Welcome to Cartagena, a vibrant city nestled on the coast of Colombia’s Caribbean Sea. With its rich history, beautiful beaches, and bustling nightlife, Cartagena is a destination that captures the hearts of travelers from around the world. From wandering through the historic streets of the Old City to indulging in delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this enchanting city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cartagena is a vibrant city located on the coast of Colombia’s Caribbean Sea.
  • The city offers a rich history, beautiful beaches, and a lively nightlife.
  • Explore the charming Old City and its colorful streets lined with bougainvillea.
  • Indulge in Cartagena’s diverse culinary scene, from traditional Colombian cheese bread to mouthwatering seafood.
  • Relax and soak up the sun on Cartagena’s stunning beaches, such as Playa Blanca.

Explore Cartagena’s Culinary Delights

When it comes to food, Cartagena has an exciting culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds. From traditional Colombian delicacies to international flavors, there is something to satisfy every palate.

One of the must-visit restaurants in Cartagena is La Esquina del Pandebono, where you can indulge in the mouthwatering traditional Colombian cheese bread. This local favorite is baked fresh daily and is perfect for a quick snack or a light meal. For coffee lovers, Abaco Café is a must-visit spot. Not only can you enjoy a strong cup of coffee, but you can also immerse yourself in Colombian literature with their extensive collection of books.

If you’re craving seafood, make sure to visit Restaurante Donjuan. Known for their delectable fish and shellfish dishes, this restaurant offers a true taste of the sea. And don’t leave Cartagena without trying the local specialty, stewed goat in coconut juice. This unique dish is a true reflection of Cartagena’s culinary heritage and is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Table: Top Restaurants in Cartagena

Restaurant Cuisine Specialty
La Esquina del Pandebono Traditional Colombian Cheese bread
Abaco Café Coffee and Literature Strong coffee
Restaurante Donjuan Seafood Stewed goat in coconut juice

“Cartagena’s culinary scene is a true reflection of its vibrant culture and rich history. From traditional Colombian flavors to international cuisines, there is no shortage of delicious options to explore and indulge in.” – Chef Maria Martinez

So, whether you’re a foodie looking to discover new flavors or simply someone who enjoys good food, Cartagena’s culinary delights are sure to leave you satisfied and craving for more.

Experience the Vibrant Nightlife of Cartagena

When the sun sets in Cartagena, the city comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. From pulsating salsa clubs to trendy rooftop bars, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a music lover, a partygoer, or simply looking to soak up the lively atmosphere, Cartagena offers a wide range of options to make your nights unforgettable.

Get Your Salsa Groove On

For those who love to dance, the Havana Club in the Getsemani neighborhood is a must-visit. This iconic salsa club is known for its energetic atmosphere and live music, featuring the sounds of son Cubano and mambo. Put on your dancing shoes and join in the fun as the locals show off their impressive moves on the dance floor.

Upscale Venues and Stunning Views

If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, head to La Movida, a popular nightclub known for its rumba and house music. Dance the night away in style as you enjoy the sleek ambiance and energetic beats. For breathtaking views of the city, make your way to Alquimico, voted the best bar in South America. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails while taking in the panoramic vistas from the rooftop bar.

A Taste of Cartagena’s Local Bars

For a taste of the local bar scene, don’t miss Demente, a trendy bar in Getsemani known for its laid-back vibe and creative cocktails. If you’re a rum enthusiast, head to El Arsenal, where you can sample a wide variety of premium rums in a cozy and intimate setting. And for a unique experience, make your way to El Barón, a speakeasy-style bar hidden inside a restored colonial house. With its vintage decor and handcrafted libations, this hidden gem is sure to impress.

Club/Bar Location Highlights
Havana Club Getsemani Live salsa music, energetic atmosphere
La Movida Centro Rumba and house music, upscale vibe
Alquimico Centro Best bar in South America, stunning rooftop views
Demente Getsemani Trendy bar, creative cocktails
El Arsenal Centro Premium rum selection, cozy atmosphere
El Barón Centro Speakeasy-style bar, vintage decor

Whether you’re dancing the night away, enjoying stunning views, or sipping on handcrafted cocktails, the vibrant nightlife of Cartagena will leave you wanting more. Explore the city after dark and discover why it’s a destination that truly knows how to have a good time.

Shop Till You Drop in Cartagena

When it comes to shopping, Cartagena is a true paradise. The city offers a wide range of unique boutiques and artisan craft stores, where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures to take home. Whether you’re looking for fashion, accessories, or home decor, Cartagena has something for everyone.

Cartagena’s Best Boutiques

If you’re a fan of handmade items and supporting local artisans, be sure to visit Artesanias de Colombia on Calle del Estanco del Tabaco. Here, you can browse a variety of crafts made by talented Colombian artisans, including textiles, ceramics, and jewelry.

For those seeking natural and sustainable products, Loto del Sur is a must-visit. They specialize in creating amazing natural soaps, scents, and creams using locally sourced ingredients. These products are not only good for your skin but also for the environment.

If you’re looking for colorful and vibrant accessories, Casa Chiqui is the place to go. They offer a wide selection of handwoven bags and clothing from around the world, including traditional Colombian designs. You’ll find something unique and stylish to add to your wardrobe.

High-End Fashion and Jewelry

If you’re in the mood for some luxury shopping, Cartagena has you covered. Make sure to visit Agua by Agua Bendita and Silvia Tcherassi, two renowned Colombian fashion designers. Their boutiques showcase exquisite designs that blend traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics.

For unique and statement jewelry pieces, check out Mercedes Salazar and Cano Jewellery. Their collections are inspired by Colombia’s rich cultural heritage and will truly make a statement. These pieces are perfect for adding a touch of elegance and individuality to your outfits.

Boutique Specialty
Artesanias de Colombia Handmade crafts by local artisans
Loto del Sur Natural soaps, scents, and creams
Casa Chiqui Handwoven bags and clothing
Agua by Agua Bendita High-end fashion
Silvia Tcherassi High-end fashion
Mercedes Salazar Unique jewelry pieces
Cano Jewellery Unique jewelry pieces

Whether you’re looking to support local artists, find sustainable products, or indulge in high-end fashion, Cartagena’s shopping scene has it all. So, get ready to shop till you drop as you explore the vibrant boutiques and artisan stores of this captivating city.

Find Your Perfect Stay in Cartagena

When it comes to accommodations, Cartagena offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s needs. Whether you’re looking for old-school charm, boutique vibes, or modern luxury, this vibrant city has it all.

Casa San Agustin: For those seeking old-world charm and exceptional service, Casa San Agustin is the perfect choice. Situated in the heart of the old town, this hotel offers a unique blend of historic architecture and modern amenities.

Hotel Quadrifolio: If you prefer a more intimate and boutique experience, Hotel Quadrifolio is the place to be. This hidden gem boasts stunning colonial-style architecture and personalized service that will make you feel right at home.

Bastion: If you’re looking for a touch of modern luxury, Bastion is the hotel for you. With its sleek design, rooftop pool, and upscale amenities, this hotel offers a truly luxurious experience in the heart of Cartagena.

And there’s even more to look forward to! Keep an eye out for the upcoming Four Seasons hotel in the vibrant Getsemani neighborhood. This addition will provide even more options for those seeking the utmost in luxury during their stay in Cartagena.

Hotel Location Highlights
Casa San Agustin Old Town Old-world charm, exceptional service
Hotel Quadrifolio Old Town Boutique vibes, personalized service
Bastion Old Town Modern luxury, rooftop pool

No matter where you choose to stay in Cartagena, you’re sure to find the perfect accommodation that suits your style and preferences.

Explore the Charm of Cartagena’s Old City

Cartagena’s Old City is a treasure trove of history, architecture, and vibrant culture. As you wander through its narrow, colorful streets, you’ll be transported back in time to the colonial era. The architectural beauty of the old town is a sight to behold, with its colonial buildings adorned with bright bougainvillea and wrought iron balconies.

One of the highlights of exploring Cartagena’s Old City is discovering its historic sites. The iconic Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a fortress built in the 17th century, offers panoramic views of the city and tells tales of its past. The Torre del Reloj, or Clock Tower, is a prominent symbol of Cartagena and marks the entrance to the old town. Climb up the tower for breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

“Cartagena’s Old City is a treasure trove of history, architecture, and vibrant culture.”

Cartagena Architecture

  • The Cathedral of Cartagena: This stunning church is a masterpiece of colonial architecture, with its grand facade and ornate interior.
  • Palacio de la Inquisición: This historical building now houses the Museum of the Inquisition, where you can learn about the dark history of the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Plaza de los Coches: This bustling square is surrounded by colorful buildings and is the perfect spot to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Cartagena.

Exploring the old town is an adventure in itself, with hidden plazas, quaint cafes, and street performers adding to its charm. Take a leisurely stroll along the city walls, which offer breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and the modern skyline of Cartagena. It’s no wonder that Cartagena’s Old City has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Top Historic Sites in Cartagena’s Old City Architectural Highlights
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas The Cathedral of Cartagena
Torre del Reloj Palacio de la Inquisición
Plaza de los Coches City Walls

Soak up the Sun on Cartagena’s Beautiful Beaches

When it comes to sun-soaked relaxation, Cartagena’s beaches are hard to beat. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil escape or a lively atmosphere, there’s a beach for everyone in this vibrant coastal city. One of the most popular choices is Playa Blanca, with its pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, soak up the sun, and take a refreshing dip in the Caribbean Sea.

If you’re seeking a more vibrant beach experience, Bocagrande beach in Cartagena is the place to be. It offers a lively atmosphere with beachfront restaurants and resorts, where you can indulge in delicious seafood while enjoying the breathtaking views. Whether you’re lounging on the sand or enjoying beachside activities, Bocagrande beach has something for everyone.

“The beach is not just a place, it’s a feeling.” – Unknown

For those seeking a truly unique beach experience, a visit to Playa Blanca near Cartagena is a must. This stunning beach is known for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery, creating a serene and picturesque setting. Playa Blanca is the perfect place to relax, swim, and enjoy the natural beauty of Cartagena.

Whether you prefer a tranquil escape or a lively beach atmosphere, Cartagena’s beaches offer a little slice of paradise for every traveler. So grab your sunscreen, towel, and sense of adventure, and get ready to soak up the sun on Cartagena’s beautiful beaches.

Beach Description
Playa Blanca A stunning beach with white sand and turquoise waters, perfect for relaxation and swimming.
Bocagrande beach A lively beach offering beachfront restaurants and resorts, ideal for those seeking a vibrant atmosphere.

Enjoy Water Activities and Natural Beauty in Cartagena

When visiting Cartagena, be sure to take advantage of the city’s stunning natural beauty and exciting water activities. From island tours to kayaking adventures, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.

One of the top water activities in Cartagena is taking a boat tour to the nearby Rosario Islands. These idyllic islands offer a tropical paradise with pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs. You can take a snorkeling excursion to explore the underwater world filled with colorful marine life or simply relax on the white sandy beaches. The Rosario Islands are a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers.

If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, consider signing up for a sunset kayak tour around Tierra Bomba Island. Paddle through the calm waters as you enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline and the city skyline. This is a unique way to explore the surrounding islands and enjoy the natural beauty of Cartagena.

Table: Water Activities in Cartagena

Activity Description
Island tours Explore the Rosario Islands and other nearby islands on a boat tour, snorkel, and enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Kayaking Paddle through the waters of Cartagena on a kayak tour, enjoy the stunning views and the peaceful atmosphere.
Jet skiing Rent a jet ski and experience the thrill of riding the waves along the coast of Cartagena.
Stand-up paddleboarding Try your balance on a stand-up paddleboard and explore the coastline from a different perspective.
Scuba diving Discover the underwater world of Cartagena with a scuba diving excursion, explore coral reefs and encounter marine life.

With its beautiful beaches and abundance of water activities, Cartagena is the perfect destination for those who love the sea and want to enjoy outdoor adventures in a stunning natural setting.

Discover the Cultural Side of Cartagena

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Cartagena, you’re in for a treat. This vibrant city offers a wide range of cultural experiences, from fascinating museums to captivating art galleries. Let us take you on a journey through the cultural side of Cartagena.

Cartagena Museums

Cartagena is home to several impressive museums that offer insights into the city’s past and present. One must-visit museum is the Cartagena Museum of Modern Art, where you can explore a collection of contemporary works by Colombian artists. The museum showcases a diverse range of artistic styles and mediums, providing a glimpse into the vibrant art scene in Cartagena.

For those interested in archaeology and pre-Columbian history, the Museo del Oro y Arqueología is a must-see. This museum houses a collection of exquisite gold artifacts and offers a deep dive into the region’s indigenous cultures. It’s a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the ancient civilizations that once thrived in this area.

Cartagena Art

Art enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of art galleries scattered throughout Cartagena. These galleries showcase a variety of artistic styles, from traditional to contemporary. Take a stroll through the vibrant streets of the Walled City and explore the numerous galleries that line the cobblestone streets. You’ll discover an array of paintings, sculptures, and other unique art pieces that reflect the creativity and talent of local and international artists.

“Cartagena’s art scene is a true reflection of the city’s vibrant and diverse culture. From the colorful street art adorning the walls to the contemporary masterpieces in the galleries, there’s something for every art lover to appreciate.”

Table: Top Cultural Attractions in Cartagena

Attraction Description
Cartagena Museum of Modern Art Contemporary artworks by Colombian artists
Museo del Oro y Arqueología Pre-Columbian gold artifacts from the region
Walled City Art Galleries A wide range of artistic styles and mediums

Cartagena’s cultural scene is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, history buff, or simply curious about the city’s heritage, you’ll find a wealth of cultural attractions to satisfy your curiosity. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere, immerse yourself in the local art and history, and discover the true soul of Cartagena.

Experience Cartagena’s Festivals and Events

Cartagena is a city that knows how to celebrate, with a calendar full of festivals and events that showcase its vibrant culture and rich heritage. From colorful parades to lively music performances, there is always something exciting happening in Cartagena. Here are some of the must-attend festivals and events that you don’t want to miss:


The Cartagena International Film Festival is a highlight for film enthusiasts from around the world. This prestigious event showcases a diverse selection of films, including Colombian and international productions. From thought-provoking documentaries to captivating feature films, the festival offers a unique cinematic experience. It’s a great opportunity to discover emerging talent and engage in discussions about the art of filmmaking.


One of the most vibrant events in Cartagena is the Cartagena Carnival, a celebration of music, dance, and tradition. The streets come alive with colorful costumes, lively music, and energetic dance performances. Locals and visitors alike join in the festivities, immersing themselves in the joyful atmosphere. From the grand parade to the electrifying street parties, the Cartagena Carnival is an experience that will leave you mesmerized.


Throughout the year, Cartagena hosts a variety of live music performances and art exhibitions. From traditional Colombian music to international artists, there is a wide range of musical genres to enjoy. You can also explore the local art scene by visiting galleries and attending art exhibitions. Cartagena’s vibrant arts and music scene reflects the city’s creative spirit and its passion for cultural expression.

Festival/Event Date Location
Cartagena International Film Festival March Cultural venues throughout the city
Cartagena Carnival February Streets of Cartagena
Live Music Performances Varies Music venues and cultural spaces
Art Exhibitions Varies Galleries and cultural centers

These festivals and events provide unique opportunities to immerse yourself in Cartagena’s vibrant culture and connect with its lively community. Whether you’re a film buff, a music lover, or an art enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in Cartagena. Join us in celebrating the rich heritage and dynamic spirit of this beautiful city.

Explore the Surrounding Areas of Cartagena

While Cartagena itself offers a plethora of attractions and activities, the surrounding areas also hold treasures waiting to be discovered. One such destination is Santa Marta, a charming city located near the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains. Santa Marta offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences, making it a must-visit for adventurous travelers.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, the Sierra Nevada mountains are a playground for outdoor activities. Embark on a hiking adventure through lush jungles and breathtaking landscapes, taking in the awe-inspiring beauty of the region. For those interested in local culture, Santa Marta also provides opportunities to visit coffee farms and learn about the fascinating process of coffee production.

“The Lost City trek is an experience like no other, allowing you to walk in the footsteps of ancient civilizations and uncover the mysteries of Colombia’s indigenous history.” – The Cartagena Guide

A highlight of Santa Marta is the chance to embark on the Lost City trek. This challenging and rewarding expedition takes you deep into the jungle, where you’ll uncover the ruins of an ancient city older than Peru’s famous Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in the rich indigenous history of Colombia as you hike through dense forests, cross rivers, and marvel at the architectural wonders of a forgotten civilization.

Exploring the Surrounding Areas of Cartagena

Whether you’re seeking adventure or cultural immersion, the surrounding areas of Cartagena offer an array of experiences that will leave you in awe. From hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains to discovering the Lost City, Santa Marta provides a perfect complement to your Cartagena journey. Embrace the spirit of exploration and venture beyond the city limits to discover the hidden gems of this captivating region.

Destination Highlight
Santa Marta Charming city near the Sierra Nevada mountains
Sierra Nevada mountains Outdoor activities and breathtaking landscapes
Lost City trek Uncover the ruins of an ancient indigenous city


In conclusion, Cartagena is a vibrant and enchanting city that offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences. Whether you’re interested in exploring its rich history and stunning architecture, relaxing on beautiful beaches, or immersing yourself in the lively nightlife, Cartagena has something for everyone.

As a comprehensive travel guide to Cartagena, we have highlighted the top destinations, culinary delights, vibrant nightlife, shopping opportunities, perfect accommodations, charm of the old city, beautiful beaches, water activities, cultural experiences, and exciting festivals and events that the city has to offer.

Whether you follow our suggested itinerary or create your own, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience in Cartagena. So pack your bags, and get ready to explore this captivating destination that combines history, culture, natural beauty, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Cartagena awaits!


What is Cartagena known for?

Cartagena is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, diverse culinary scene, and lively nightlife.

What are some popular eateries in Cartagena?

Some popular eateries in Cartagena include La Esquina del Pandebono, Abaco Café, and Restaurante Donjuan.

Where can I experience Cartagena’s vibrant nightlife?

You can experience Cartagena’s vibrant nightlife at places like Havana Club, La Movida, and Alquimico.

Where can I go shopping in Cartagena?

You can go shopping in Cartagena at Artesanias de Colombia, Loto del Sur, Casa Chiqui, St. Dom, and more.

What are some recommended accommodations in Cartagena?

Some recommended accommodations in Cartagena are Casa San Agustin, Hotel Quadrifolio, Bastion, and the upcoming Four Seasons hotel in Getsemani.

What can I explore in Cartagena’s Old City?

In Cartagena’s Old City, you can explore its colonial architecture, colorful streets, horse-drawn carriages, and lively plazas.

Where can I relax on the beaches in Cartagena?

You can relax on the beaches in Cartagena at Playa Blanca and Bocagrande beach.

What water activities can I enjoy in Cartagena?

In Cartagena, you can enjoy water activities such as boat tours to the Rosario Islands and sunset kayak tours around Tierra Bomba island.

What cultural attractions can I visit in Cartagena?

You can visit the Cartagena Museum of Modern Art, the Museo del Oro y Arqueología, and La Madriguera del Conejo bookstore and cultural center.

What festivals and events take place in Cartagena?

Cartagena hosts festivals and events such as the Cartagena International Film Festival and the Cartagena Carnival, along with live music performances and art exhibitions throughout the year.

What are some surrounding areas near Cartagena worth exploring?

Some surrounding areas near Cartagena worth exploring are Santa Marta, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the Lost City trek.

What can I expect from a visit to Cartagena?

A visit to Cartagena offers a vibrant and diverse experience with its rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, lively nightlife, and cultural attractions.