Cartagena de Indias is a city on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast and one of the most popular beach resorts in the country. As one of the most popular tourist destination in Colombia, Cartagena attracts many visitors within the country as well as foreign tourists. The city is especially popular as one of the stops of Caribbean Cruise ships. Cartagena has growing modern developments around the coasts and and you can visit the old walled city with beautiful colonial buildings. The architecture within the walled city is impressive and the atmosphere full of romance. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1984.
The old town invites to drink one of the tropical juices or some of the cocktails offered in the bars. The restaurants offer lots of exotic food from the region as well as international cuisine. Cartagena as well as other places in the Colombian Carribbean area are popular for seafood. The old city has many different squares surrounded with historical buildings. Some of the greatest buildings in Cartagena are the Clock-Tower and the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas. The Castle of San Felipe was designed by a Dutch engineer in 1657 so the Spanish could protect themselves against pirates. Next to San Felipe is the Popa hill from where you have some good views towards Cartagena and the harbor. The Clock-Tower is the main entrance to Cartagena’s Old City.
Cartagena i also popular for the beaches in and around the city. The main beaches in the City are called Playa de Bocagrande, Playa de Castillogrande, Playa El Laguito and Playa Boquilla. La Boquilla is only 25 mintues from the Old City by bus. All the other beaches are very popular as well and easy to reach by taxi or bus. For those who want to experience very white beaches with cristal blue water, a boat trip to Barú or to the islands of Cartagena is one of the greatest things to do. Barú can be reached by bus, taxi and boat and is a remote area with white beaches, restaurants and no hotels. Just look for the boats that go to Playa Blanca and you will arrive at this wonderful beach. Further South on the island you can do watersports activities, hiking tours or enjoy the local food in the restaurant.
Also the Island Boca Chica has beautiful sandy beaches with possibility of relaxing in a hammock. Boat trips to the islands can be booked from the port in Cartagena and especially the speedboat is lots of fun. Before going to the islands you should get some equipment for snorkling. There are coral reefs with different species of colorful and exotic fish. One of the most natural places nearby Cartagena are the Rosario Islands which are situated less than 2 hours by boat away from Cartagena. These islands are perfect for swimming, snorkling and relaxing.
Besides cultural heritage and beaches, Cartagena offers many more activities for tourist. One of the fun activities is going by one of the traditional Chiva buses. Here you can have a drink together with other people, listen to the music they play and discover different parts of the city.