Close up view of the Church of St. Peter Claver in Cartagena, Colombia
STORYBOOK CHARM WITH A TROPICAL TWIST

Cruise to Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena de Indias boasts romantic colonial architecture and a Caribbean coast glittering in shades of bright white and aquamarine. Saunter through the leafy Plaza de Bolivar, photographing multicolored streets like Calle Segunda de Badillo. Cruise to Cartagena to dance to the beat of merengue, salsa and Colombia's very own cumbia at places like Bazurto Social Club. Discover Proclamation Square, where the town people gathered in 1811 in support of the declaration of independence from Spain, and walk the 16th-century fortifications of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. Enjoy Cartagena's natural grandeur on its many beaches, like Bocagrande, Playa Blanca and placid Rosario Islands National Park, just 45 minutes away from the city.
National Language Spanish
Currency Accepted Colombian Peso (COP)

Things To Do in Cartagena

Buildings with balconies lining a street in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia, Street view

Walk This Way

Walk This Way

Get to know Cartagena by foot with any of the many walking tours available and learn about the city's history and charm while discovering every colonial nook. Visit the Palace of the Inquisition, the San Felipe de Barajas Castle and the chocolate or emerald museums. Only a walk will allow you the time and space to see them.

Small boats anchored close to shore at Islas de Roasario, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia, Isla de Rosario

Soothing Shores

Soothing Shores

Get to Bocagrande and see a Colombian version of a Miami strip, clad with trendy shops and stylish sky-rises. Or head to Playa Blanca or Rosario Islands for clear waters and blinding bright sand and be lulled by the gentle waves.

An outdoor market under a covered walkway in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia, Market

Market Finds

To get a real local experience head to the bustling Mercado de Bazurto, where you can find fresh local fruits like Mamey, Cherimoya and Lulo or have a plate full of seafood — try the popular crab rice — for less than $5.

Two arepas rellenas filled with shredded beef

Cartagena, Colombia, Arepas rellenas

Local Cuisine

Cartagena proudly serves some of the best seafood in the country. Caribbean and Latin American flavors blend in dishes like ceviche, arepas rellenas (corn pancakes filled with meat) and pandebono (cheese bread). Don't miss Mila Pasteleria and Gelateria Paradiso for local sweets like coconut cake layered with dulce de leche and gelato made with mamey, a local fruit with a creamy texture and sweet pumpkin-like flavor.

Traditional hats for sale in Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia, Traditional hats for sale

Shopping

Walk to Casa Chiqui, This is Cartagena or Abaco Libreria and Cafe for local books, crafts and coffee. Cruise to Cartagena and stroll the Mercado for trinkets like traditional Colombian hats. If you're looking for jewelry, Cartagena is one of the world's largest producers of emeralds. Go to Lucy Jewelry to find your very own precious stone.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote extensively about Cartagena. Bring with you some of his quotes and try to find the spots he wrote so passionately about.
2 Take a short cooking class and learn some Colombian recipes you can take home with you.

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