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Cartagena travel guide

Cartagena tourism | Cartagena guide

You're Going to Love Cartagena

Nestled on the spectacular Caribbean coast in northern Colombia, Cartagena is a magical blend of historic fortifications, elegant courtyards, fine dining and glittering nightlife.

Colombia's most-visited city is also the country's biggest port and its extensive fortifications are one of its main attractions. The 17-foot thick walls survived raids by pirates and invaders and today, its walled old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cartagena de Indias is also one of the most stylish holiday spots in South America. The old town, El Centro, has been given a makeover; its graceful convent courtyards and colonial casas have been transformed into exclusive boutique hotels that attract both South American and international celebrities.

Whether you want sun, sea, and sand, fine dining and dazzling nightlife or a wealth of historic attractions, there are plenty of great reasons to visit Cartagena.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Cartagena

When to Visit Cartagena

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Peak season is from December to mid-January and during Holy Week in March or April. Cartagena has a tropical climate and the wet seasons from May to June and August to November can be very humid. The wettest months are October and November. Every day is a great day to visit the beach thanks to warm temperatures and over 2,500 hours of glorious Caribbean sunshine per year.

Average temperatures
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When the weather is nice in Cartagena

How to Get to Cartagena

Airlines serving Cartagena

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Where to Stay in Cartagena

The city is becoming well known for its luxurious boutique hotels such as the elegant 31-room Casa San Agustin or the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara, a stylish hotel with a resort-like atmosphere and a friendly toucan in the courtyard. For a romantic break, try the Casablanca B&B, a restored colonial casa with a rooftop pool. Families might prefer popular chain hotels like the Hilton while budget-conscious travelers may like affordable hotels like Hotel Sophia or Hotel Marlin.

Popular Neighborhoods in Cartagena

Most popular hotel in Cartagena by neighbourhood


Where to stay in popular areas of Cartagena

Most booked hotels in Cartagena

How to Get Around Cartagena

The Cost of Living in Cartagena

Shopping Streets

Cartagena is one of Colombia's trendiest destinations and its shops and stores reflect that. Pick up unique pieces by Colombian designers at St. Dom in Calle Santo Domingo or explore the range of stylish jewelry at Claudia Trejos. Try Agua for leather goods or visit OndadeMar for chic Colombian beachwear. Emeralds can be purchased all over the city but do choose a reputable store that will provide you with a certificate of authenticity.

Groceries and Other

You'll find large supermarkets and small stores all over the city. Popular choices include OLIMPICA, Éxito San Diego, and Supermercado Carulla. Cartagena is reasonably inexpensive and typical prices are COL$4,122 for a dozen eggs and COL$2,158 for a liter of milk.

Cheap meal
Cheap meal
A pair of jeans
A pair of jeans
Single public transport ticket
Single public transport ticket

Where to Eat in Cartagena

Arepas, corn patties filled with either egg or meat and cheese are as common as French fries in the city and you can buy them from vendors on almost every street. For a sweet alternative, try el matrimonio, a combination of guava and salty costeño cheese. Feel like something special? Try one of the city's many upmarket restaurants such as Maria, lively seafood restaurant Donjuán run by chef Juan Felipe Camacho, or La Vitrola, a sophisticated hotspot that's popular with locals and tourists alike. Finally, you're in Colombia, so be sure to end your meal with some of the country's excellent coffee. Lunch in a basic restaurant is COL$12,425, including a drink.