Cartagena Highlights

Over Labor Day weekend, we escaped with some of our great friends to the vibrant city of Cartagena, Colombia. We spent 3 nights exploring the city and it’s neighboring islands and thought this was the perfect city choice for a weekend getaway!

cartagena colombia, south america travel


Cartagena has so much color, rooftop bars, salsa dancing, and great food for a great price. Read on for a quick glimpse of a weekend in Cartagena:

Stay: NH Urban Royal Hotel

This hotel was in the perfect location and everything was within walking distance. There are countless boutique hotels in Cartagena, but they can also get pretty pricey. Our hotel was extremely affordable, clean, and comfortable! You can book your stay here.


Explore Old Town

For me, the best part of Cartagena was walking through the walled city with its endless narrow streets filled with flowers, pretty doors, restaurants, and so much color! Everywhere you turn there is a cute corner or rooftop. We felt extremely comfortable in Cartagena and found the city to be very clean and safe.




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There isn’t enough time in 4 days to eat all the greatness that Cartagena offers, but we can try! Some of our favorite restaurants/rooftops were:

Alma– This restaurant was part of a hotel and had all the Colombian vibes. Make reservations in advance!


La Cevicheria– One of Anthony Bourdains favorites and highly recommended, this tiny restaurant has so much character and the food was fantastic.

Alquimeco– Bar/rooftop with yummy drinks and a great atmosphere


Hotel Movich– This hotel provides probably the best view of Old Town Cartagena and we enjoyed some lunch and drinks at the rooftop pool.


Boat Day

We enjoyed our time out on the water in Cartagena, and it’s a must do. We found a sunset yacht cruise leaving Cartagena with an open bar for only $24 per person. The dock where all the boats go out each night was right outside the clock tower courtyard and not hard to miss.

On a different day, we spent the day out on a catamaran tour visiting the Rosario Islands. We stopped off for snorkeling and lunch and enjoyed the perfect weather and pristine blue water! There are countless tours like this leaving from Cartagena, you won’t have a hard time booking it.


Cartagena Tips 

  • Make reservations when you can- places get busy really fast
  • Don’t try to take pictures with the ladies on the street with fruit on their heads, they’ll try and charge you
  • Be prepared for salesman in your face. Most areas we walked through somebody was trying to sell us bracelets or sunglasses etc.
  • Brush up on your Spanish if you’re not traveling with someone who speaks it




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