Cartagena
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Cartagena Culture & History

From Cartagena: Day Trip to Playa Blanca with Lunch

1. From Cartagena: Day Trip to Playa Blanca with Lunch

Enjoy a paradisiacal day relaxing on the white sand beach of Baru Island's aptly-named Playa Blanca. After getting picked up from your hotel in Cartagena, take a 1-hour journey in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan to Baru. Learn more about local life in both the city and the island towns from your local driver. Once in Baru, take a quick, idyllic stroll along the beach to reach where you will spend the day. Make the most of all the facilities the place has to offer, including sundecks to relax on the beach. In the afternoon, savor a delicious lunch with several options including vegetarian and meat dishes. If none of the options take your fancy feel free to order anything else on the menu and only pay the difference. Head back to the beach after lunch to relax for another few hours before beginning the journey back to Cartagena in the evening.

Cartagena: Sunset Cruise with Open Bar on a Pirate Ship

2. Cartagena: Sunset Cruise with Open Bar on a Pirate Ship

Meet your guide at Pegasus Pier at 4:30 PM and board a wonderfully quaint pirate ship, ready to push off from the dock promptly at 5:00 PM. In the late afternoon sun, begin cruising along a picturesque scenic route around Cartagena, admiring the spectacular skylines of Bocagrande, El Laguito, and Playa de Castillo Grande.  Hear interesting stories of how pirates and slaves played a crucial role in the history of the city as you cruise the canal between Tierra Bomba and Bocagrande. Enjoy the perfect opportunity to take amazing pictures as you reach the best place in the ocean to see the sunset. During the whole experience, you’ll be served pirate punch and pirate lemonade, drinks made with fruit punch, coconut lemonade, rum, and aguardiente. Arrive back at Muelle de los Pegasos between 6:30 PM and 7:00 PM.

Cartagena: Guided City Tour w/ La Popa and San Felipe Castle

3. Cartagena: Guided City Tour w/ La Popa and San Felipe Castle

Discover the magic of Cartagena — declared a World Heritage Site for its architectural distinction and its history — on this 4-hour, small-group tour. Visit the main sites around the city and learn the rich stories behind its culture. Head to the La Popa monastery, located on the tallest hill in the city, to get amazing views and take the best pictures from above. From there, explore the Fort San Felipe de Barajas, a 16th-century hilltop fortress built by the Spanish to protect against pirates and the English navy. Your guide will accompany you to tell the stories within the fort and explain more of its importance to Cartagena. Make a quick stop at an emblematic symbol of Cartagena — the Old Shoes Monument — and continue into the Walled City. Take a guided walk around the historic center and gain a deep understanding of its culture and architecture before returning to your hotel.

Cartagena: Snorkel, Mangroves and Playa Blanca Tour

4. Cartagena: Snorkel, Mangroves and Playa Blanca Tour

Get picked up from your accommodation at 7:30 AM in an air-conditioned bus. Meet your guide who will provide all the details about your upcoming adventure and the route. At 9 AM, arrive at the island of Baru and board a boat. Cruise for 15 minutes through the crystal clear waters until you arrive at the snorkeling site. After 1 hour of enjoyable snorkeling, continue the tour into the mangroves to see birds, iguanas, and other species. Discover the fascinating landscapes of the island and the life of the native species who inhabit this magical ecosystem. At 1 PM, head back to Playa Blanca to enjoy a delicious lunch with options of fish, chicken, or vegetarian. Once you've eaten, spend some time swimming in the clear waters or relaxing on the beautiful white sand beach. At 3:30 PM, board the return bus which will drop you off back at your hotel.

Cartagena: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & Optional Attractions

5. Cartagena: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & Optional Attractions

Located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, few places on Earth are as beautiful as Cartagena. Sightseeing in this astounding city is a hugely enjoyable experience, offering both modernity and history. There is something to suit all tastes. From beautiful architecture to striking monuments, there is plenty of inspiring sightseeing opportunities while on your City Sightseeing bus tour. Discover all of beautiful Cartagena in 14 bus stops, as you explore the city's beautiful architecture and striking monuments in the most flexible and enjoyable way. Visit key sites in the city, such as the Clock Tower, the San Felipe Fortress, the walled city, the Rafael Núñez House, Rio Casino, and much more. With the many stops along the way, there are things to suit all tastes, including a complimentary walking tour inside the walled city, starting every day at 4:00 PM in front of the clock tower (stop 4). Choose between a 1-day pass and a 2-day pass. Take advantage of adapting your day along the routes between 9:00 AM and 7:30 PM. If you prefer, remain on the bus tour for the entire loop, listening to the informative audio commentary. You will see palaces, monasteries, plazas, and beautiful overhanging balconies, as well as Colombia's major seaside resorts, where you can enjoy beaches and scuba diving opportunities. Stops 1. Muelle de la Bodeguita 2. Centro de Convenciones 3. San Sebastian del Pastelillo 4. Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower) 5. Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas 6. Rafael Nunez Museum 7. Boquetillo (entrance to the Walled City) 8. San Francisco (entrance to the Walled City) 9. Plaza Bogrande 10. Avenida San Martin 11. Casino Rio 12. Hotel Caribe 13. Hotel Hilton 14. Iglesia de Castillo Grande

Cartagena: Getsemani Highlights and Graffiti Walking Tour

6. Cartagena: Getsemani Highlights and Graffiti Walking Tour

See a new side of Cartagena as you explore hip Getsemani with a local guide. Learn about the area’s history through the graffiti art that is all around. Understand the meanings behind the images of wild animals, famous faces, and daily life. Follow your guide along colonial streets to the main sights of the neighborhood. You will visit  Centenario park, Holy Trinity Square, and Umbrella street. You’ll also spend some time at Las Tablitas, a store considered the oldest house in Getsameni. Get a taste of neighbourhood flavor as tourists and locals alike sip on cold drinks and play dominoes. Take plenty of photos of the mind-blowing local murals and depictions of lively urban culture. Taste a local snack and a different kind of ice cream before you visit the studios of local artists. Browse the artists’ galleries, watch a live painting show, or even try your hand at your own piece (for an additional fee).

Cartagena: Walled City Walking Tour

7. Cartagena: Walled City Walking Tour

Start in the Plaza de Santa Teresa, where you can see the contrast between the colonial buildings of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries as well as a beautiful stretch of walls at Baluarte San Francisco Javier. Continue to San Juan De Dios Street until reaching San Pedro Claver church where you will take a guided tour of approximately 30 minutes. Later on, pass through the Aduana Plaza, Coches plaza, and Proclamation Square to visit the Plaza de Bolivar and the palace of the Inquisition. This palace was created in colonial times to punish all those people against the Catholic Church. Enter the palace with your guide to learn more about this infamous site. Continue to the square of the Inquisition, Plaza Santo Domingo and alley of the stirrups where you will reach the Santo Domingo baluarte. From there, visit the Café del Mar restaurant, known as having the best view of the sunset in the city of Cartagena. Continue with a short tour of the wall and visit some other plazas and streets until reaching the Las Bovedas handcrafts market, which is the final point of the tour.

Cartagena: Nightlife and Bar-Hopping Tour With Cocktails

8. Cartagena: Nightlife and Bar-Hopping Tour With Cocktails

Enjoy an exciting and social night out on the town in Cartagena during this nightlife experience. Bar hop in charming rooftop bars and get the VIP experience with skip-the-line access and reserved tables. Meet your local hostess and tour group at the Clock Tower to begin your night out on the town. Walk to the first rooftop bar and admire amazing views of the city and the Cartagena sunset. Enjoy skip-the-line access, a reserved table for the group, and a signature cocktail. Next, get the same VIP treatment at another rooftop and gastro bar next to the Navy Museum and meet other interesting people from your group or local patrons. Finally, visit a bar located on top of Cartagena's wall, known for its good vibes and enjoyable music. Revel in the company of a diverse group of people and your hostess, ensuring you have an amazing experience.

Totumo Volcano and Mud Baths: Day Tour from Cartagena

9. Totumo Volcano and Mud Baths: Day Tour from Cartagena

Besides the views, Totumo Volcano is known for its mud baths that offer a natural form of water and mineral therapy that helps beautify the skin and provide relaxation. This is a fun, unique full-day experience that allows you to take advantage of a natural spa that you can only enjoy in Colombia! Totumo Volcano is located in the municipality of Santa Catalina, about an hour from Cartagena. Sit back and enjoy the scenic ride through Bolívar, a region of Colombia that features breathtaking tropical landscapes. The area surrounding Totumo Volcano offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and forests. Enjoy a guided tour of the region before heading to the small volcano itself, for the highlight of your day trip! According to local legend, a priest sprinkled holy water onto the lava-spewing volcano and tamed it into the natural relaxing mud bath spa that exists today. Climb up the 50-foot volcano, accessible by a staircase, and enter the crater to relax in the natural mud that the volcano produces. Sitting inside the mud volcano, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Santa Catalina region. The mud itself is not only relaxing but its minerals are renowned for helping rejuvenate the skin. Later you can enjoy a delicious Colombian lunch near the mud baths (not included in the tour price). You'll have the option of a personal massage from one of the attendants. Afterwards, take a swim in the nearby lake to rinse off the mud before returning to your Cartagena hotel.

Cartagena: Private City Tour

10. Cartagena: Private City Tour

Make the most of this private tour to visit the principal sites of interest in the old city of Cartagena — all while traveling in comfort, on board a luxury air-conditioned vehicle. Starting in the downtown area, you will head to the Manga neighborhood, where you can appreciate the beautiful mansions built at the beginning if the 20th century. Continue on to the highest part of the city where there is a convent dating from the beginning of the 17th century. Visit the San Felipe de Barajas Fortress, considered the most important fortification in South America. From here, you will head to the walled city with a stop for some shopping. Following a little retail therapy, visit the different squares of the city and admire the old colonial houses. After a journey of historical discovery, fast forward to the present day and explore the modern part of Cartagena, including the Bohemian neighborhood of Gethsemani. This neighborhood is so authentically charming and on the cusp of commercial explosion. Immerse yourself in Spanish colonial architecture, dance halls, graffiti art, boutique hotels, food vendors and stunning public plazas.

Frequently asked questions about Cartagena Culture & History

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What people are saying about Cartagena

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 45 reviews

The BEST day trip you could do for Playa Blanca! Jose is an amazing guide, so hospitable. The pick-up was fairly early (6:45 AM) but we got there at the perfect time - right before the beach starts getting super busy. Our guide took us to our own private, fenced-off restaurant of the beach where we soaked up the views and some of the sun in our very own gazebo. The set-up was perfect because you don't get too many vendors coming to you, but can look for anything you want to buy at a distance. The wait staff at Mambo Beach was also super awesome - we were able to order drinks, lunch, etc. with ease. Would HIGHLY recommend this trip - probably the best one for the best value out of everything I looked into re: Playa Blanca.

Excellent guide Duran Duran, a lot of information, a lot of historical data, very flexible and friendly, I recommend it 100%

Super cool. The guide, José, is very attentive. The only problem is that there are too many flies, but the service is cool.

Wonderful tour super informative guide. Thank you Richard for showing us beautiful Cartagena!

It was fantastic but you need being additional money for experiences, drinks and souvenirs.