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In a legendary city by the sea, a historic neighborhood that you can navigate completely on food, sprawling white sand beaches, and architecture that dates back to the 16th century wait to greet you. Winding cobblestone streets lead to convent walls, small churches, and a variety of open-air markets brimming with artisan goods. First a Spanish port, Cartagena is now unmistakably Colombian. Its interior walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and just the tip of the iceberg for your vacation. Tip back a chilled mojito, stroll under dense bundles of fragrant bougainvillea, and visit the dozens of structures and plazas that tell centuries-old stories.
On-site at Casa San Agustin, Alma Restaurant features coastal Colombian cuisine in a fine dining setting, often with live music. Alma Bar serves up a wide selection of gin, signature cocktails, and light snacks.
Ermita Nuestra senora de la Candelaria, La Iglesia de la Trinidad, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral are just a small sample of the dozens of historic landmark churches you can visit on foot.
Even dancers with two left feet can be taught salsa, meringue, and bachata. At Crazy Salsa, all levels of ability are welcomed by the teacher, Mauricio. Schedule a private lesson during your vacation.
A day trip from Cartagena, this mud volcano is famous for its healing mud baths. If you don’t mind the dirt, you can slather on the mud’s magnesium and calcium and float peacefully inside the 50-foot volcano.
Monumento a Los Zapatos Viejos are also known as “Old Boots.” This giant statue of shoes is a tribute to the poet Luis Carlos Lopez and a great photo op. Other must-sees: Monumento a La Palanquera and La Gorda Gertrudis.
Located high atop the Hill of San Lázaro in the Pie de la Popa neighborhood, this historic fortress was built by the Spaniards and looks out over both land and sea. It's one of the city's biggest attractions.
Easily the most swimmable beach in the area, Playa Blanca can be reached by a 30-minute speedboat ride. Round-trip tickets are available for day trips. Turquoise water and white sand complement a peaceful tide. Ask your hotel concierge for departure times.
During your Cartagena vacation, you’ll find that most establishments accept credit card transactions. It’s wise to carry cash for instances such as taxi rides or street vendors. To withdraw pesos, use your debit card at a secure ATM machine.
Mercado de Bazurto is the liveliest and loudest open-air market in Cartagena. For a more local experience, handmade goods, and Colombian jewelry, head to Calle de la Gobernación, where you can munch on fresh arepas after you shop.
Literally translating to “goat bus,” chiva buses are open-air, colorful buses that glide through the city, usually to the sounds of local music. If you would like to experience this lively tour, talk to your hotel concierge about the best pickup locations.
Because of its tropical savanna climate, you can count on the weather in Cartagena to be relatively humid and sunny. Temperatures average 84°F during most of the year. June tends to be the hottest month of the year and the “coldest “month is January, at 81°. Highs can range above 90° and temperatures very rarely dip below 70°. Hours of daylight year-round range between 11 and 12.5 hours.
Google Maps satellite images are not always up-to-date, especially in non-U.S. destinations. Some Inspirato accommodations are located in developments built after images were last updated. Our pin placements represent our best location estimates, but actual locations may vary.