Cartagena Travel Guide

  • Cartagena
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Walking Up To the Fort
    Walking Up To the Fort
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Things to Do
    by TooTallFinn24

Cartagena Things to Do

  • Plaza de Bolivar

    Parque Simon Bolivar. This park is homage to Simon Bolivar who liberated Cartagena. During the day the park is full of people drinking coffee and watching the world go by. Plenty of people selling jewellery, coffee, lottery tickets, just about anything. It's nice to sit in the shade if the sun gets too hot for you. During the early evening and late...

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  • Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

    The Fort San Felipe is an amazing fort, build around 1639 and completed in 1789. The fort guarded the people of Cartagena from pirates. Great views of the city from the top of the fort. You can take a tour inside, the guides speak english and were very helpful and knowlegable. If you don't like enclosed spaces, don't do the tour, it can get pretty...

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  • Old City

    The old city is encircled by walls that are 12 foot in height. Inside you willl find restaurants, a plaza with a statue of Simon Bolivar the liberator. You will also see beautiful flowers hanging over balconies. . Its a very pleasant place to stroll around and have a coffee or people watch and at night you can take one of the many horse draw...

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  • Convent of San Pedro Claver

    San Pedro Claver church was founded by the Jesuits in the early part of the 17th century. The church was originally named San Ignacio de Loyola (founder of the Jesuits) and was later renamed San Pedro Claver after the Spanish born monk who spent all his life helping the slaves from Africa. You can take the tour with an English speaking guide who...

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  • Plaza de la Inquisicion

    Inquisition Palace was built around 1770 for the Inquisition Tribunal. You can take a tour with a guide or you can walk around on your own. The tour guides wait inside and when you pay your entrance fee they will recommend that you take a guide. I walked around and was sorry afterwards that l did not hire a guide. Most of the information is in...

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  • Monumento a las India Catalina.

    You will find this monument at the bus station just outside the wall. However the people of Cartagena want it moved as they say it is not fully appreciated by the locals. The monument is a beautiful bronze statue of Catalina, a Carib Indian women who was an interpreter to Pedro He Heredia.

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Cartagena Restaurants

  • Great Ambiance

    This place is located in the plaza right adjacent to the San Pedro Clavel cathedral. It is very inviting from the outside as well as the inside. Because the sun is so intense in Cartagena you eat or drink inside during the day The menu is huge by any standard. There are a wide variety of choices of fish, poultry, pan-asian fare, and local columbian...

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  • authentic colombian food

    great cheap tasty colombian food. Service is ok. Watch out for the old man waiter, he tried to fight us, all other waiters are good. I'm not colombian but the food seemed the most authentic that I had during my stay. bandeja paisa, the first thing on the menu

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  • Great inexpensive food

    Great atmosphere, food is very good, very inexpensive, try the baby beef, the chicken kabobs, and that green salsa. The cherry lemonade is very tasty. Ive had better margaritas. baby beef, steak, kabobs, green salsa, limonada ceruza

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Cartagena Nightlife

  • Rumba!

    Great music. Big, never overcrowded, great air condition and ventilation. Hot dancing girls. Its Cheaper to order bottle service if there is a group of people. I would go out every night and always end up there by the end because it is so much fun. Never saw and shady people to worry about. Hottt women everywhere. Learn to salsa dance before you...

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  • Night Life in Cartagena

    To pass an unforgettable while in the nights Cartagena there are bars, coffees, casinos and discos that the city offers. The best places for “rumbear” are Corralito de Piedra, Arsenal Street, and Bocagrande, since romantic and pleasant atmospheres until happy “rumbeaderos”, places where you will have the opportunity to know artists and cajolement...

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  • Cartagena Hotels

    0 Hotels in Cartagena

Cartagena Transportation

  • Transportation

    Cartagena is full of wonderful buses, some are very old and dangerous and some have televisions and air con. Most bus journeys cost 1200 pesos around 50 cent in euros. The air con buses cost 1500 pesos and are probabley much better if you want cold air. However most buses stop for everyone and if you dont get a seat it can be a very uncomfortable...

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  • Tour the Castillo De San Felipe Early

    If you are planning on touring the Castillo (fort), do it early before the crowds arrive. It is also the time of the day when many of the taxis are not busy and the fares are lower. Expect to pay anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 pesos for the ride to the fort depending on where you might be staying downtown. Cost to get into the castle will run you...

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  • Understanding Taxis in Cartagena

    Like many other tourists I always have the fear of being ripped off by a cab driver who knows that I am a tourist. However, Cartagena's taxi system once you understand makes sense and can avoid problems. There are no meters in cabs in the city. They charge, or are supposed to charge, based on an approved list of prices. This list of prices is...

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Cartagena Shopping

  • Food Items

    If your on a tight budget shop at Exito, which is the main supermarket. They usually have sales on special items, two for the price of one. The security guards will stop you on arrival and your exit to check your bags, in some shops you have to leave your bag in a locker of which you get the key. Normally in supermarkets they check your receipt on...

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  • Las Bovedas

    Las Bovedas was part of a prison that was built inside the walled City in 1792. It is now a series of tourist shops with various goods being sold. What attracted me to this area was the vibrant yellow color and the shaded interiors. It is a very cool area to walk around in and if you proceed to the end you will have access to climbing some of the...

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  • Shopping for Emeralds

    If you succumb to a guided tour of Cartagena it is likely that your tour guide will take you shopping for emeralds since the city is known world over as the place to buy them. Unless you know precious stones very well I would be very careful where you buy emeralds. The tour director of the tour I was on swore and had significant documents that he...

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Cartagena Local Customs

  • justintobias's Profile Photo

    by justintobias Written Aug 5, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    People are nice so you want to tip them. But how much do you give. 2000 pesos is ok for alot of things. Server at bars should get a little more but there you tip at the end of the night, not as you go. Check you bill to see if gratuity is added already, alot of time it is so there is no need for additional tipping.

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Cartagena Warnings and Dangers

  • Taxis

    Although l felt safe enough in Cartagena, l did have the added advantage of having friends who live here. They were very specific on not taking a taxi alone. Never hail one from the street, what happens is you get into the cab, the driver stops around the corner, his accomplish hops in and next thing you know your robbed of your money and anything...

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  • Vendors

    If this is your first trip to Cartagena you will be amazed at the amount of street vendors trying to sell you beer, water, braid your hair, massage, tee-shirts, jewels, lotto tickets etc. It can wear you down saying no constantly. My advice is just to ignore them. I stick out like a sore thumb and am constantly targeted. Beware of men trying to...

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  • tours

    If you fancy a trip to the Rosario islands my advice would be to find a small boat to take you. I did the trip from the port and the first stop was the Aquarium which was of no interest to me. We had to stay there for an hour and a half while half of the boat did the tour. They have a small cafe with hot food and plenty of beverages to buy. If your...

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Cartagena Tourist Traps

  • Palacio de la Inquiscion

    This museum is sold as a demonstration of the practices that were utilized during the Spanish Inquisition of Columbia. To accomplish that goal the first floor of the museum provides a series of torture devices that were apparently in use at the time of the Inquisition. However upon closer review many of the devices were actually not used and most...

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  • Post Office

    I simply could not find one. I was directed to the Avianca office, the national airline of Colombia just outside the wall, however when l did q up they told me they did not sell stamps, gave me directions on where to find a post office. My friends could not find it and eventually we gave up. I did hear that the price of a stamp was simply way over...

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  • Money Changers

    I know most travellers keep their wits about them but l have heard of so many people getting ripped off by the local con artisits who offer to change your money. Cali in central Colombia turns out the biggest forgeries of Colombian money. What the con artists do is give you a great rate and when you hand over your money they give you false pesos....

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Cartagena What to Pack

  • Mosquito Spray

    Lock your luggage if your flying into Colombia and make sure you have your ID tags on luggage. Summer clothes as the climate is caribbean and maybe an umbrella if your travelling during the rainey season which is July. You can buy almost everything in the many Pharmacys spread around the inner city as well as Bocagrande.

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  • Hand Sanitizer will save your stomach

    A hip pouch or a back pack is good when traveling in the day so you can put all the crap you buy in it. A bag with a camelbak in it would be cool. Comfortable shoes for walking large distances, sandals for the beach hand sanitizer, portable toilet paper, mosquito repellant for night, keeping some anti-diarrheal is a good idea but not necessary....

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Cartagena Sports & Outdoors

  • LUZMOONBOY's Profile Photo

    by LUZMOONBOY Written Apr 18, 2006

    It`s common to see early in the morning the fishermen throw their ?atarrayas? for all the long of the beaches of Marbella and fishing in team.
    For the fishermen of visit in Cartagena, we recommend three strategic places: The Jetty of Bocagrande that looks toward Tierrabomba in The Lake; Santo Domingo to the height of the Charleston Santa Teresa hotel in the Walled Center, and Castillogrande around of the Naval Club.

    - A world beyond the surface

    The generosity Cartagena?s natural beauty, was rewarded in all its senses including its coralline reefs, which allow exploit the diving in crystalline and deep waters, as the Rosario's Islands and Bar?.
    The diving recreational with its famous red flag and white fringe in diagonal, is not difficult or dangerous since it doesn?t improvise.
    In the city there are diving stores as Caribbean Dive Shop, which is specialized in facilitating to novice tourists as to veteran, to explore the bottom sea.

    Equipment: Isla Portonaito, Islas del Rosario, Isla del Pirata, Baru. The stores of scuba and travellin offices bring the equipmen if you dont have. Aporx. US$30 per person

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Cartagena Favorites

  • Try a Lulo or Nispero!

    These are two fruits that are native to the area that I have never seen in the United States or Europe. The Lulo literally means small orange but has a distinctive color that makes it look more like a tomato. It has a citrus like bite to it that tastes like a combination of lime, rhubarb and orange all rolled into one. The nispero looks like a...

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  • Columbian Peso (COP) and ATM warning

    The currency in Columbia is the Columbian Peso and you will see it referred to as the COP. The current exchange rate as of late October 2011 is 1878 pesos to one US Dollar. I did not see any ATM's on the street in Cartagena. I learned that this is because of extreme criminal activity of folks that watch tourists taking out money and then preying on...

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  • Music

    Everywhere in Cartagena music blasts out of houses, buses, taxis etc. In the old city people get married in the evening time and party until the early hours so if your staying in a hotel you won't get much sleep. If you don't like the music best to bring good ear plugs with you. In the morning you will hear the vendors selling water, mangos, and...

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Explore Deeper into Cartagena
Playa Blanca
Things to Do
Be Careful About The Fish You Eat
Warnings and Dangers
Plaza Bolivar
Things to Do
Take in the Colors and Arts of the Walled City
Things to Do
Count out Your Cash Before You Leave
Warnings and Dangers
Dont Buy Fruit From Street Vendors
Warnings and Dangers
Cathedral de San Pedro Claver
Things to Do
Castillo De San Felipe
Things to Do
Inquisition Palace
Things to Do
Taxi
Warnings and Dangers
Buses
Transportation
Food Shopping
Shopping
Vendors
Warnings and Dangers
Gold Museum
Things to Do
Plaza de Bolivar
Things to Do
Monumento a las India Catalina.
Things to Do
Church of de Santo Toribio de Mangrovejo
Things to Do
Convent of San Pedro Claver
Things to Do
Convent of San Pedro Claver
Things to Do
Church of San Pedro Claver
Things to Do
Chiva tour
Transportation
Islas De Rosarios
Warnings and Dangers
Pickpockets
Warnings and Dangers
High quality mens clothing
Shopping
Soccer
Things to Do
Downtown at night
Warnings and Dangers
Hotel Santa Teresa
Things to Do
Taxi's are the way to go if you dont feel like wal
Transportation
Streets on Cartagena
Warnings and Dangers
Luxury, Entreteiment, History, Food, Sports, Walk
Things to Do
Houses, Doors, History and Nature
Favorites
Fort
Things to Do
Old City
Things to Do
Map of Cartagena

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