Cartagena is one of Colombia’s most visited cities. Located on the Caribbean coast, this city is filled with history. From the rich African roots to sunken ships filled with gold and pirates, Cartagena has it all. Now that Colombia is on the path of reopening up in October, this city should definitely be on your list. This post will give you more reasons to visit this beautiful part of Colombia. This is the list of the top 5 things to do in Cartagena Colombia.
1) The Food and Food tours
If you never tried Colombian food, you are missing out. Similar to Cuban and the Spanish Caribbean cuisines. It’s a mixture of Spanish, African, and Amerindian. Every bite you take is a blast of flavor. Cartagena is the center of this rich mixture and you have to experience it. The city is famous for its local food. Cartagena has many of the best restaurants in all of Colombia. There are many food tours that take you to some of the best restaurants in the city. The restaurants here fit every budget. There is freshly squeezed juice that seems to be on every corner. If you like street food and have made it in front of you, there are many options to chose from. Food and tours should definitely be on your list of things to do in Cartagena Colombia.
2) Learn about the local Culture
Cartagena is home to a rich mixture of cultures. African women dressed in brightly colored clothes are the international symbol of Cartagena. They are hard to miss when you are here because they are selling fruits. With a bright smile on their faces, these women come every day from a village an hour away. The village is called San Basilio de Palenque and is a UNESCO site. Known as the first freed slave settlement in the Americas and you just have to see. When you go, it makes you feel like you are on another continent but are still in Colombia. They even speak Spanish creole. Not to be confused with Lucumí of Cuba and Dominican Republic. So, the Spanish creole spoken is unique to the world and can only be found here. Learning this is one of the top things to do in Cartagena Colombia because it is unique.
3) Music and Dancing
Yes, visiting Colombia is not right without Salsa. Even though Salsa was created in Cuba/Puerto Rico, it is still an important part of the local culture. It is big because of the mixture here is similar to the Caribbean. The Salsa clubs in Cartagena are legendary because of all the epic dancing that goes on here. So, imagine you were walking in the streets of Cartagena. You will hear all types of music blasting and you will get the ants in your pants syndrome. There are other types of music that you will hear here and some will make you think you are on another continent. There are many tour companies that take you through the streets of Caratenga and where you learn about champeta also bambuco. They teach you how to dance these local rhythms. So, you go back home with something to brag about.
4) Learn about the history
The history of Cartagena is amazing and you can take tours to learn about it. From sunken ship filled with gold to forts that kept Francis Drake bay, it’s calling for you and your pirate fantasies come to life. So, picture your favorite pirate movie and imagine you being a place where tons of battles happened. Yes, that is Cartagena for you but there still a lot more history. This city was also once the biggest slave port in the Americans and there are tours you can take to see the steps of the slaves. So, you can see the routes of the slaves and walk in the steps of the ancestors of the Afro-Colombians. Also, there are sunken ships off the coast of Cartagena that you go find and explore. Good luck, bring back the money that you found because the government will probably want some.
5) Visit the beaches
Going to Cartagena and you not visiting the beaches will be a big loss because of the beaches here are some of the best in Colombia. So, just picture that you are in an air bnb apartment or hotel room overlooking the ocean and waking up to that view. Yeah, that will definitely be a vacation that was worth you taking a plane for hours because having views like these will cost an arm and a leg in other parts of the world. There are many beaches to chose from while you are here and enjoying your time. However, for those who really love beaches and the sea. You have to take a boat to Tierra Bomba or the Rosario Islands, Playa Blanca, and/or Isla Grande.
Thank you so much for reading! Stay safe and travel safe everyone! Much love!
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Wow, I can’t wait to travel again!
Same here! I can’t wait to go on an airplane again!
I only had a half day in Cartagena, but it remains one of the most-colorful places I’ve visited in Latin America to this day. I especially enjoyed strolling the smaller streets with colorful houses, as well as took in the bright, colonial architecture in the historic center. Thanks for bringing back the memories!
Yes, the buildings and the homes were so colorful all throughout the city. You have to visit again! No problem! i’m glad you liked the post!