What to do in Cartagena?

What to do in Cartagena?

What to do in Cartagena? We list our favorites, our experiences, but also a few disappointments.


Welcome to Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias, a pretty colonial town on the country’s Caribbean coast, 1 hour’s flight from Medellín. It’s hard not to fall under its spell, with its old churches, cobbled streets and history. Let yourself be tempted by a few days’ getaway to enhance your stay.

I invite you to read all our other articles on Colombia to help you prepare for your trip:


From the moment we arrived, we felt right at home in Cartagena. Here there’s an air of Cuba: colorful facades, salsa in the street, Afro blacks strolling the streets… all that’s missing are old cars and cigars! It’s simple: we loved strolling through the narrow streets, stopping off in the city’s small parks, like the one at Centanario where we saw a sloth and land iguanas. parc BolivarA shady spot to escape the sweltering heat, or walk along the ramparts of the citadel!



Get lost in the city, wander streets like Arsenal, one of Cartagena’s most picturesque streets, with its cafés, bars, restaurants, numerous terraces, boutiques and nightclubs. As you walk, you’ll pass by the place of the douane but also place des fiacres at the entrance to the citadel, where you’ll discover the palenqueras, These women, often wearing yellow tops and long red and yellow skirts, sell you fruit. Today, it’s more folklore than traditional costume, but it’s so beautiful to see! You’ll have to buy fruit to take the photo… unless you’re very discreet and clever!



At the 4 corners of a street, a fruit seller tries to sell you his exotic fruits, a horse-drawn carriage passes by and then you come across some pretty boutiques. It’s very hot in Cartagena, averaging 35 degrees, which is perfect for settling down on the many terraces in the old town to sip a maracuja juice or enjoy an artisanal Italian gelato at Gelateria Tramonti. (4-50 Ayos Street). A delight for the taste buds, and our favourite place for a sweet break! I love the Getsemani district. The facades are colorful, and the street art district is absolutely splendid.



Cartagena is also the starting point for a visit to the iles de Rosario which honestly disappointed us! In the many tourist agencies, you will see photos of the paradisiacal beach of Playa Blanca but what a tourist factory! We explain it all here.



In terms of accommodation, Cartagena abounds with lodgings, with many hostals or hospedaje concentrated on the avenue of the Half Moon. In the historic district, you’ll find more pretty colonial houses converted into hotels, and you’ll be right in the center. We were staying 10 minutes’ walk from the center, in the hotel Casa Salomé. Cross the big bridge “Heredia Bridge” and you’ll be there. The hotel was really cheap, clean and next to the shopping center falabel (rue Pie del Cerro Cra.14 No. 31-02)

If you’re in the mood for a good breakfast we recommend going to Castellana D&F, a pretty spot on the corner of Calle media Luna and Calle de la Sierpe. This is also where we made a cooking class and we rushed into the Bazurto market for a culinary experience.




  • Airport cab-> downtown will cost you around 14,000 pesos. Ask for rates at the official airport counter.
  • Cartagena bus -> Santa Marta en Colectivo with the company Marsoles, allow 4 hours for the journey and 46 000 pesos/p


Before you leave, don’t forget to read all our other articles on Colombia to help you prepare for your trip:



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