17 Top Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia
- Free Walking Tour
- Explore Castillo San Felipe
- Visit Playa Blanca
- Do a day trip to Rosario Islands
- Mud bath in El Tutoma Volcano
- Do a city tour of Cartagena outside of City Wall
- Watch the sunset at Cafe del Mar
- Explore Getsemani
- Go to the clock tower area at night and party the night away in the streets with locals
- Go salsa dancing at Havana Club
- Go for a horse-drawn carriage ride through the walled city
- Try all the street food
- Get seranaded (more like aggressively rapped at)
- Buy fruit from “Las Palenqueras” aka the fruit ladies
- People watch and relax under the shade at Barrio Del Centro
- Take a selfie with “La Gordita” sculpture
- Sunset picnic on the Wall
1. Free Walking Tour
Get familiar with your new surroundings and the history of the city by going on a Free Walking Tour with the company called “Free Tour Cartagena.” It starts at 10am everyday and the meeting place is at Plaza Santa Teresa.
2.Explore Castillo San Felipe
Walk to Castillo San Felipe and explore this UNESCO Heritage site. You can get amazing views of both the old town and the big city from the top of the castle. You can also go inside certain parts and there’s even a place to relax at the top. It only costs 25,000 pesos ($10 CDN) to go in.
3. Visit Playa Blanca
4. Do a Day trip to the Rosario Islands.
5.Mud Bath in El Tutoma Volcano
This one is a little controversial. It’s almost a backpacker’s right of passage to do this in Cartagena and if you’ve never done something like this before it’s worth the experience. However, beware as you will get groped by people massaging you in the mud pit and by the women washing you off afterwards. You will also be expected to tip anyone who does anything for you but the experience is definitely unique.
6. Do a city Tour of Cartagena outside the Wall
7. Watch the Sunset at Cafe Del Mar
8. Explore Getsemani
Getsemani is an area within the walled city where many locals still reside. It comes with a different feeling of authenticity compared to the Centro or San Diego districts and is extremely beautiful. Once you cross the Avenue Venezuela street in Getsemani, you can immediately feel the difference. It’s less touristy and much more laid back. There’s a lot of graffiti and street art to see, people watching at Plaza Trinidad, and tons of restaurants nearby to enjoy a bite to eat or a cold drink.
9. Go to the clock tower at night and party in the street with locals.
11. Go for a horse drawn carriage ride in the historic centre.
Riding in the horse carriage transports you to the colonial time that Cartagena’s architecture was built in. While enjoying the ride, you can also watch all the tourist, vendors and locals from the carriage.
12. Try all the street food
13. Get Seranaded
Get serenaded by young guys who freestyle rap in spanish looking for tips. They walk with around with speakers playing instrumental music and look for tourists who will listen, record it, and of course, leave a tip.
14. Buy fruit from a Las Palenqueras
Another top thing to do in Cartagena is buy fruit from the famous fruit ladies and take a photo with or of them. It only costs 5000 pesos ($2 CDN) for a big bowl of delicious fruit and the photo is well worth it.
It’s a beautiful park with massive trees that makes you feel like you’re in a mini oasis.
16. Take a selfie with “La Gordita” sculpture
17. Sunset Picnic on the Wall
Cartagena is one of the most visited cities in Colombia and the prices there reflect that. After spending all your dough, have a quiet, relaxing and cheap date night by picnicking on the wall while watching the sunset.
Is there anything I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!