Top things to do in Cartagena

Top things to do in Carta­ge­na. Carta­ge­na is the top tourist port city in Colom­bia. Whether you’re com­ing for a 3 day week­end or spend­ing an entire week in Carta­ge­na cel­e­brat­ing your 40th birth­day. Carta­ge­na has some­thing for every­one.

Where to lay out in the sun

The best beach­es are out­side of the city of Carta­ge­na. Our top must vis­it beach when we vis­it Carta­ge­na is Isla Baru.

How­ev­er, Isla del Rosario is amaz­ing as well. The dif­fer­ence between the two islands is dis­tance. And trans­porta­tion options. Both islands were once only acce­si­ble via boat or fer­ry. How­ev­er, today Isla Baru is acce­si­ble via land after the cre­ation of the bridge con­nect­ing Carta­ge­na to Baru in 2014.

Oth­er beach options include Boca­grande with­in the city lim­its of Carta­ge­na. Boca­grande is the most pop­u­lar beach in Carta­ge­na. Fur­ther­more, it’s the largest beach in all of Cartagena.

Boca­grande has a lot going on. Music, danc­ing, drink­ing and a lot of ven­dors offer­ing their prod­ucts and services.

For a more pri­vate time, away from beach ven­dors. El Lagui­to has an awe­some small beach behind the Hilton Carta­ge­na. Arrive at the Hilton Carta­ge­na. Then walk behind the hotel for a more relax­ing time at the beach.

Sun without the beach

Many Carta­ge­na hotels have their own pools. For those want­i­ng to avoid a day at the beach. The hotels with the best pools are.

  1. Hilton Carta­ge­na
  2. Hol­i­day Inn Express Bocagrande
  3. Hol­i­day Inn Los Morros
  4. Hotel Almirante
  5. GHL Corales
  6. Radis­son Hotel Cartagena

Where to eat

Carta­ge­na has the best restau­rants in Colom­bia. How­ev­er, these are the best of the best.

  1. Moshi – Japan­ese-Colom­bian fusion. Amaz­ing decor and the best sashi­mi in Colom­bia. Moshi is a small restau­rant. How­ev­er, it’s pos­si­ble to walk in if you’re will­ing to wait. And or if you arrive very early.
  2. Car­men – Colom­bian high end cui­sine. The Car­men brand began many years ago in Medellin. How­ev­er, it’s still top notch. Fur­ther­more, Car­men is also the cre­ator of Moshi. A restau­rant they share a space with in Cartagena.
  3. El Burlador de Sevil­la – the best Span­ish cui­sine in Carta­ge­na. And, each  night you’re able to watch mul­ti­ple live fla­men­co shows.
  4. El San­tisi­mo – tra­di­tion­al Colom­bian coastal food. Most restau­rants in Carta­ge­na offer main plates with fish and oth­er seafood. How­ev­er, El San­tisi­mo tops the list. A can‘t miss when vis­it­ing Cartagena.
  5. El Kilo – if you’re look­ing for fresh oys­ters, this is the place.

Oth­er options to check out.

  1. Sinko bar and restau­rant. One of the coolest hang­outs in Medellin now has a Carta­ge­na location.
  2. Cuz­co – for any­one look­ing for Peru­vian food in Carta­ge­na. How­ev­er, they have a very strict dress code despite the rel­a­tive­ly chill dress code in all of Cartagena.
  3. 1621 hands down the most high end restau­rant in Carta­ge­na. How­ev­er, the restau­rant is locat­ed with­in the top Carta­ge­na hotel. Reser­va­tions are eas­i­er for those stay­ing at the San­ta Clara hotel.

After dinner drinks

Cafe del Mar is the best place for after-din­ner drinks, and some live music. Cafe del Mar is locat­ed on the walled city wall. Amaz­ing views of the ocean.


Carta­ge­na is great for fam­i­lies dur­ing the day time, and even bet­ter for adults in the evening. Our favorite places to dance are Mis­ter Babil­la and Tu Candela.

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