Situated on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a trendy Colombian city full of history and life. Beautiful Spanish architecture and cobblestone streets circle Old Town and the port, which feature world-class restaurants and shiny cafés. Blessed with year-round warm weather, Cartagena invites scuba divers and sun-worshippers to its magical shores.
Read on for our guide to our newest destination: Cartagena, Colombia!
"We fell in love hard and fast earlier this year, and one of the first things we connected over was a love of travelling. For our six-month anniversary, we decided to take a trip somewhere neither of us had ever been. We ended up choosing Cartagena for its beauty and culture — and our deep love of arepas. The city was so romantic — every street was more beautiful than the last — and we had some of the best food and sangria ever! Our experience with Flytographer was simply perfect and the cherry on top of it all — Juan Felipe, our photographer, quickly became a dear friend and we had the privilege of spending more time getting to know him after the shoot." - Sarah
Where are the best beaches?
Cartagena is a short trip away from some of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches. Playa Blanca is just a short ferry, boat, bus or taxi ride from Cartagena and boasts clear waters and white sand. Be sure to stay after the sun goes down – Playa Blanca is home to phosphorescent plankton that make the ocean appear to be glowing.
What is the best way to spend an afternoon?
One of Cartagena’s most charming areas is the Old Town. The inner part of the Old Town is walled and has many fantastic examples of colonial architecture. Wander the streets and stop at a café for an afternoon coffee and pastry. Try Cafe del Mural for a primer on the history of Colombian coffee and a cup o’ joe made with care.
What is the best way to get around the city?
The heat in Colombia can be overwhelming, so a great way to see the city is by trolley! City trolley tours are cute, quaint and air-conditioned, so you’ll stay comfortable while touring all the major sights.
What are Cartagena’s must-eat dishes?
We’ve said it once, but it’s worth mentioning again — arepas. The stuffed corn cake can be found at street stalls or any traditional restaurant. The same goes for empanadas. But Cartagena is also home to beautiful fine-dining experiences. Carmen offers a multi-course chef’s tasting menu to guide you through a tasty tour of local cuisine. Of course, fresh fish features heavily on the menu. For traditional Spanish-influenced fare, head to El Burlador de Sevilla.
What is a must-do outside of the city?
Tayrona National Park is a beautiful little haven located on the coast with both mountains and sea. Visitors can spend the night — camping is available in various parts of the park — or if glamping is more your style, rent a private bungalow for the night. Horseriding, hiking and snorkeling are fun activities to pass the time. If you’re feeling daring and want to get away from the beach crowds, hike to the ruins of the ancient town of Pueblito.