Home Destinations 15 Best Things to Do in Cartagena Colombia 2024 for All

15 Best Things to Do in Cartagena Colombia 2024 for All

by Naoi Rei
15 Best Things to Do in Cartagena Colombia 2024 for All

Get ready to jump into the lively world of Cartagena, Colombia! Tucked away on the northern shores of South America, this ancient city is alive with excitement, bursting with colors, and packed with adventures waiting just for you! Whether you’re into exploring the past, soaking up the sun, or tasting new foods, there’s a ton of fun things to do in Cartagena, Colombia, to make everyone happy. Let’s set off on an adventure to discover the best activities you’ve got to try in this beachside treasure. So, toss your clothes in a bag, grab your camera, and come see all the amazing stuff Cartagena has to share in 2024!

1. Stroll Through the Historic Walled City

At the heart of the city lies the Walled City of Cartagena, or “Ciudad Amurallada.” A walk down its old streets lets you peek into times gone by while you wander by eye-catching colonial houses and soak up loads of history. Make sure you see the Clock Tower Gate, where it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Street performers often liven up the squares, making the history of Cartagena, Colombia, burst into life in the coolest way.

2. Experience the Magic of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

Sitting atop San Lázaro hill, the huge Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas looks like a grand fortress straight from a storybook. On your visit to this strong castle, you’ll sneak through secret tunnels and catch awesome views of the city. History fans searching for things to do in Cartagena, Colombia, can’t miss this place that shows off the city’s tough past and its battles with pirates and invaders.

3. Relax on the Pristine Beaches of Islas del Rosario

Take a day trip to the Rosario Islands, a bunch of islands not too far from Cartagena’s shore. They have peaceful beaches with clear blue water and lots of colorful fish, which make it a perfect spot to go snorkeling and diving. This protected park is one of Colombia’s great natural spots, made just right for anyone looking for sun, waves, and beaches on their Cartagena trip.

4. Enjoy the Flavors of Local Cuisine

Cartagena’s food is a tasty mix of African, Spanish, and local flavors that come together to make delicious meals. You’ve got to try things like arepas, yummy ceviche, and coconut rice. To really dive into the food scene, swing by the busy Bazurto Market, where you can taste the real flavors of Cartagena among the stands selling exotic fruits to ocean-fresh seafood.

5. Get Lost in the Colorful Streets of Getsemaní

The Getsemaní area, once not too popular, has changed into a buzzing place full of street art, tunes, and dance. The bright murals are perfect for lazy walks and snapping cool photos. Come nighttime, Plaza Trinidad is hopping with music, making it an ace spot to check out the local nightlife and get into the fun culture of things to do in Cartagena, Colombia.

6. Explore the Underwater Sculptures at the Museo Subacuático de Arte

If you’re up for an underwater quest, make tracks to the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA). Here you’ll snorkel or dive among statues sunk under the sea. These artworks act like man-made reefs, attracting fish of all types and giving you a wild and different adventure as you’re looking for things to do in Cartagena, Colombia.

7. Discover the History at the Palace of the Inquisition

The Palace of the Inquisition is a chilling place that reminds us of Cartagena’s spooky past. The museum tells stories of the Spanish Inquisition and the mean stuff done to folks they thought were doing wrong. It’s a visit that’ll open your eyes to the hard parts of history from way back.

8. Take a Boat Tour of the Cartagena Bay

Seeing Cartagena Bay by boat gives you a whole new view of the city’s skyline and the old forts. When the sun dips down, the sights get even more amazing, making it a dreamy trip for those wishing to see the romance and pretty bits of Cartagena from the waves.

9. Shop for Handicrafts at Las Bóvedas

Where history meets shopping, Las Bóvedas stands—a line of old vaults within the city walls that used to be storerooms and dungeons. Now, they’re cool little shops where you can buy Colombian coffee, hand-crafted trinkets, and other neat local stuff. It’s a fab place to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts and admire the crafty work from here.

10. Take in the View from La Popa Monastery

Right at the highest point in Cartagena sits the Convent of La Popa. From up there, you’ll see the best views of the city and the water below. The monastery’s pretty special too, with a lovely courtyard and stories going back to the 1600s. It’s a peaceful break from the busy streets underneath.

11. Salsa Dance at a Local Club

A trip to Cartagena isn’t finished without getting into the fun of salsa dancing. Loads of clubs across the city have a great vibe where you can join locals and other travelers shaking it to the beat of salsa music way past bedtime.

12. Visit the Gold Museum, Cartagena

The Gold Museum, or “Museo del Oro Zenú,” has an awesome display of gold and pottery from the Zenú people who lived here long ago. It’s a cool spot to learn about the area’s history before Columbus and see the nifty ways they made stuff out of gold.

13. Attend the Cartagena International Music Festival

If you’re in Cartagena in January, don’t skip the Cartagena International Music Festival. It’s a big party of classical music with shows by famous musicians from around the world all set in the city’s historical spots.

14. Botanical Garden Guillermo Piñeres

For those who love plants and flowers, the Botanical Garden Guillermo Piñeres is a quiet place to chill out with all sorts of tropical plants. The garden’s also working on how to keep the area’s unique plants and trees safe and sound.

15. Explore the Mangroves by Canoe

The mangrove forests near Cartagena are super important for the beach world. Rowing a canoe through these natural waterways isn’t just pretty, but it also teaches you about why mangrove trees matter a lot to the coast.


What is the best time of year to visit Cartagena, Colombia?

The cool time to visit Cartagena is the dry season from December to April when it’s sunny and feels good. But really, Cartagena’s seaside fun is good any time of the year.

Is Cartagena, Colombia safe for tourists?

In general, Cartagena is pretty safe for visitors, especially in the usual spots. Just be like you would anywhere else—keep an eye out and be smart about stuff.

How many days should I spend in Cartagena, Colombia?

If you want to get the most of the things to do in Cartagena, Colombia, and the places around, plan to hang out for at least 3 to 5 days. That way, you get a good mix of old stories, cool culture, and chill time by the ocean.

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