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Cartagena, Colombia

The Ultimate Guide To Cartagena, Colombia

The Ultimate Guide To Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

What is there to do in Cartagena?

With just a 5 hour flight from New York City, located off the coast of the Caribbean is the beautiful city of Cartagena, Colombia. Cartagena has everything to please travelers of all types. With unique cobble-stone streets, jaw-dropping 16th-century mansions, colorful architecture, some of the top islands in the Caribbean, 5 star cuisine, endless shopping, and non-stop entertainment, it’s a place in paradise that pleases everyone who comes.

For those seeking romance, its beaches, horse-drawn carriage rides through the old city, intimate restaurants, and late night salsa music will seduce you to the core. But before it goes dark, make sure to reserve a table at Cafe Del Mar located atop the fort wall to watch one of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see. Cartagena also happens to be the absolute perfect spot to hold your bachelor party.

When planning your Cartagena bachelor party, it is an absolute must that you reserve your own boat or yacht for a day trip (or more) to the stunning Rosario Islands, which are  just a short boat ride from Cartagena’s shores. The day’s not over when you get back from your day on the islands. Cartagena is no sleepy town and is known for its late nights. You’ll find most restaurants open late into the night and plenty of nightlife options to choose from. In its bustling streets comes everything from street performers to cigar bars and nightclubs. Cartagena is a vacation destination that you don’t want to skip.

Where Should I stay in Cartagena?

There are 3 main areas of the city where you should get your look at booking your vacation rental. When asking around, most people will tell you to stay in the old city. We, for one, wouldn’t disagree with that recommendation. There are also many hotels in the city, but we highly recommend renting a house.

Old Town

old town cartagena

Inside the walled city there’s everything from very affordable boutique hotels to 25 bedroom mansions equipped with staff fit for a king. Your accommodation options are endless. If you’re traveling with a group, we highly recommend staying in one of the many colonial villas or mansions inside the walled city as they are available with 3 bedroom options and above. If you’re looking to indulge in elegance, look no further than places like the Sofitel Legend Hotel Santa Clara. This colonial masterpiece can claim to be the literary muse for one of the world’s most celebrated writers, Gabriel Garcia Márquez. With its beautiful rooms, top-notch staff, gorgeous pool, and one of the most amazing breakfast spreads we’ve ever laid eyes on, this breathtaking property does not disappoint.


bocagrande colombia

If Miami style skylines and panoramic ocean views are more your style, take a 3 to 5 minute cab ride from the walled city down the peninsula to the up and coming area of Bocagrande. Bocagrande offers an array of Cartagena vacation rentals and some of the most beautiful hotels we’ve seen. From the InterContinental Cartagena de Indias to the beautiful Hotel Estelar, enjoy stunning infinity pools, top dining experiences, and amazing views, all while being steps from the beach.  Whether you stay in Bocagrande, or just spend a day there, 51 sky bar is a must. Located on the 51st floor of the Hotel Estelar, there’s no better 360 degree view of Cartagena around. Don’t leave without trying some of their delicious food and cocktails. Bocagrande is also home to the only casinos you will find in Cartagena, if that’s your thing.  While In Bocagrande, check out some of their malls and restaurants for plenty of good deals. If you’re looking to taste and bring home some of the best coffee in the world, make sure to stop by the Juan Valdez Cafe.


getsemani colombia

Whether you’re a backpacker looking to stay at an affordable hostel, or want to try some amazing street food and restaurants, Getsemani is definitely worth the walk. Just a short walk from the walled city, you will find art filled walls and street decorations with something to admire at every turn. Make sure you get a table at the famous La Cocina de Pepina for some very authentic Caribbean influenced Colombian cuisine. No day trip to Getsamani is complete without stopping at El Arsenal Rum Box before heading back to the walled city. These world class mixologists will take you on a journey as they make some of the most complex cocktails Cartagena has to offer. The staff will sure to make you feel welcome as you’re always greeted with a hug and lots of friendly conversation. We definitely can’t forget their food. Simply delicious. Tell Abraham we said HOLA!

Where Should I eat in Cartagena?

colombian food

With tons of culinary options to choose from, there’s definitely no shortage of delicious seafood in Cartagena. With so many “restaurant musts”, La Cevicheria has been up on the top of that list ever since its infamous feature on Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’. Make sure you check out our Best Restaurants in Cartagena section as we go into detail so you don’t miss a eat!

Should I rent a boat in Cartagena?

Cartagena Yacht Rentals

The Cartagena beaches are great, but your trip would not be done right without renting your own boat or yacht to take advantage of the beautiful Rosario Islands. And when it comes to Cartagena boat rentals, we’ve got you covered. Make sure you check out our ‘Cartagena Boat Rentals’ section where we’re guaranteed to have the best boats in Cartagena that will be perfect for you and your group. We recommend allowing us to take care of stocking your boat full early in the morning so you and your crew need only to wake up and go, giving you more hours to enjoy each of the Rosario Islands. Each of the 7 islands has its own attraction.

If you’re looking for an island with white sand, turquoise water, and luxury resorts and spas, Playa Blanca, located near the peninsula of Isla Baru,  is a stop you must make.  If it’s a party you’re after, Cholon is where it’s at. On its beautiful beaches you can get everything from massages to fresh seafood and tropical drinks. Cholon is thee designated spot to have a proper Cartagena  boat party. You’ll have no shortage of neighbors when pulling into the party spot. It’s the perfect place to make new friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure you visit our ’Best Islands in Cartagena’ section to check out the other islands to go to!

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