir shopping, Plaza San Diego is a good stop. It is also surrounded by beautiful buildings, comfortable terraces and restaurants offering great cuisine.

Avenida Santander beach road

Avenida Santander beach road - Waves crashing next to the road
Waves crashing next to the road

Avenida Santander in Cartagena is a long drive along the Carribean sea, passing next to many beach and points of interest along the coast. On windy days, the strong waves crashing at some points very close to the road makes it difficult to drive by - but allows for some beautiful pictures.

Institución Universitaria Bellas Artes y Ciencias de Bolívar UNIBAC

Institución Universitaria Bellas Artes y Ciencias de Bolívar UNIBAC - Front view
Front view

Just like many of the colonial era building, the Arts and Science university of Cartagena is one of the many buildings to stop to admire while going through the old town little streets.

Plaza de los estudiantes

Plaza de los estudiantes - Square view at night
Square view at night

One on the numerous beautiful squares in Cartagena, surrounded by colonial buildings, which is worth passing by and going around, wandering in the typical small streets.

 Excellent activities - What to do in Cartagena, Colombia ?

Free tours in Cartagena, Colombia

Free Getsemani Neighborhood Tour Free Walking Tour Walled City of Cartagena The Best of the Kalamari Neighborhood - Free Tour Old City Free Walking Tour! Getsemani Neighborhood Free Walking Tour San Diego Free Walking Tour FOREVER COLONIAL ! WALKING TOUR SANTO DOMINGO Walking Tour Getsemani Old Town ! Discover the Magic of the Fantastic City of Colombia. Free Tour Corralito de Piedra Getting up early to the history of Getsemani and the ancient city Free Tour: 'A Jewel Under the Colony, Historic Center'. Cartagena Free Walking Tour Fortified Cartagena de Indias

Amazing Amazing 6/6 (1)  |Cheap-Cheap Cheap  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena, Bolivar, Colombia

La Boquilla beach

La Boquilla beach - Beach north side view
Beach north side view

For a quiet and large beach on Caribbean sea in Cartagena, La Boquilla is a good choice. Not per se the most beautiful beach around, as sand is whiter elsewhere, it i nevertheless calm and secure - and, again, large ! Do try there the local beach seafood : fresh oysters and crab. 12 fresh oysters on the beach : 10000COP A fresh crab on the beach : 10000COP

Patacon on Plaza de la Trinidad

Patacon on Plaza de la Trinidad - Street patacon preparation
Street patacon preparation

Cannot visit Colombia, and especially Cartagena, without trying street food, especially patacon ! On Plaza de la Trinidad, great ones are served, for a very cheap price. Our advice : share it with friends, they are huge - and tasty

Good Good 4/6 (1)  |Cheap-Cheap Cheap  |10000 COP  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena, Colombia
Nearby :  Plaza de la Trinidad   

Isla del pirata

Isla del pirata - Arriving on the island
Arriving on the island

Isla del pirata, or Pirate island, is one of the 30 islands in Rosario archipel, off the coast of Cartagena. This beautiful island is very small - only a few huts - but offers great sightseeing, and hosts a hotel. From there, many activities are available : snorkeling, swimming, visiting over islands, trip to the oceanarium. For fish lovers, the food is a ravishment, with fresh fish perfectly cooked and with adequate sides. Our advice : do not come only for a day trip - it is so comfortable there, despite being small, that staying a night is worthy to enjoy it completely. Price for a day trip per person (boat go and back from Cartagena and lunch) : 120000COP Price for a 1h snorkeling excursion : 40000COP Price for a 1h oceanarium excursion : 40000COP

Average Average 3/6 (1)  |Free wifi is fine but could be better Good wifi  |120000 COP  |See on map of Cartagena, Colombia Isla del Pirata, Cartagena, Colombia
Nearby :  Cartagena Marina   

Cartagena Marina

Cartagena Marina - Boat ready to leave
Boat ready to leave

The marina in Cartagena is, of course, the place to reach for any island trip. It is relatively well organized. Be simply aware of one thing : arrive in advance for any boat trip, as, on top of the small security screening, it is necessary to pay a small travel tax (about 5000COP per person) at an office, even if boat tickets are already paid.

Nearby :  Isla del pirata   

Plaza de la Trinidad

Plaza de la Trinidad - Street food and animation
Street food and animation

The best street animation, any evening of the week, is on Plaza de la Trinidad ! Locals are buying beers, either from street sellers, or from one of the shops around, and like to sip it with friends, sitting on the benches or in front of the square church, while enjoying plenty of street performances, from concerts to circus or breakdance.