If your trip involves Colombia, then visiting Cartagena is a must do. A city filled with colour, history and good vibes.
Cartagena is most definitely a place worth visiting and today the risk levels are generally low, however, as with anywhere in the world you need to keep your wits about you and practice safe travel.
The following 3 activities are my top recommendations which you HAVE to do during your stay:
- Free walking tours
There are many walking tour providers, however, I could not recommend Beyond Colombia more, my experience was fantastic. With Beyond Colombia you have 2 options and I’d personally advise doing both! Both tours are approximately 2.5 hours and can be done in both English and Spanish. You can book a place on the tour through the link above, it’s advised to do so so that the tour guides know to expect attendees.
A 10am Cartagena tour where you will explore the beauty of the walled city. Some of the areas you will visit include: San Pedro, Claver Square, Clock Tower, Heredia Theater, Inquisition Palace, Cathedral of Alexandria, Simón Bolivar Park and Aduana and Coches Squares.
A 4pm Getsemani tour where you will visit the famous town and have the chance to experience it’s beautiful history and culture. Some of the areas you will visit include: Centenario Park, Trinidad Artistic Square, Afro Uprising, Cultural Street Art, Old Public Market, Plaza “El Pozo”, San Felipe Fortress Viewpoint.
Both tours are informative experiences but also a lot of fun and extremely immersive. Hands down, some of the best walking tours I’ve ever done!
- Sunset at Cafe Del Mar
A beautiful spot to experience the sunset, with some great food and drink options. You can reserve a table in advance here, or it’s also possible to walk in without out. However, if doing so i’d advise arriving there early between 4:30 – 5pm to guarantee getting a seat!
Relax, listen to the music and enjoy the beauty of the sunset from one of the best spots in Cartagena. Even if the sky isn’t as clear as you would hope it’s still a beautiful spot with some immaculate vibes.
- Volcan el Totumo
A unique day trip outside of Cartagena, but so worth the travel out of the city. This volcano experience is not what you may think! A mud bath inside the top of a volcano isn’t something you have the chance to experience in many locations, and it’s definitely an experience you don’t want to miss out on.
Most, if not all hostels and hotels will be able to provide you with a tour guide who offers this experience and usually for a better price than if you were to book alone!
When you arrive at the volcano there are a number of ‘add-ons’ that you can include, should you wish. Someone to look after your shoes, someone to take some pictures of you, a mud massage and someone to wash off the mud in the lake. Each ‘add-on’ will cost you 5mil Pesos (approx £1.00) so choosing to include them won’t set you back, however, I would personally advise that only the shoes and the photographs are the necessary options.
The massage is more of a full body rub down (which looked a little too handsy for my liking), and the wash off in the lake is just not overly necessary – we’re all more than capable of washing ourselves off right? So when it comes to these options just politely saying ‘no gracias’ a couple of times will advise the locals that you’re not interested and they’ll quickly move on.
Although there are many many more things to do in Cartagena, these would be my absolute top recommendations, and things you won’t get to do or see anywhere else! Enjoy yourself and take lots of pictures!!