Best Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia in 2024

You will be delighted with these best things to do in Cartagena in 2024 that will please all of your senses and bring to light the importance of this 500 year old city. Options range from exciting water sports to walking the streets viewing historic architecture to learning about the indigenous culture that preceded the Spanish Conquest. You can visit old fortresses, play like a 17th century pirate or you can travel to a pristine white sand beach. Other attractions include numerous museums, learning about the culture through food and you can even make your own chocolate bar. There are excursions that will have you skydiving, learning about the Spanish Inquisition or you can decide to visit one of the many gorgeous churches. No matter what you are looking to experience there is bound to be the perfect excursion for you and your family.

  • Fun Things To Do In Cartagena - Sightseeing Tours

    Sightseeing Tours in Cartagena

    If you are searching for an overview of the city which allows you to view museums, historical buildings and a natural phenomenon then the best thing to do in Cartagena for all types of travelers is to try a Sightseeing Tour. You have a wide variety of excursions to choose from that will have you walking the streets of Old Town Cartagena, the Getsemani neighborhood, the Totumo Volcano and the various old fortresses like the San Felipe de Barajas Castle. Other options will have you strolling through museums like the Museo del Oro Zenu, Rafael Nunez House Museum as well as the Museo de Arte Moderno. You can also choose a variety of transportation options from a horse drawn carriage to a comfortable coach to your own two legs. Whether you want to experience the historical architecture or tasting local treats there is a perfect tour for everyone.

    Fun Things To Do In Cartagena - Cultural Tours

    Cultural Tours in Cartagena

    When you are interested in learning and experiencing more about the local mixture of cultures then an ideal thing to do in Cartagena is to take a Cultural Tour. There is a great assortment of these excursions that will help you to understand the quality of culture that exists in the city of Cartagena and will familiarize you with the many UNESCO world heritage sites that abound here. You can decide to walk through Bazurto Market or take a bike ride through the Walled City and you can even try a day trip to view incredible bird species that call the area home. Other options include learning more about Bantu African lifestyles at San Basilio de Palenque and you will be thrilled to hang out with locals around Plaza de Bolivar. There are emerald jewelry making classes, excursions that concentrate on art and you can even spend a day at Playa Blanca to soak up some sun.

    Fun Things To Do In Cartagena - Walking Tours

    Walking Tours in Cartagena

    One of the most popular things to do in Cartagena for people who like historic buildings, culture, food and history is to try one of the several Walking Tours. You will be pleased with the vast assortment of excursions that you can choose which range from walking within the Walled City to Old Town Cartagena to exploring the various neighborhoods which are packed with Spanish colonial style homes and buildings. During your tour you will learn about the history of this 500 year old city, view historic architecture like the Palace of Inquisition and the Torre del Reloj as well as visit local markets that are packed with exotic fruits and spices. You can choose from an expert guide or a Zenu guide who will inform you of the indigenous cultures that lived in the area befor the Spanish Conquest.

    Fun Things To Do In Cartagena - Food Tours

    Food Tours in Cartagena

    One of the best things to do in Cartagena to learn about the mixing of different cultures that have influenced the city is to take a Food Tour. These excursions are fabulous for families and foodies alike that are interested in learning more about the vibrant cultures of the area. You can take a stroll through the open air Bazurto Market where you will find exotic fruits, fresh seafood and numerous spices from around the world. You can indulge in exotic foods from Africa, Spain and the numerous Indigenous groups around the area while learning more about the history of Cartagena. During these tours you can visit the Las Bovedas or the Getsemani neighborhood where can try delicacies such as pandebonos, pasteles de pollo, arepa de huevo and a nice cup of tinto coffee.

    Old Town Cartagena

    Old Town Cartagena in Cartagena

    If you are interested in a leisurely stroll through the oldest part of the city that includes incredible colonial architecture and a sense of years gone past then the best thing to do in Cartagena is to visit Old Town Cartagena. Located in the heart of downtown, Old town Cartagena is a remarkable area of the city packed with entertainment and culture that is sure to please everyone. You can walk the streets of brightly painted colonial buildings where you can take a break at Plaza de Bolivar or continue your journey until you reach the Torre del Reloj which marks the entrance to the historic Walled City of Cartagena. Also within Old Town Cartagena you will find numerous attractions that range from the Museo Historico de Cartagena de Indias which is housed in the Palace of Inquisition, the Museo de Oro Zenu where you can view numerous pieces of intricate art made of gold and you can walk through the beautiful Cartagena Cathedral. When you are tired then you can try one of the many restaurants in the area and while you are eating you will be thrilled with the vibrant street vendors as well as performers.

    Rosario Islands

    Rosario Islands in Cartagena

    If you are interested in the ecosystem of the Caribbean Sea and like pristine white sand beaches then a great thing to do in Cartagena is to take a trip to the Rosario Islands. Located 62-miles southwest of Cartagena in the Caribbean Sea, the Rosario Islands are an archipelago that consists of 28 islands and is one of Columbia’s most notable National Parks which is surrounded by the third largest barrier reef in the world. The Rosario Islands are a haven for water sport enthusiasts that want to indulge in activities from snorkeling to scuba diving to fishing to swimming as well as for beach goers who are seeking idyllic white sands of paradise. You can visit a number of the islands within the Rosario Islands such as Isla Grande, Isla Pirata and Isla Rosario where you can walk through an incredible aquarium as well as an open-sea oceanarium. Other interesting sightseeing opportunities exist on the boat ride to the Rosario Islands where you can view the San Fernando and San Rafael forts which were constructed by the Spanish in the 18th century.

    Nightlife Tours

    Nightlife Tours in Cartagena

    Whether you want to party or just view the superb Spanish colonial architecture of the city in the evening then a great thing to do in Cartagena is to schedule a Nightlife Tour. These excursions are packed with traditional culture of the area from learning how to dance Salsa while enjoying a few beverages to listening guitarists on the street serenade you as you ride in a horse drawn carriage. During these tours you can indulge in a candlelight dinner, learn the history of architecture within the city and you can even support a worthy non-profit. Other options have you riding in a comfortable coach from one hot spot to another hot spot in search of that perfect night club in Cartagena in which there are many waiting to please all of your fancies from dancing to eating to drinking.

    Cooking Classes

    Cooking Classes in Cartagena

    One of the more intriguing things to do in Cartagena for people and foodies who like to experience culture by mixing a few ingredients is to try a Cooking Class Tour. The city of Cartagena has many unique markets that you will visit before you step foot into the kitchen to prepare a world class meal with the guidance of a local chef. The local markets are packed with interesting ingredients that range from fresh seafood to exotic fruits to incredible chocolate and unique spices as well as traditional entertainment like music. You will have the opportunity to visit with friends or make new friends as you prepare an authentic Columbian meal that is from a family recipe and features traditional cooking techniques. When you are finished cooking you can enjoy your meal with a cold libation of your choice.

    Cruises and Sailing Tours

    Cruises and Sailing Tours in Cartagena

    An ideal thing to do in Cartagena for people who want to get out on the Caribbean Sea and explore the surrounding area is to take a Cruise and Sailing Tour. You will be delighted with the various options that you can choose that are perfect for families, partiers and romantic couples. There are excursions that will take you island hopping for the day where you can visit the Rosario Islands, Tierra Bomba and Baru or you can choose to go sailing on a luxury sail boat during the day and there are sunset cruises that will have you in awe as the sky turns into a canvass of colors. Other adventures include a party cruise on a 55-feet luxury yacht, private boat rentals and you can add-on options like snorkeling or kayaking to complete your adventure.

    Outdoor Activities

    Outdoor Activities in Cartagena

    There are several great Outdoor Activities for you to experience that are a great thing to do in Cartagena for all types of travelers. These excursions can have golfing at the prestigious Jack Nicklaus designed Karibana Beach Golf Club where you can admire the blue hues of the Caribbean Sea. You can decide to take a skydiving tour that will have you jumping with a qualified expert from 5,000-feet as you take in the incredible bird’s eye view of the landscape below. Another option is fishing where you can sail on a luxury boat to the best fishing spots in the area where you can catch the snapper or marlin of your dreams as well as visit stellar beaches like Tierra Bomba.

    Water Sports Tour

    Water Sports Tour in Cartagena

    When you want to experience the Caribbean Sea like never before then an ideal thing to do in Cartagena for water enthusiasts is to take a Water Sports Tour. You will be delighted with the variety of excursions that are available for novices and experts no matter which water sport you decide to try. You can go snorkeling at the Rosario and Cholon Islands or spend a day at Playa Azul. There are options for kitesurfing, fly boarding and you can go standup paddleboarding. Other exciting water sports include scuba diving at the San Bernardo Reef, jet skiing as well as sailing on the Caribbean Sea. Whether you have 30-minutes or a full-day to explore there is a perfect excursion for you and your family.

    Segway Cartagena

    Segway Cartagena in Cartagena

    One of the best things to do in Cartagena for travelers that want to see as many sights as possible without the headache of walking is to try Segway Cartagena. Touring the city on a Segway is a great option when you want to pack the viewing of the many historical places, buildings and monuments that reside within Cartagena. There are a variety of excursions at Segway Cartagena that allow you to visit places like the Walled City, the Customs Plaza, the Inquisition Palace, the Gold Museum and the Naval Museum of the Caribbean. While you are gliding around the city you can listen to an expert guide explain all the interesting facts about Cartagena. Tours last from 60 to 90-minutes and you will receive expert instruction on how to navigate your Segway as well as all of the necessary safety equipment.

    Templo de Santo Domingo

    When you want to see a unique church that was the first to be built within the city then an ideal thing to do in Cartagena is to visit the Templo de Santo Domnigo. Located across the street from Plaza Santo Domingo along Carrera 3, the Templo de Santo Domingo was first constructed in 1539 and was situated within Plaza de los Coches. A few years later the church was destroyed by fire and was reconstructed in 1552 at its present location today. The Templo de Santo Domingo has with a Spanish Colonial architectural design and the bell tower is somewhat crooked. The inside is adorned with a baroque style altar that features a 19th century hand carved wood figure of Jesus and a painting of the Virgin which portrays her with a crown of gold and emeralds. Another interesting aspect to the Templo de Santa Domingo is the grave stones that are used for flooring around the first two rows of pews in the church. When you visit take a moment and enjoy the numerous boutiques as well as restaurants that dot the exterior of Plaza Santo Domingo.

    Galeon Bucanero

    More About Galeon Bucanero

    When you want to see exactly how a pirate lived while on the high seas then a superb thing to do in Cartagena is to take a trip to the Galeon Bucanero. Located along Avenida Blass de Lezo near Plaza de San Pedro Claver, the Galeon Bucanero boasts a museum, restaurant and a gift shop. The Galeon Bucanero is housed in a replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon that sailed the high seas from port to port in search of riches. Once at the Galeon Bucanero you can learn about life on a pirate ship while you stroll around the decks of the ship and view several exhibits that depict the life of a pirate during the 17th century. When you are at the Galeon Bucanero you can indulge in delightful cuisine at the onsite restaurant and there is also a gift shop that is packed with pirate type souvenirs. The Galeon Bucanero is also available for various events from weddings to birthdays.

    Museo Historico de Cartagena de Indias

    One of the most popular things to do in Cartagena for all types of travelers that like history and historical buildings is to take a trip to the Museo Historico de Cartagena de Indias also known as the History Museum of Cartagena of Indias. Located in Plaza Bolivar, the Museo Historico de Cartagena de Indias is housed in the Palace of the Inquisition which was constructed in the 18th century and was used as the Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Inside the Museo Historic de Cartagena de Indias you will find the Hall of Inquisition as well as the Hall of Human Rights and Coexistence. These two areas are packed with exhibits and artifacts used for torture as well as the execution of those charged with being a heretic. There is also hundreds of artifacts that range from pre-Columbian ceramics to historical maps to weaponry as well as a detailed 200 year history of the city. Other interesting rooms include scaled models of the city’s architecture as well as learn about construction techniques that were used during the building of the city.

    Iglesia de la Trinidad

    If you are interested in viewing a unique historical church that boasts a splendid architectural style combined with a beautiful interior then the perfect thing to do in Cartagena is to visit the Iglesia de la Trinidad also known as the Church of the Trinity. Located in the Plaza de la Trinidad in Getsemani within the Getsemani neighborhood, the Iglesia de la Trinidad was erected around 1643 with a Colonial design that was similar to the Cathedral of Cartagena. The Iglesia de la Trinity features triple naves that form a cross that holds the triumphal arch. Inside you will find large columns supporting half arches and the ceiling has a Mudejar style. The altar is unique with an 1868 painting of Purgatory by Pedro Ortiz Alaix which has Archangel San Miguel instead of the Virgin Mary. The Plaza de la Trinidad in Getsemani is a nice place to relax where you will benches as well as vendors while watch the crowds of people attending church.