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Cartagena Holidays

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Cartagena, Colombia

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Sizzling Culture, Sun-Kissed Beaches, Timeless Marvels

Explore the cobbled streets of Cartagena, where colourful architecture meets rich cultural experiences

Discover the remarkably well-preserved city of Cartagena, which is located on the Caribbean coast. Cartagena is completely surrounded by a network of forts and “Las Murallas,” or thick stone walls, which were constructed to defend the city from invading pirates, creating a beautifully atmospheric city.

With UNESCO World Heritage status, the old walls house a labyrinth of flagged alleys, leafy plazas and carved wooden balconies overflowing with brightly coloured bougainvillea. Restored convents and colonial buildings have been transformed into museums, offering a glimpse into Cartagena's past, displaying everything from religious arts to pre-Colombian ceramics and pre-Hispanic gold. The Palace Inquisition offers a hauntingly interesting experience, showcasing instruments of torture from Cartagena's colonial days. Beautifully decorated churches are dotted around the city, and handicraft markets line the streets, selling vibrantly coloured paintings, coconut carved jewellery, and Panama-style straw hats.

The best way to experience the history and charm of the city is to simply roam around; escape the glaring sun in an eccentric café, or ride a horse-drawn carriage through the streets. In the afternoon plazas come to life with street entertainers, jazz bands playing a pulsing beat, and local merchants preparing a spread of delicious treats like arepas (fried cornmeal with a variety of fillings) and buñuelos (maize cheese balls).

Beyond the old town, indulge in a variety of day trips. The archipelago of Isla del Rosario is a short boat ride away, made up of idyllic islands surrounded by coral reef and warm-turquoise waters. The sugar-sand beach of Playa Grande on Baru Island attracts countless visitors with its swaying palms and snorkelling opportunities.

Cartagena offers the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration. Former convents and colonial mansions have been beautifully restored into luxury boutique hotels, and an array of fine dining and cocktail bars are dotted around the city. To experience the best of this historic city, please contact us to learn about our favourite places, from the best seafood haunt to our favourite hotel. Let us arrange the perfect trip for you, to this incredible and stunning destination.

Our favourite Cartagena lodges and hotels

Best places to stay in Cartagena

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  • Amanda

    Amanda

    Latin America Specialist

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