Colourful, lively and warm: Cartagena is a destination that combines history, beaches, hidden beauties and year-round sunshine.

If what you are looking for is to spend a few romantic days or enjoy an unparalleled nightlife, in a magical place where history blends with modernity and the typical blends with the influence of European culture, we welcome you to Cartagena de Indias.

Cartagena de Indias located on the north coast of Colombia and is the fifth largest city in the country. The destination has become popular among Brazilians recently (hence the ease of finding travel packages), but it has already had the world's attention for decades, being listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. The city was once the main port in America for Spanish and retains much of its history, which dates back to its foundation in 1533.

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Colonial architecture is within the Old City, guarded by 13 km of walls. There are the main attractions, such as museums, buildings for military use, churches and parishes. All this surrounded by little streets with colonial houses and full of color. It is also possible to stay and stay very close to the island’s trendy nightlife, which can start with a beautiful sunset at the famous Café del Mar. another point of Cartagena it is the modern center, where the big hotels, shops and restaurants are located.

The most popular beach in Cartagena It's Big mouth, but the natural beauty of the caribbean is in the nearby archipelagos. At Rosario Islands are 50 minutes away by boat and are made up of 27 islands that belong to the Corales del Rosario National Park and where you will find that clear blue Caribbean sea. Other attractions are the Oceanarium and the famous Playa Blanca, which is located on Isla Barú.

Travelers looking for beaches, history and even happy holidays fall in love with the city and its variety of prices and itineraries. If you are the type who likes to go just to relax and not worry about anything, a package to Cartagena can be easily found at tourist agencies here in Brazil, but local agencies also offer tours and tours.

So if Cartagena was almost in your plans, don't think twice! But, before traveling, you need to take the Yellow Fever vaccine and request the international proof, required by the Colombia. Cartagena it also has a lot of mosquitoes due to the hot weather, so don't forget your repellent when packing.

Things to do in Cartagena de Indias

Photo: Luca Venturelli / Shutterstock

walled city

The Walled City is the region of Cartagena surrounded by an ancient wall that had the function of protecting the region against foreign attacks. It is made up of four small neighborhoods: Centro, San Diego, Matuna and Getsemani, and concentrates some of the main tourist attractions in the region – among them the Palace of the Inquisition and the Clock Tower. Within the walls is almost the entire old part of Cartagena, with its romantic streets and old buildings.

Clock tower

One of the most famous monuments in the city, the Clock Tower is one of the symbols of Cartagena and formerly served as the only entrance to the walled city, separating two very traditional neighborhoods of the city.

Castle of San Felipe de Barajas

Despite its name, the building is a fortress that protected the city from invaders such as pirates. Our recommendation is to take a guided tour of the attraction, so as not to miss any detail of the history of the fortress and the city.

Rosario Islands

It takes just 50 minutes by boat to reach one of the most famous beaches, Playa Blanca. The place has different private islands where tourists can enjoy a day on the edge of crystal clear waters, sunbathing and enjoying the city's climate.

Playa Blanca

Cartagena is considered a Caribbean destination, but it is far from having beaches like the ones you see in Cancún, Punta Cana or St. Martin, for example. If there is an opportunity to observe clear waters, which approach famous Caribbean destinations, that place is Playa Blanca, in Baru.

Las Bovedas

Las Bovedas is a craft market that now occupies what was once a gunpowder storage space and a jail.

Cafe Del Mar

This bar is at the top of the wall and attracts many tourists to watch the sunset.

Santo Domingo square

The square is surrounded by the two oldest civil buildings on the island, the Church and Faculty of Santo Domingo, both built between 1579 and 1698. The site is also surrounded by many restaurants and bars.

Parish of San Pedro Claver

Rebuilt in the 17th century after a fire, the parish appeared on the scene of Cartagena in 1580 and houses the remains of the apostle of slaves, San Pedro Claver.

La Popa Convent

This building is originally from the 17th century, when it served as a refuge for escaped slaves, but over time it became a building with military functions.

Other places to visit in Cartagena:

  • Big mouth
  • Casa de la Moneda
  • Getsemani
  • Old Shoes Monument
  • Naval Museum
  • Emerald Museum
  • Palace of the Inquisition
  • Bolivar Park
  • Plaza San Diego
  • Plaza de Bovedas
  • Plaza de la Proclamation
  • Plaza Fernanders Madrid
  • Plaza de los Coaches
  • Adolfo Mejia Theater

How to get to Cartagena de Indias

Photo: Neufal54 / Pixabay

By airplane

The airlines do not offer direct flights to Cartagena, but a stopover in Bogotá is enough to reach the local airport.

There is no airline that offers direct flights between Brazilian capitals and Cartagena, but there are foreign companies that go to the city, making connections at their respective support airports.

From Brazil to Cartagena, it is possible to fly: with TAM/LAN, connecting in Lima or Bogotá; with the Cup, through Panama; and Avianca, also with a connection in Bogotá. Travel time varies depending on the route, departure city and connection time, but calculate around 7h/8h on each leg of the trip, including the connection.

By ship

Cartagena is a common stop on cruises passing through the region and the visit usually lasts a maximum of two days.

Best time to visit Cartagena de Indias

Photo: Anamaria Mejia / Shutterstock

With temperatures between 22°C and 40°C, It is hot all year in Cartagena and this is not a problem when planning the trip – on the contrary. Regardless of whether you travel in winter or summer, be prepared to face the heat. The annual average temperature is around 27ºC, but the thermal sensation goes beyond that, due to the humidity. The months from January to March are the driest, so it's high season. From August to November is the rainiest time.

Where to stay in Cartagena de Indias

Photo: Jess Kraft / Shutterstock

Find accommodation in Cartagena de Indias here.

» Santa Marta: the Colombian Caribbean as you've never seen it
» Colombia: discover the main tourist destinations in the country
» Church built in canyon attracts attention of tourists in Colombia
» Itineraries for backpacking in South America

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