Cartagena de Indias is definitely one of my favorite destinations in Colombia. I love walking on its colorful and narrow streets, meeting from time to time a Palanquera selling fresh fruit salads.
As it is situated on the Caribbean cost it has a hot and humid climate all year long with rainy seasons from April till June and October till December.
Where to stay in Cartagena? My pick would be a colonial hotel within the Walled City. Another option could be one of the skyscrapers hotels in Boca Grande. If you are lucky you can get a room with overlooking the Walled city in the distance.
My two favorite spots to watch sunset is el Cafe del Mar and la Popa Hill from where you can enjoy the view of the skyscrapers. As the Monastery closed before the sunset I had to wait outside to see the sun setting. We got to the the Popa hill by taxi after negotiating the fare.
Beaches? Unfortunately Cartagena is not famous for its beaches. In order to enjoy white sand beaches and turquoise waters, go to Baru Island (Isla Baru), about an hour and a half driving from Cartagena.
Islas Rosario are another place worth visiting while in Cartagena. How to get there? For adrenaline lovers a speed boat will guarantee unforgettable experience. For families with kids a better option would be a regular boat although it takes much longer but it is not bumpy as the speed boat. There are also hotels on the Islands to spend a night or two there.
Isla Mucura is a white sand beaches sland situated about 2 hours by a boat from Cartagena. The boat is usually organized byte hotel while booking.
Visiting with kids: It is a very nice destination to go with kids. The hotels usually have swimming pools. However moving around the city with a stroller can be quite of a challenge due to narrow and high pavements. There are places where 2 people can hardly fit on the pavement. In some other places you can walk on the streets. Don’t forget a hat, sun cream and a lot of water for the yougest travellers.
Some other places that are a must to see in Cartagena: Las Bovedas, San Felipe Castle (Castillo San Felipe de Barajas), Santo Domingo Square, Plaza de los Coches, Torre de Reloj (The Clock Tower), a coffee or drink in Santa Clara Hotel, Botero Square where you can find a Palanquera willing to take a picture with tourists. Just don’t forget to tip her after taking the shot 😉