Book a reservation at Casa San Agustin
You will not be disappointed in this boutique hotel. The service, location and amenities are top notch. See our blog post on the Casa San Agustin for a more detailed review. Although we are partial to Casa San Agustin, other great hotel options within old town include Sofitel Legend Santa Clara and Bastion Luxury Hotel. We highly recommend staying within the walled city during your stay in Cartagena, which puts you in a central location and within walking distance to some of the best resturants and activities in the city.
Wander through the streets of old town Cartagena
All the streets are gorgeous with ornate doors, bright paint colors and over the top floral window boxes. Head down Calle 36 towards the University of Cartagena Campus, to get the shot of our cover photo. Every corner and street in old town is photo worthy.
Watch the sunset at Café del Mar
This place is a big tourist spot especially if the sky is clear and a beautiful sunset is expected. But it is worth it! Grab a table, order an overpriced drink and enjoy the people watching and sunset views.
Explore the Getsemani neighborhood
The Getsemani neighborhood is bursting with creative and colorful street art. The murals have helped bring revitalization to a neighborhood once known for crime, drugs and violence. Our favorite mural and probably the most well known was the “Maria Mulata”
Enjoy an evening of salsa dancing
Café Havana is located in the Getsemani neighborhood and Donde Fidel is located near Plaza de Los Coches within the walled city. Either is the perfect spot to enjoy an evening of salsa dancing.
Take a day trip to the Rosario Islands
The national park is an archipelago of islands off the coast of Cartagena. You can spend the day swimming, snorkeling and fishing in the crystal clear waters. Our hotel arranged for us to spend the day at Coralina Island Boutique Hotel. We had a private dock right on the water and enjoyed a delicious lunch nestled in the trees. Slight downside to the day was the return boat trip to Cartagena. It was very bumpy! The wind picked up and the water was rough which is not uncommon in late afternoon. If you get seasick or are uncomfortable on the water, you should spend the night at a property.
Bike down the beach of the “new city”
Bike down to the new city and take in the beach sights. Stop for a beer at one of the local stands or bring a beach towel to relax in the sand. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a towel there are vendors selling everything up and down the beach: t-shirts, floats, beer, food, bracelets, towels, key chains, kites, hats, you get the point.
Drinks at Alquimico
This trendy bar in the middle of old town Cartagena brings an innovative twist to creative cocktails and liquor infusions. The main floor is centered by a large art deco bar with a rooftop terrace upstairs.
Enjoy the food!
Located on the sea, Cartagena offers an array of fresh seafood options traditionally served with coconut rice and fried plantains. Our favorite restaurants (and Anthony Bourdain’s) were La Cevicheria, Don Juan, Bohemia, and Moshi.
And lastly, relax!
Lounge by the pool or shop in the boutiques around town. Enjoy your time in this vibrant city.