Cartagena, also known as Cartagena de Indias, is a port city located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the capital of the Bolívar Department. The city is known for its rich history and culture, as well as its beautiful colonial-era architecture and beaches.
Cartagena is located in the northwest of the country, on the Caribbean coast, and it is surrounded by a well-preserved colonial wall. The city is a major tourist destination, known for its picturesque Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Town is home to many of Cartagena’s most popular attractions, such as the Palace of the Inquisition and the San Felipe de Barajas Castle.
The city is also known for its beaches, such as Playa Blanca and the Rosario Islands, which are located just a short boat ride from the city. Additionally, Cartagena is a popular destination for its street food, shopping, and nightlife. The city is well connected by air, road and sea, making it easy for visitors to reach.
Cartagena is also known for its festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Cartagena International Film Festival, the Hay Festival, and the Barranquilla Carnival. The best time to visit Cartagena is from December to April, when the weather is dry and sunny, making it the perfect time to explore the city and its attractions.
10 best things to do in cartagena Colombia
- The Old Town: Walking through the Old Town is one of the best ways to experience Cartagena’s rich history and culture. The streets are lined with brightly colored colonial-era buildings, many of which have been beautifully restored. Visitors can also take a tour of the city’s many churches, plazas, and museums, including the Palace of the Inquisition, which offers a glimpse into the city’s dark past.
- The Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas: This impressive fort, built in the 17th century, offers panoramic views of the city and the Caribbean Sea. The fort is also home to a small museum that tells the story of the fort’s construction and its role in the city’s history.
- The Beaches: Cartagena is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. Visitors can take a boat tour to nearby islands such as the Rosario Islands or Playa Blanca, or take a day trip to the nearby towns of Barranquilla or Santa Marta to enjoy the beaches there.
- The Street Food: Cartagena’s street food is famous for its delicious seafood and traditional Colombian dishes. Visitors can enjoy a variety of street foods such as arepas, empanadas, and ceviche.
- Shopping: Cartagena is home to a number of great markets and shops where visitors can find traditional Colombian crafts and souvenirs, including the famous Colombian emeralds.
- Nightlife: Cartagena’s nightlife is lively and vibrant, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. Visitors can enjoy live music and dance the night away in one of the many salsa clubs.
- Festivals: Cartagena is famous for its many festivals throughout the year, such as the Cartagena International Film Festival, the Hay Festival, and the Barranquilla Carnival.
- Boat Tour: Take a boat tour to see the beautiful Caribbean coastline and islands.
- Getsemani: is a colorful neighborhood located just outside the walls of the old city. It’s a great place to wander around and discover street art, bars, and restaurants.
- Visit the Palace of San Pedro Claver: this 17th-century building was once home to a Catholic priest who devoted his life to helping enslaved Africans. Now it is a museum that tells his story and the history of slavery in Cartagena.
The best time to visit Cartagena is from December to April, when the weather is dry and sunny, making it the perfect time to explore the city and its attractions.