100 things to do in Cartagena Colombia

cartagena colombia

Cartagena de Indias is a beautiful and touristic city located in the North of Colombia. Considered as a jewel of the Caribbean, this city has a rich past which gives it this particular cachet nowadays. History, gastronomy, art, cutlure, beaches, nighlife… Cartagena has a lot to offer to visitors who dare to face its hot and humid weather.

I am lucky enough to live in this city since january 2016. So when I am not working, I take my dog along and explore. Therefore I share with you this subjective list of my 100 favorite things to do in Cartagena. No matter if you stay for a day or for weeks, it will give you an overview of what you can find there. Just pick up what you like! 

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1-Popa Hill (Cerro de la Popa), a covent on the top of the highest hill of the city,  for the best view on Cartagena.

2- Castillo San Felipe, built in 1536 by slaves, to discover the military architecture.

3- Sanctuary of San Pedro Claver, named after Colombia’s first Saint.

4- Pedro Heredia theater, also called Adolfo Mejia theater.

5- The famous Clock Tower (Torre del Reloj), the main gate of Old Cartagena.

6- The Vaults (las Bovedas) to shop local handicraft and emeralds.

7- Plaza de la Aduana, the biggest square of Cartagena.

8- Fort of San Sebastian del Pastelillo in the district of Manga.

9- Plaza Bolivar to enjoy a show by traditional dancers.

10- Catedral Santa Catalina de la Alejandria.

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11- Take a walk tour in the Old city with an expert guide. More

12- Take pictures of the colorful colonial houses in the district of San Diego.

13- Admire the murals in the streets of the district of Getsemani.

14- Walk along the old city walls early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

15- Cross the Roman Bridge for beautiful views on the city.

16- Walk through Park Centenario (monuments, fountains, leafy walking paths).

17- Walk along the touristiv port (Muelle Turistico) to admire the Bay of Souls (bahía de las animas).

18- Walk down the street Calle Real del Cabrero to see the Church Ermita del Cabrero and beautiful colonial houses.

19- Walk on the beach of Bocagrande, the modern district of Cartagena.

20- Walk on the seafront of Manga (avenida Miramar) for a view on the Marina.

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21- Fresh fruit salad freshly made by a Palenquera (fruit basket lady) in the historic center.

22- Typical arepas con huevo and empanadas for breakfast.

23- Traditional Caribbean lunch: fried fish, coconut rice and plantains.

24- Handmade sweets at Portal de los Dulces.

25- Seafood and fish at La Cevicheria restaurant. More

26- Ice-cream (paleta) at La Paletteria near Plaza Santo Domingo. More

27- Fresh Coco water and Coco limonade.

28- Rum and artesanal beers at Alquimico bar. More

29- Brunch at Caffe Lunatico. More

30- Coffee roasting and tasting at Cafe del Mural. More

31- Delicious street food during a tour experience. More

32- Closed-door gastronomic experience. More

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33- Museum of Oro Zenu (free) to admire pre-Columbian golden objects. More

34- House-museum of Rafael Nuñez (free). More

35- Naval Museum of the Caribbean to discover pirate stories. More

36- Historic Museum housed in Palacio de la Inquisicion. More

37- Museum of Modern Art featuring local artists. More

38- Museum of Fortifications, inside baluarte de Santa Catalina. More

39- Historic Photo gallery of Cartagena (fototeca) in the district of Manga. More

40- Choco Museum in the district of San Diego. More

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41- Touch Gertrudis’breast, Botero’s sculpture, at Plaza Santo Domingo to get lucky in love.

42- Statue of The India Catalina, before the bridge of Chambacu.

43- Statue of Pedro de Heredia, the founder of the city in 1533, at Plaza de los Coches.

44- Statues of famous Colombian artists and musicians at Park de los Manglares.

45- Bust of the 9 most important people in the history of Cartagena at Park Apollo.

46- Giant sculpture of a pair of boots (Las Botas Viejas), near Castillo San Felipe.

47- Statue of Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, at plaza Bolivar.

48- Statue of Christopher Colombo, at plaza de la Aduana.

49- Sculptures of traditionals workers in front of the Museum of Modern Art.

50- Original sculptures of people and dogs at plaza del Pozo in Getsemani.


51- Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara (cafe). More

52- University of Cartagena. More

53- Hotel El Claustro (cafe). More

54- Vera restaurant (italian food) inside the Tcherassi hotel. More

55- Centro Cultural Ciudad Movil (pizzas). More

56- Alianza Colombo Francesa (cafe). More

57- Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española. More

58- Alma restaurant (caribbean gastronomy) in the Hotel Casa San Augustin. More

59- Restaurant Cuzco (peruvian food) near Plaza Santo Domingo. More

60- Bohemia restaurant & bar inside El Marques Hotel. More

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61- Watch the sunset from Cafe del Mar. More

62- Admire the 360-degree view from the rooftop of the Movich hotel. More

63- Have the cheapest beer at Donde Fidel. More

64- Have a cocktail on the lovely rooftop of Malagana café & bar. More

65- Have a glass of wine in the bar El Claustro of the Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara, an ancient chapel. More

66- Listen to good salsa at La Esquina Sandiegana. More

67- Have cocktails and tapas at Bar Demente. More

68- Wednesday rooftop parties and live mucis at Media Luna Hostel’s. More

69- Dance salsa at Cafe Havana. More

70- Dance champeta at Bazurto social club. More

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71- Party on a colorful Chiva bus by night. More

72- Experience parapente in Bocagrande. More

73- Take a romantic horse carriage ride through the old city. More

74- Participate to a Coconut handicraft workshop. More

75- Discover Bazurto market. More

76- Stand up paddle at sunset. More

77- Bird watching at La Boquilla. More

78- Private boat rental to Islas del Rosario. More

79- Movie bike city tour. More

80- Spend a Sunday in La Boquilla beach to feel like a local.

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81- Escape for a day to Islas del Rosario. More

82- Scuba dive in the Caribbean. More

83- Fishing trip with locals in La Boquilla. More

84- Visit famous Baru’s Playa Blanca. More

85- Take a canoe trip in the Mangrove. More

86- Have a mud bath in Totumo volcano. More

87- Beach day tour in Punta Arena. More

88- Day tour to Barranquilla and Santa Marta. More

89- Tour to Palenque: the other history of Cartagena. More

90- Botanical garden of Guillermo Pineres in Turbaco. More

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91- January: Cartagena Classical Music Festival. More

92- January: HAY festival (international literary event). More

93- January: Storyland festival, Colombia’s biggest electronic dance music festival. More

94- March: International Festival of Cinema of Cartagena de Indias (FICCI). More

95- March: Easter celebration (Semana Santa).

96- March: Election of Miss Colombia beauty pageant.

97- August: Cartagena kite festival.

98- November: Cartagena’s Independance day festivities.

99- October: International Festival of Guitar of Cartagena. More

100- December: Christmas celebration.


Ready to discover Cartagena? What are your top list of activities?

Photos & contents @ The Tropical Dog 2015-2017. 

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