Cartagena is one of the destinations par excellence of the Caribbean. It is not strange, its crystal clear waters, the climate, a great tourist and leisure offer make this city one of the most requested destinations in the Caribbean.
If you are preparing a trip to the Cartagena de Indias, we indicate a series of tips to keep in mind:
1. When is the best time to visit Cartagena?
Cartagena is in a tropical zone, so the temperature does not vary much during the year, not so the rainfall. The dry season, and therefore the best option for traveling, is between December and April. On the contrary, the rainy season covers from May to November.
2. How much time is necessary to enjoy Cartagena?
It depends on your tastes. If you want to see its tourist places, as well as relax and enjoy its beaches and nightlife, you will need about a week. If you are not staying hours and hours on the beach, with 3-4 days is enough.
3. Where to stay in Cartagena?
If you want to experience the most authentic Cartagena, we recommend you to stay in the Old Center, inside the walls. Colonial houses, narrow streets and a unique atmosphere for the streets and squares are waiting for you.
On the contrary, if you prefer to stay in a modern hotel with good views of the sea, we recommend you stay in Bocagrande. Here you will enjoy the best leisure and beach offer in Cartagena.
4. What places of interest are there in Cartagena?
Cartagena has a varied tourist offer, both leisure and cultural, being the main places of interest:
- Colonial Zone: Downtown area within the old city walls. It stands out for its old houses with its wooden balconies, its narrow streets, squares and street entertainment.
- Walls of the city: They protected the city from enemy raids. They are now restored and even house a trendy restaurant and bar in one of its sections.
- San Felipe Royal Fort: Colonial fort famous for its role in defending the city against attempted British invasion. At the entrance to the fort there is a statue in honor of Blas de Lezo, heroic defender in command of the Spanish troops.
- Naval Museum: It gathers information about the whole history of the city and its relationship with the world of the sea, from its foundation to the present time. Special mention for the detailed explanation of the battle for the defense of the city against the British troops.
- Bocagrande: Modern neighborhood of Cartagena formed by skyscrapers. Here is the largest hotel and apartment offer in the entire city.
- Night out on Cartagena: Famous in Colombia and throughout the world. You have a multitude of bars and clubs of all types, the classic ones being: Babar, Mister Babilla, Havana Cafe, …
- Rosario Islands: There are 30 islands in this archipelago (private and public). To get there, you must buy your ticket/tour at the dock. The quality of the sand and its waters is much better than that of the beaches of Cartagena.
- Beaches: The best beaches in the city are in Bocagrande, although they do not stand out. Also note that most of them are private (belong to the hotel or apartment tower). You also have the option of moving to the beaches of the islands that we discussed previously.
- Rosario Islands Oceanarium: Marine fauna reserve located on an island near the city. Here you can see a great variety of native species of the area: turtles, cat sharks, dolphins, puffer fish, sting rays,…
- Diving: There is a variety of companies that offer snorkeling or oxygen cylinder diving in any of the coral areas and islands near the city.
- Peninsula of Baru: Located on the outskirts of the city, it hosts the “Corales del Rosario” natural national park at its end. It also stands out for beach areas.
- Mud Baths: You can take some mud baths in the Volcano of Mud “El Totumo”. It is located 55 km. from Cartagena.
- Markets and craft stores: There are all over the city. You can find from the typical souvenirs of the city to handicrafts of native communities near the city. The masks of animals in bright colors, hats and hammocks stand out.
5. How to move around the Cartagena?
Going around the center you can walk and enjoy all the excitement and bustle of the city. For greater distances within the city, you can take a taxi.
To go to the islands, tours in the harbor area are contracted. There you can choose between different options.
In the case of longer distances, hire a tour with an agency, rent a car or move in one of the “busetas” (buses) that are in the city.
We hope these tips are useful to you on your trip.
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