Skip to main content

Top things to do in Cartagena de Indias

Attractions, tours, and activities in Cartagena de Indias

Cartagena de Indias: the city's best neighborhoods

Find a great area to stay in Cartagena de Indias

About Cartagena de Indias

Including tips for the best time to visit Cartagena de Indias

Situated on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, the charming walled city of Cartagena de Indias is popular for its beaches, nightlife and beautiful Old Town architecture.

Cartagena’s historic Old Town is best explored without an itinerary. Its pretty cobblestone streets are encircled by 13 kilometres of ancient walls dating back to the 16th century. The area is filled with distinctive mansions known for their flower-filled balconies. Combine that with vast churches, monasteries and leafy plazas and it’s easy to see why Cartagena is a photographer’s paradise. Head down to the Clock Tower Monument to catch a local dance performance or explore the incredible fortress of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas with a guided walking tour.

Cartagena’s tropical climate makes it a prime location for beachgoers, with the local sands of Bocagrande the easiest to reach. However, it’s worth venturing out a little further to reach the beautiful shores of Playa Blanca and the Rosario Islands. Charter boats for these beaches are readily available at one of the city’s several harbours and offer roundtrip tickets.

As the sun sets over Cartagena, the city begins to show a whole other side to itself as its bars and nightclubs come to life. To get a taste of Latin American culture, start off at a top-notch salsa club like Café Havana which offers live music and serves classic cocktails. Most venues get going around midnight and stay open until around 4 AM.


From $14 per night

This weekend

From $28 per night

Next weekend

From $33 per night

Most popular time to visit October-December
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency COP 10,000 = $2.26
Language Spanish
Average weekend price $9 per night
Average weekday price $9 per night
Average stay 2 nights

Cartagena de Indias reviews

What other travelers say about Cartagena de Indias


Cartagena is a city rich in history.

May 30, 2023

Cartagena is a city rich in history...spectacular in many ways but be forewarned: it is like New Orleans on humid and muggy. Hawkers everywhere who won't give you a moment's peace constantly badgering you. Additionally, there are quite a few migrants from Venezuela who are begging for can only help so many people out.......that said, the Old City has tons of great eateries at about half the price you would pay here in LaLa land (my home) Popa is a great visit to the highest point in the city where you can enjoy some spectacular views....the Castillo de San Felipe is equally worth a visit. Bring some Coppertone 30 plus and some OFF....the mosquitos can really be irritating ...the old hotels are very well restored but be prepared for a lack of elevators.

John United States of America

It I a beautiful place bursting with culture.

May 29, 2023

It I a beautiful place bursting with culture. There is something to do for all ages. I love fine dining and there were plenty of excellent restaurants with awesome food for all budgets. The people are beautiful and nice. I didn't see a lot of people wearing jewelry, and although cabs are easily accessible, more times than not, it is easier to walk to your location, especially within the wall city. Take the Five Island Tour with John Wayne and Jonas for snorkeling, partying, private beach excursion, lunch on a public beach, and tour of a fort- excellent time! Also, for great live music and dancing, visit Havana Club. Also, if you live art, you will be in art haven. There are so many artists selling on the street, you could spend an entire day just looking at and buying art. I stayed 3 and half days and that was the right amount of time.

Ervin United States of America

The history of the walled city and the historic buildings in...

May 28, 2023

The history of the walled city and the historic buildings in it; the Getsemani neighborhood with its colorful umbrellas and flags and wall art, castillo san felipe… and that is just a part of Cartagena I got see.. one should be mindful of the prices of taxi drivers; it varies a lot… one should ask for the price bedore entering the taxi… i would recommend doing the city tour hop on and off (red double decker) especially with the walking tour of the old city; castillo de san felipe can be included in the ticket price for an additional fee..

Darryllin Curaçao

The hotel was beautiful and the staff pleasant.

May 21, 2023

The hotel was beautiful and the staff pleasant. Most don’t speak English and unfortunately I only speak English. The hotel was under construction which we didn’t know so that was a bummer. Not other rooms had beautiful views. The rooftop bar and pool are super pretty. Bring a hairdryer as they don’t have any and there were limited towels. It is in a great locational, walkable all around the walled city. We really enjoyed our stay there! We we’re there 4 days and 3 nights

Rebecca United States of America

Basically just shopping and places to eat.

May 13, 2023

Basically just shopping and places to eat. The beaches are okay. There are tours to go to pretty islands nearby as day tours. The art is the best part in my opinion. Definitely stayed for too long being here for two weeks. I love Colombia but do not plan on returning to Cartagena. The volcano tour was lovely.


We took an outstanding free walking tour of the Getsemaní...

May 3, 2023

We took an outstanding free walking tour of the Getsemaní neighborhood with Beyond Colombia. The guide was fun, entertaining and knowledgeable who spoke English well. We ate at several nice restaurants - La Mulata within la ciudad antigua which had nice seafood entries and a wonderful Coco Limonada non-alcoholic drink; Crepes & Waffles (in la ciudad antigua) was an excellent place for dinner (and dessert); Sierpe Cocina Caribe on Calle de la Sierpe in the Getsemaní neighborhood had tasty seafood and side dishes. Nice Colombian-made items can be found at La Trinidad Plaza (name of the store) which is near the Trinidad Plaza in the Getsemaní neighborhood. The San Felipe de Barajas “castle” fortress was worth the visit.

John United States of America

Popular places to stay in Cartagena de Indias

Stay in some of the best accommodations Cartagena de Indias has to offer

Other attractions and activities in Cartagena de Indias

More things to do and see in Cartagena de Indias