Cartagena is unlike any other city in Colombia. Because it is located on the Caribbean coast, life is vibrant, warm, and colourful. The streets are awash with rainbow colors, from the colorful houses and hanging bougainvilleas to the street vendors selling fresh fruits. It’s like a painting. This comprehensive travel guide will show you all the best things to do in Cartagena (Colombia).
There are several places to discover and learn more about this place. So, if you’re visiting and taking flights from Denver to Cartagena, then take a stroll of the entire city and find out what’s hidden in those tiny bustling streets. Also, book your tickets with Lowest Flight Fare to avail impressive deals.
Things to Do in Cartagena, Colombia
Welcome to Cartagena de Indias! The culture shifts here from the bustle of modern cities like Bogotá to amazing tropical vibes, colonial buildings and a more relaxed lifestyle. Because of the location on the Caribbean coast, life is slower here than elsewhere in Colombia. Also, temperatures are much higher here than elsewhere.
Despite the heat, Cartagena still offers many amazing things, such as learning more about the Spanish colonial past or simply relaxing on its beautiful beaches.
Playa Blanca (Baru Islands)
Isla Baru (Baru Island), is one of the most accessible of the many islands off the coast from Cartagena. It’s not as luxurious or tropical as other islands in the region (for instance, the Rosario Islands), but it has a vibrant atmosphere that is hard to beat. On weekends, people come to this place to relax on the sandy beaches and swim in the blue waters.
Baru Islands Day Trip
This is one of Cartagena’s top attractions! You can take a 45-minute boat ride from the city to reach the island. Here you will enjoy breathtaking views of Cartegena’s skyline. Once you get there, you can relax on the sunbeds or rent a jetski at Playa Blanca.
The beach can be crowded during peak hours. We recommend that you leave as soon as possible to get the island’s quietest hours. It’s still an enjoyable thing to do in Cartegena, even if there are more people.
How to get to Isla Baru
You can reach Isla Baru by booking a boat trip to Playa Blanca. Round trip tickets cost approximately 15 to 25 USD. For a slightly higher price, many tours offer drinks, lunches, and sunbeds.
You can also travel by bus or car over the bridge connecting the island and the mainland.
Spend the night at Playa Blanca
We recommend that you stay at one of the many hotels located on the island if your goal is to enjoy the peace and tranquility of Isla Baru. Day trips to Cartagena end at 4PM. This allows you to watch the sunset from one of Colombia’s most stunning beaches.
Tip: Isla Baru’s touristic atmosphere means that there are many people who want to make a living. For example, people selling souvenirs or ladies selling massages. You might be touched by them before you even ask for a massage. You can either say “no” very clearly, or agree to a price before you ask for a massage. Furthermore, you should bring cash to Isla baru, as ATMs on the island charge steep fees.
Getsemani is the best place to be during your stay in Cartagena. You will find some of the best cafés and restaurants in this vibrant, artistic neighborhood. It’s also the most affordable neighborhood, meaning you can enjoy tasty meals and stay at beautiful accommodation for half the price. It is also right next to Cartagena’s old walls, making it ideally located.
You can spend a couple of hours wandering the charming streets filled with colorfully painted houses, decorated with bunting, street art, hanging umbrellas and street art.
Cartagena’s old walls are a top attraction and hold great historical value. They are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in the city. They are built around the historic old city to provide protection from any future attacks.
People climb the walls to enjoy the amazing views of the new city. It’s amazing to be able to see the city’s skyscrapers lit up at night.
Sunset over the Walls at Cartagena de Indias
Tourists and locals both love sunset! Everybody comes here in the evening to grab a spot and have a few beers while watching the sun set with their friends.
You can also find excellent restaurants right on the walls, where you can order a drink or eat. The location means that the prices can be quite high. If you are on a tight budget, it is advisable to bring your own drink or picnic. This is the top thing to do while you’re cooled by the sea breeze.
The more luxurious side of Cartagena is located in the middle of the city, within the city walls. You will find beautiful historical buildings which house fancy restaurants and high-end hotels. All homes have cute balconies and flowers, which adds to the tropical feel.
It is a beautiful area with charming churches and green parrots in the trees. You could mistakenly think you are in a Southern European town.
It is only the Colombian women in brightly-colored, fruit-adorned dresses that make it stand out. For a small fee of between 5000 and 10,000k, you can purchase beautiful fruit at a low price or take a picture.
Sunset Cruise to Cartagena
Sailing is a top activity in Cartagena due to its maritime history. Many boats dock in the bustling harbour, including fishing boats and cruise ships.
You can’t go wrong with the seas if you are looking for things to do in Cartagena. You can take a sunset cruise to see the stunning views of Cartagena’s skyline and the ocean. Furthermore, you’ll also be able to see the city lit up at night. The best part is that you can escape the heat by being on the water, which is possible due to the high temperatures in Cartagena.
Take some time to explore the splendid attractions of this place, and make your trip worthwhile. While booking your flights from Miami to Georgetown, Guyana, don’t just fool around restaurants and tall buildings. Instead, take a good note of what’s under the table.