Whether you love sipping world-class coffee on a bougainvillea-laced balcony, exploring a historic stone-walled city or salsa dancing until 6am, Cartagena has something for everyone. It’s a place where tropical Caribbean vibes blend with Colombian culture in a way that’s uniquely their own.
The best time to visit Cartagena is from December – April when the weather is most temperate and ideal for sightseeing. Temperatures are still warm and sunny during these months, but the humidity is a little lower and it’s less likely to rain. The only downside to this is that many of the outdoor activities like island hopping and walking tours are more limited in these months.
One of the top things to do in Cartagena is taking a boat tour to Isla Baru, which is just an hour from the coast. This picture-perfect archipelago is a national park that’s home to stunning coral reefs, pristine beaches, and colorful beach huts. A popular day trip in Cartagena, it’s definitely a must-do for anyone visiting!
While the water is a bit rough around the edges of the islands, they’re perfectly safe for swimmers and snorkelers. Just be sure to bring a waterproof camera so you can capture all the underwater magic!
You can book a boat tour from the docks located just outside the old city walls. However, you may want to book in advance as it can get busy during the peak tourist season.
If you’re not a fan of boats, you can also take a ferry to the island at La Boquilla which is just a 20-minute taxi ride from El Centro. This area has a similar feel to the Rosario Islands and is a great option for families looking for some relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The waterfront is lined with restaurants that serve up fresh seafood and a variety of Caribbean-style cuisine. There are also several bars that serve refreshing drinks and cocktails as you gaze out over the glittering waters of Bocagrande.
As you stroll around the streets of the old city, you’ll find that all the homes are painted in bright, cheerful colors and have gorgeous balconies adorned with flowers. There’s a real sense of Caribbean flair that can’t be found anywhere else.
It’s important to note that Cartagena can be a bit unsafe for tourists, particularly in the center of town where there are often petty crime incidents and aggressive vendors trying to scam you. That being said, the city is much safer than many people think and it’s certainly not as dangerous as a lot of other parts of the country. With that being said, it’s always a good idea to get travel insurance from a company like World Nomads and to be mindful of your belongings at all times. Having the right mindset and a few safety tips will help ensure that your trip to Cartagena is as enjoyable as possible. Vacation Cartagena Colombia