A fairy-tale city of romance, legends and sheer beauty, Cartagena de Indias is an addictive place that can be hard to escape. This is the place to drop all sightseeing routines. Instead, just stroll through Cartagena's maze of cobbled alleys, where enormous balconies are shrouded in bougainvilla and massive churches cast their shadows across leafy plazas. Take time out to relax at one of Cartagena's many open-air cafés, prime viewing spots to watch the parade of horse-drawn carriages, fashionable locals and mystified tourists. When the bustling city gets too much, you can always escape to the nearby Islas de Rosario.
Cartagena offers a variety of restaurants and accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. If you've got pesos burning a hole in your pocket, this is the city to splurge on a pricey historic hotel or flashy restaurant.
Listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, Cartagena draws legions of tourists and thus, inevitably, aggressive touts and money changers. You are more likely to get hassled in Cartagena than in any other Colombian city, but this is a small price to pay to enjoy one of the continent's greatest cultural treasures.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Travel overland from Cartagena to Quito in 19 days
- Discover Cartagena on your tour of the highlights of Colombia
- Visit Totumo Volcano and bathe in its mud pools
- Experience the best of Colombia in 9 days
Last updated: Jan 25, 2013
Tips & articles
14 January 2013
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