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Things to do in

Cartagena

Explore labyrinthine cobbled alleys and walk past historic city walls while visiting this Caribbean gem.

Our most recommended things to do in Cartagena

Cartagena: Rosario Islands Catamaran with Lunch and Snorkel

1. Cartagena: Rosario Islands Catamaran with Lunch and Snorkel

Set sail for the Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park on a full-day tour from Cartagena. The catamaran departs from the Muelle de la Bodeguita pier in front of the walled city. After your welcome drink, enjoy the journey to the Rosario Islands, sailing and motor sailing on the catamaran. The vessel is equipped with comfortable seats, where you can sit both in the shade and in the sun. There is a bar service on board, so you can enjoy a variety of soft drinks throughout the excursion.  Experience paradise with a stop in front of an idyllic beach of turquoise waters and white sands, where you can swim and play with fun inflatables. Practice snorkeling, if you wish, and admire the fascinating underwater life with colorful tropical fish and various types of coral. The crew will prepare a delicious lunch for you to enjoy on board while you sail back to Cartagena at the end of a relaxing day.

Cartagena: Rosario Islands Day Tour with Snorkel & Lunch

2. Cartagena: Rosario Islands Day Tour with Snorkel & Lunch

Experience clear blue waters, white sand, and awesome corals on a day tour to the Corales del Rosario National Park. Discover the group of islands on the coast of Colombia, a perfect natural environment to have fun and relax. Start the day with a morning pickup from your hotel. Continue to a relaxing private island where beach chairs and umbrellas await you. Spend time in the sun and have a seafood cocktail or lemonade in one of the most beautiful places you will visit. Afterward, continue to Cholon to enjoy a mini party in the water with music, drinks, and people from other boats. Finally, stop at Playa Blanca in Barú Island, where there will be a more private space waiting for you away from the main concentration of boats and vendors. Here, eat a typical island lunch and spend the rest of the day on the beach, relaxing and swimming, before returning to Cartagena.

Cartagena: Sunset Cruise with Open Bar

3. Cartagena: Sunset Cruise with Open Bar

Discover Cartagena in a unique way. Sail around the bay while you enjoy the bar and restaurant on board the Sibarita Express Yacht. Benefit from an open bar with a nice musical background and the services of the lovely crew. Sit back and relax as your boat comes to a stop on the open water so you can watch the sunset. You will be welcomed by the lovely crew and set sail a short while later. Take in a panoramic view of the modern area of Bocagrande and arrive at the lighthouse. From there, head to Castillogrande, the most prestigious area of the city, to see the sunset on the ocean. Once the sun has set, head back to the inner bay where you can enjoy the night views of the modern area of Bocagrande and the residential neighborhoods of Manga and Getsemani. Finally, prepare to be welcomed back to the pier with a breathtaking view of the old city at night.

From Cartagena: Day Trip to Playa Blanca with Lunch

4. From Cartagena: Day Trip to Playa Blanca with Lunch

Enjoy a paradisiacal day relaxing on the white sand beach of Baru Island's aptly-named Playa Blanca. After getting picked up from your hotel in Cartagena, take a 1-hour journey in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan to Baru. Learn more about local life in both the city and the island towns from your local driver. Once in Baru, take a quick, idyllic stroll along the beach to reach where you will spend the day. Make the most of all the facilities the place has to offer, including sundecks to relax on the beach. In the afternoon, savor a delicious lunch with several options including vegetarian and meat dishes. If none of the options take your fancy feel free to order anything else on the menu and only pay the difference. Head back to the beach after lunch to relax for another few hours before beginning the journey back to Cartagena in the evening.

Cartagena: Totumo Mud Volcano Experience

5. Cartagena: Totumo Mud Volcano Experience

Discover the natural landscapes of Colombia on this guided excursion. Visit Santa Catalina, and bathe yourself in the purifying mud of the volcano. As the minivan leaves town, hear some curious facts about Cartagena's history and some tips to ensure a better experience at the mud volcano. The trip to Santa Catalina, another beautiful Colombian city and the location of the volcano, lasts around 45 minutes. Upon arrival at the volcanic zone, be greeted by the owner of a small nearby restaurant. Then, prepare for a unique experience as you climb the 50 steps that surround the volcano; remember to wear old clothing as the mud can be rough on delicate materials. Immerse yourself in the volcanic mud, reaping the health benefits for your skin from the millions of minerals. Some people say afterward, you'll appear 10 years younger. Inside the volcano, you can float thanks to the high number of minerals present. There will be some locals around offering massages for an extra price of 2 USD. Outside of the volcano, pay to get your photo taken for another 2 USD. When the soaking is over, head to the lake for a shower.  Before continuing back to the city, enjoy a typical snack in a rustic restaurant. Get dropped off at your hotel.

Cartagena: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & Optional Attractions

6. Cartagena: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & Optional Attractions

Located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, few places on Earth are as beautiful as Cartagena. Sightseeing in this astounding city is a hugely enjoyable experience, offering both modernity and history. There is something to suit all tastes. From beautiful architecture to striking monuments, there is plenty of inspiring sightseeing opportunities while on your City Sightseeing bus tour. Discover all of beautiful Cartagena in 14 bus stops, as you explore the city's beautiful architecture and striking monuments in the most flexible and enjoyable way. Visit key sites in the city, such as the Clock Tower, the San Felipe Fortress, the walled city, the Rafael Núñez House, Rio Casino, and much more. With the many stops along the way, there are things to suit all tastes, including a complimentary walking tour inside the walled city, starting every day at 4:00 PM in front of the clock tower (stop 4). Choose between a 1-day pass and a 2-day pass. Take advantage of adapting your day along the routes between 9:00 AM and 7:30 PM. If you prefer, remain on the bus tour for the entire loop, listening to the informative audio commentary. You will see palaces, monasteries, plazas, and beautiful overhanging balconies, as well as Colombia's major seaside resorts, where you can enjoy beaches and scuba diving opportunities. Stops 1. Muelle de la Bodeguita 2. Centro de Convenciones 3. San Sebastian del Pastelillo 4. Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower) 5. Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas 6. Rafael Nunez Museum 7. Boquetillo (entrance to the Walled City) 8. San Francisco (entrance to the Walled City) 9. Plaza Bogrande 10. Avenida San Martin 11. Casino Rio 12. Hotel Caribe 13. Hotel Hilton 14. Iglesia de Castillo Grande

Cartagena de Indias: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise

7. Cartagena de Indias: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise

For the most romantic evening, this sunset cruise excursion is ideal. Leave at 5:00 PM from the Muelle de la Bodeguita pier in front of the walled city. Enjoy the relaxing but at the same time exciting sailing through the Bay of Cartagena de Indias. Accompanied by good music, enjoy a non-alcoholic cocktail or a soft drink and a delicious appetizer in a magical atmosphere. Watch the sunset and the lighting of the spectacular skyline of the city of Cartagena while you sail into the night.  The itinerary of the tour includes departure from the Bodeguita Dock/Pegasos Dock, located in front of the walled city of Cartagena. First sail between Manga and Bocagrande neighborhood. Then continue sailing between Castillo Grande and Manzanillo Island. Enjoy the sunset while sailing between El Laguito neighborhood and Tierrabomba Island. Then sail back to the departure point.

Cartagena: Private Boat Tour Around the Islands

8. Cartagena: Private Boat Tour Around the Islands

Explore the beautiful and stunning islands along the Caribbean coastline with this private boat hire in Cartagena. Choose from a variety of yachts and speedboats ranging from 29 feet (8.8 meters) to 62 feet (18.9 meters) long that accommodate up to 10-18 people. With the help of your captain, plan your own personalized itinerary based on your interests and sightseeing wishes. Cruise along the islands on your private boat and combine relaxation, pleasure, and fun. At any time, feel free to request to stop for lunch, visit beaches, or be taken to a secluded area to enjoy some time for swimming in the sea. Play your favorite tunes on the boat's fully equipped sound system to ensure the perfect soundtrack to your day. With your own private boat for just you and your group, what you see and what you do is entirely up to you.

Cartagena: Snorkel, Mangroves and Playa Blanca Tour

9. Cartagena: Snorkel, Mangroves and Playa Blanca Tour

Get picked up from your accommodation at 7:30 AM in an air-conditioned bus. Meet your guide who will provide all the details about your upcoming adventure and the route. At 9 AM, arrive at the island of Baru and board a boat. Cruise for 15 minutes through the crystal clear waters until you arrive at the snorkeling site. After 1 hour of enjoyable snorkeling, continue the tour into the mangroves to see birds, iguanas, and other species. Discover the fascinating landscapes of the island and the life of the native species who inhabit this magical ecosystem. At 1 PM, head back to Playa Blanca to enjoy a delicious lunch with options of fish, chicken, or vegetarian. Once you've eaten, spend some time swimming in the clear waters or relaxing on the beautiful white sand beach. At 3:30 PM, board the return bus which will drop you off back at your hotel.

Cartagena: Party Boat to Cholon Island

10. Cartagena: Party Boat to Cholon Island

Enjoy a different experience of the Caribbean waters on this party boat tour to Cholon Island. Join one of the biggest weekend events in the area and delight in a day full of great music, drinks, and beautiful views and people. Soak up the all-round great vibes in the most incredible location, just a 45-minute boat ride from the city of Cartagena. After making your way to the meeting point, set off from Cartagena toward Cholon Island. Once there, dance waist-deep in the crystal clear water of the Caribbean Sea as reggaeton and electronic music blast out over the sound system. Keep the party going with an open bar of Colombian rum, beers, soft drinks, and water. Lunch is included, with red snapper fish and chicken available. This is a true island party experience for tourists and Colombians alike. At the end of the tour, return to Cartagena delightfully tanned, tipsy, and in the right mood to hit the town after.

Frequently asked questions about Cartagena

What are the best day trips and excursions from Cartagena?

The best day trips and excursions from Cartagena are:

Isla Grande

What are the best inexpensive things to do in Cartagena?

Other Sightseeing Options in Cartagena

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What people are saying about Cartagena

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 2,118 reviews

Very nice catamaran trip. Great crew, good music, very good food and drinks. You anchor in front of two islands (each about 1.5-2 hours) with the opportunity to swim and snorkel. The water is fantastically beautiful, but unfortunately you don't really see anything exciting when snorkeling ;). All in all a super nice day tour!

The Backpackers agency offered us an excellent service on the pass to Playa Blanca. The attention provided by your guide José was very good, as was the staff at the Mambo Beach restaurant. As an opportunity for improvement, they must manage to control the number of flies that are in the place when they serve food.

The van was wonderful and on time. I was traveling with seven other women and it was quite comfortable and had air conditioning. When we arrived it was the Colombian Independence day and the streets were blocked so our driver was kind enough to get out of the van and walk with us to our airbnb.

The company was responsive and on time. They had our name and found us immediately. We were a large group and the van accommodated us all comfortably.

Excellent tour! Greatly enjoyed our kayak private kayak tour. He was very informative. A wonderful way to see Cartagena. 5 stars!