The coastal city of Cartagena embodies the mystery, magic, and romance of a Caribbean port. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, old town Cartagena stuns visitors with its charming narrow streets lined with colorful buildings and plant-filled balconies, the heady mix of colonial and defensive architecture and the spectacular fortified wall that separates this enchanting enclave from the bright blue waters of the Caribbean sea beyond. Aside from its visual delights, Cartagena has held its place as a destination worth visiting because of the warmth of its people and its fascinating military history, which is laden with stories of triumph and resilience.
Your local guide will pick you up from your accommodation to begin your private walking tour of Cartagena’s highlights. The city is shrouded in history and fascinating stories from when the Spanish first discovered gold in the tombs of Sinu to the five dreadful sieges on the city by pirates in the 16th century, including the most famous (or infamous) one which was led by Sir Francis Drake! Nowadays, as you’ll find out while walking through its pleasant and colorful streets, Cartagena is among one of the world’s most beautiful cities. On today’s walking tour you’ll visit the Santo Domingo Square, the iconic Clock Tower, Cartagena’s Cathedral and the Palacio de la Inquisición, among many other highlights on the tour. Walking through the cobblestone streets of the historical city center you will also be treated to the city’s most traditional buildings, enchanting squares, and museums.
The Caribbean weather, colonial architecture and Caribbean flair will keep you more than busy on your guided bike tour of Cartagena’s historical center (the walled city). Your professional guide who will amusingly show you the city from a different perspective, and tell you the stories that historical Cartagena keeps. You will pass by the most important tourist sites of ”Cartagena de Indias ”
Learn a few Salsa steps that you can practice later on that night in one of the many salsa clubs in Cartagena. Learn how to move your hips and enjoy Salsa as much as Colombians do!
This is a beautiful experience and tour that allows you to see where the people from Cartagena buy their products, how they live and what the typical dishes of Cartagena are. This cooking class is done in a Private house in a real Colombian family environment, tasting wines and having lunch as a family. At first, you will stop at the Market of the city where you will spend around 1 hour, there you will have the change to try tropical fruits. Afterward, you will head out to the house and start with the cooking class, where you are free to participate as much as you can in the preparation of the recipe. You will learn about the most typical recipes of the Caribbean region, then you will choose the menu and start cooking it! Transportation, guide, and necessary ingredients to prepare the dinner are all included.
Situated 1 hour off the coast of Cartagena, the Isla Majagua is one of the 30 islands that make up the Rosario Islands archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. This boat journey takes you to discover this paradise, far from the bustling city, crossing the bay and docking at the coast of Majagua Island. Before arriving at the island, you can take an optional trip to the San Martín de Pajarales Natural Aquarium, where you can see a wide variety of marine life including sharks and dolphins. Majagua Island is the perfect place to enjoy the beach and the tropical Caribbean climate, and an excellent opportunity to taste the local cuisine, mostly consisting of fish and rice flavored with coconut. Later that day you will board your motorboat back to Cartagena where you will get a stunning panoramic view of the city.
Anyone wanting to visit Cartagena should know that the weather is hot and humid year round. The sun beats down on the Caribbean coast even during the rainy season, and if you are averse to the heat, you might want to plan your trip to Cartagena between low and high seasons. This will also allow you to beat the crowds, and perhaps the best times to visit the city are in low season from May to June, between mid-January and April in the dry season, or in October and November, although these months are usually the wettest. Cartagena’s festival of Independence takes place in November, and this is a great time to see the city really come alive.
Cartagena’s Rafael Núñez Airport receives domestic and international flights and is located about 2 miles (3km) from the historic Old Town. Domestic flights arrive from Medellin, Cali, San Andrés Island, Bogotá, Pereira, Montería, Barrancabermeja, Bucaramanga, and Cúcuta, and some of the most frequent international flights arrive from Panama City, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York and Atlanta in the United States. Internal flights will be arranged for you as part of your itinerary, as will airport transfers, so just speak to one of our travel advisors and they will tell you about the best route to take.
Cartagena is a well-developed center of commerce and tourism, and as such, it is easy for travelers to find somewhere to stay, whether they are looking for a luxury hotel or more affordable accommodation. Most of the upper-tier lodgings are found inside the city walls, whereas budget accommodation is usually located outside of the city walls in Getsemani. Beware; such is Cartagena’s prestige as a holiday destination that anything above a mid-range hotel will carry a high price tag. Exploring Cartagena’s Old Town is best done on foot, as all of the city’s highlights are within walking distance of each other. Buses run from the city center to destinations further afield such as Bocagrande or the San Felipe Fort. Taxis are safe and plentiful, but often the drivers will charge you tourist prices, so fix a price before you get in the car.