Top things to do in Cartagena

Expat Local Guides
January 25, 2018

Top things to do in Cartagena

Top things to do in Cartagena

Top things to do in Cartagena. Cartagena is the top tourist port city in Colombia. Whether you’re coming for a 3 day weekend or spending an entire week in Cartagena celebrating your 40th birthday. Cartagena has something for everyone.

Where to lay out in the sun

The best beaches are outside of the city of Cartagena. Our top must visit beach when we visit Cartagena is Isla Baru.

However, Isla del Rosario is amazing as well. The difference between the two islands is distance. And transportation options. Both islands were once only accesible via boat or ferry. However, today Isla Baru is accesible via land after the creation of the bridge connecting Cartagena to Baru in 2014.

Other beach options include Bocagrande within the city limits of Cartagena. Bocagrande is the most popular beach in Cartagena. Furthermore, it’s the largest beach in all of Cartagena.

Bocagrande has a lot going on. Music, dancing, drinking and a lot of vendors offering their products and services.

For a more private time, away from beach vendors. El Laguito has an awesome small beach behind the Hilton Cartagena. Arrive at the Hilton Cartagena. Then walk behind the hotel for a more relaxing time at the beach.

Sun without the beach

Many Cartagena hotels have their own pools. For those wanting to avoid a day at the beach. The hotels with the best pools are.

  1. Hilton Cartagena
  2. Holiday Inn Express Bocagrande
  3. Holiday Inn Los Morros
  4. Hotel Almirante
  5. GHL Corales
  6. Radisson Hotel Cartagena

Where to eat

Cartagena has the best restaurants in Colombia. However, these are the best of the best.

  1. Moshi – Japanese-Colombian fusion. Amazing decor and the best sashimi in Colombia. Moshi is a small restaurant. However, it’s possible to walk in if you’re willing to wait. And or if you arrive very early.
  2. Carmen – Colombian high end cuisine. The Carmen brand began many years ago in Medellin. However, it’s still top notch. Furthermore, Carmen is also the creator of Moshi. A restaurant they share a space with in Cartagena.
  3. El Burlador de Sevilla – the best Spanish cuisine in Cartagena. And, each¬† night you’re able to watch multiple live flamenco shows.
  4. El Santisimo – traditional Colombian coastal food. Most restaurants in Cartagena offer main plates with fish and other seafood. However, El Santisimo tops the list. A can`t miss when visiting Cartagena.
  5. El Kilo – if you’re looking for fresh oysters, this is the place.

Other options to check out.

  1. Sinko bar and restaurant. One of the coolest hangouts in Medellin now has a Cartagena location.
  2. Cuzco – for anyone looking for Peruvian food in Cartagena. However, they have a very strict dress code despite the relatively chill dress code in all of Cartagena.
  3. 1621 hands down the most high end restaurant in Cartagena. However, the restaurant is located within the top Cartagena hotel. Reservations are easier for those staying at the Santa Clara hotel.

After dinner drinks

Cafe del Mar is the best place for after-dinner drinks, and some live music. Cafe del Mar is located on the walled city wall. Amazing views of the ocean.


Cartagena is great for families during the day time, and even better for adults in the evening. Our favorite places to dance are Mister Babilla and Tu Candela.

In conclusion, Cartagena is an amazing place you can’t miss. Furthermore, 3 days or 3 weeks sometimes is too little.

Top things to do in Cartagena

Top things to do in Cartagena

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