• Menu
  • Menu
colourful buildings in cartagena colombia

Top Activities to Explore in Cartagena

Nestled along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Cartagena stands as a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its colourful colonial architecture, vibrant street life, and pristine beaches, this enchanting city offers a plethora of experiences for travellers seeking adventure, relaxation, and immersion in Colombian culture. Whether you’re wandering through the historic Old Town, lounging on sun-kissed beaches, or sampling delectable Caribbean cuisine, Cartagena promises an unforgettable journey. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in this gem of the Caribbean.

Wander Through the Historic Old Town

Step back in time as you explore the cobblestone streets and centuries-old plazas of Cartagena’s historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the colonial architecture adorned with colourful facades, intricate balconies, and wooden shutters, and wander through charming squares like Plaza Bolivar and Plaza de la Aduana. Don’t miss the chance to visit iconic landmarks such as the imposing Castillo San Felipe de Barajas and the majestic Cathedral of Cartagena.

Explore the Walled City

Marvel at the impressive fortifications that once protected Cartagena from pirates and invaders as you stroll along the ancient walls of the city. Walk along the 16th-century ramparts for panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the city skyline, and snap photos of the iconic Clock Tower Gate, the main entrance to the walled city. For a unique perspective, take a sunset horse-drawn carriage ride around the historic centre and soak up the romantic atmosphere.

Relax on the Beaches of Bocagrande and Playa Blanca

Escape the urban bustle and unwind on the sun-drenched shores of Bocagrande and Playa Blanca, two of Cartagena’s most popular beaches. Sink your toes into the soft golden sands, swim in the turquoise waters, or simply lounge under a palm tree with a refreshing cocktail in hand. For a day trip from Cartagena, hop on a boat to Playa Blanca, a pristine stretch of coastline known for its powdery white sands and crystal-clear waters.

Discover the Charms of Getsemani

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Getsemani, Cartagena’s hip and eclectic neighbourhood located just outside the walled city. Explore colourful street art murals, browse boutique shops selling handmade crafts and designer clothing, and sample traditional Colombian cuisine at one of the neighbourhood’s many cafes and restaurants. In the evening, experience the lively nightlife scene as the streets come alive with music, dancing, and laughter.

Visit the Rosario Islands

Escape to paradise on a day trip to the Rosario Islands, a stunning archipelago located just off the coast of Cartagena. Spend your day snorkelling among vibrant coral reefs, swimming in crystal-clear lagoons, and lounging on pristine beaches fringed with palm trees. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Oceanarium, a marine park where you can swim with dolphins, feed stingrays, and learn about the diverse marine life of the Caribbean Sea.

Sample Colombian Cuisine

Indulge your taste buds with the flavours of Colombian cuisine at Cartagena’s bustling street markets, seafood restaurants, and gourmet eateries. Feast on traditional dishes such as arepas, empanadas, and ceviche, and savour the bold flavours of Caribbean-inspired cuisine infused with fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and aromatic spices. Be sure to try local specialties like fried plantains, coconut rice, and patacones, and wash it all down with a refreshing glass of aguapanela or a cold cerveza.

Experience the Magic of a Chiva Party Bus

Join the fiesta on a traditional Chiva party bus and experience the vibrant rhythms and lively atmosphere of Colombian culture. Dance to the beat of live music played by local musicians, sip on rum cocktails, and soak up the festive ambiance as you cruise through the streets of Cartagena. With its colourful decorations and open-air seating, the Chiva bus offers a unique and unforgettable way to explore the city and connect with its vibrant spirit.

Take a Day Trip to the Mud Volcano of Totumo

Embark on a unique adventure to the mud volcano of Totumo, located just outside Cartagena. Climb to the top of the volcano and descend into the warm, mineral-rich mud pit below, where you can float effortlessly and enjoy a natural mud bath. Afterward, rinse off in the nearby lagoon and relax on the sandy shores while soaking up the healing properties of the volcanic mud.

Explore the San Felipe de Barajas Castle

Delve into Cartagena’s rich history with a visit to the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, the largest and most impressive fortress ever built by the Spanish in the Americas. Explore the labyrinthine tunnels and passageways of this formidable stronghold, and learn about its strategic importance in defending the city against attacks by pirates and invaders. Climb to the top of the fortress for panoramic views of Cartagena and the surrounding coastline.

Attend a Traditional Colombian Dance Show

Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms and colourful costumes of Colombian dance with a traditional folkloric show. Watch as talented dancers perform traditional dances such as cumbia, vallenato, and salsa, and marvel at the intricate footwork and energetic choreography. Join in the fun and learn a few steps yourself, or simply sit back and enjoy the spectacle as you soak up the cultural richness of Colombia.

Explore Cartagena

From exploring historic landmarks to relaxing on sun-drenched beaches and savouring delicious Colombian cuisine, Cartagena offers a wealth of experiences for travellers seeking adventure, relaxation, and immersion in Caribbean culture. So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and let the enchanting beauty and vibrant spirit of Cartagena captivate your heart and soul.

The Travel Pub

At The Travel Pub, we believe that the journey is just as important as the destination. Our mission is to ignite your wanderlust, inspire your travel dreams, and provide you with the tools and knowledge to make those dreams a reality. So, grab your virtual passport and embark on a journey with us. Together, let's raise our glasses and toast to a world waiting to be explored!

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *