A quick guide to Cartagena in 72 hours

Cartagena, Colombia was founded in 1533 by the Spaniard Pedro de Heredia and is located on the northern shores of Colombia facing the Caribbean Sea.

Since 1991, it is the most important tourist and cultural district in the country. Cartagena is one of the jewels of the Caribbean and also considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Because of its beaches, history, museums, restaurants, nightlife, and endless activities throughout the year; you can visit this gorgeous city any month of the year.

You don’t have to go far to feel welcomed by the history and beauty of Cartagena. Simply grab your camera and walk through the streets of the “Old City”. Within the centennial walls, you will find endless shops with handcrafts, restaurants with coastal delicacies, clothing boutiques from famous Colombian designers and beautiful museums.

If you’re going to Cartagena, these are must see places:

The Watch Tower

Found at one of the main entrances of the Old City, it is a common meeting place and a short distance from famous restaurants and the beach.

San Felipe de Barajas Castle

Considered to be the largest construction made by the Spaniards in America, it is the highest point in the Old City.  From there the Spaniards would watch the coast lines and identify the enemy ships as they approached land.

Rosario Islands

Islas del Rosario (in Spanish) are a group of 30 islands off the coast of Cartagena. To get there, catch a boat ride from any of the tour operators just across the street from the Watch Tower. The crystal clear waters, white beaches and coral formations are absolutely gorgeous.

Baru Island

Isla Baru is another island off the coast of Cartagena and considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia. If you plan on going, head over early and get settled in before the late morning and afternoon crowds take over the beach. An arrival after 10AM will make it very difficult to find where to sit and settle down. Baru Island is the perfect destination for a day trip as long as you get there early.

Totumo Volcano

It is a one in a lifetime experience and considered one of the country’s messiest attractions. An exotic and natural wonder, it is approximately 20 meters high with warm, dense mud flowing permanently and impossible to sink into it. Ten people at a time, you can lay in the mud and enjoy the healing properties of mud and a great full body massage.

There is no shortage of attractions and things to do in Cartagena. So stay as short or as long as you want and choose whether you want a fun packed non-stop entertainment vacation or a relaxing getaway; that will be your choice.