48 Hours in Cartagena, Colombia

One weekend in Cartagena! Quick getaway full of history, nature and vibrant night scene.

10 comments

 

48 hours in cartagena

From natural reserves, to restaurants, to historic sites. What’s one to do in 48 hours?  If you are into history, the outdoors and a night out on the town doesn’t scare you, this is the place!

Architecture and history: What’s so special about Cartagena and the old town or walled city? The walled city is not only a national patrimony but it is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Known for its wooden balconies draped in flowers, iconic Spanish colonial doors and bright colored walls, you can’t help but feel the romantic air and rich history as you walk through these colorful streets. Enclosing the city, is an outstanding piece of military engineering, a 7 mile long thick wall (Muralla), built in the 16th century to protect the city from enemies.

cartagena ciudad amurallada

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One of the walled city’s famous balconies.

cartagena colombia ciudad amuralladaNature and Outdoors: A ride to Islas del Rosario is usually about an hour long.  You can hop on a small speed boat or rent a boat in marina Santa Cruz. I’ve never had so much fun on a lancha.  The lancheros go full speed on the open ocean, there’s plenty of waves and  beautiful sights. Back in the U.S. we would have been fined for going that fast!

As we approach Isla Grande (one of the islands in the national Park Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo), we start encountering smaller private islands with abandoned homes which were mainly owned by drug lords several years back (see video at the end).

Cartagena what to do
Isla Grande
cartagena eco turismo isal grande
Isla Grande
48 hrs in cartagena
Isla Grande

Isla grande would be my choice of stay if I were to come back to Cartagena. This island is inhabited by a community of African descent Colombians that have built their homes and small mom-and-pop restaurants around the island. There are several hostels and many sightseeing options. My ideal stay here would be arriving an early afternoon and camp or set up a hammock. At night, take a boat to the Enchanted Lagoon, to see the luminescent plankton sparkling under the moon light. In the morning; go out diving or snorkeling in the reservation’s coral reefs. Finally, I’d go on an afternoon bike ride through the island.

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Local mom-and-pop restaurant “Mis Nietos”

Cartagena colombia isla grande

Cartagena isla grandeThis time, my traveling partner, Andrea, brought souvenirs for the local children. They were so excited to see what she had in that suitcase!

cartagena isla grande colombiacartagena islas del rosarioCartagena playa blancaIn regards to the night life back in the city of Cartagena, we visited these two nightclubs  which had very opposite vibes from each other but had a blast in both of them.

Go to La Movida if you are looking for a great place to finish your night off in style! The crowd here is so good looking you’d think you are in a catwalk. I loved the international playlist and the Gin & Tonic is to die for!

Eivissa is a more casual lounge in the heart of the walled city. A vibrant ambiance, friendly prices and lots of tourists breaking it down on a rooftop overlooking the old town.

Here’s a quick recap of our 48 hours in Cartagena saved from my Snapchat!

 

 

10 comments on “48 Hours in Cartagena, Colombia”

  1. Beautiful! I’d have to just plunk myself down on that beach and enjoy looking at that beautiful water, and listening to the waves. However, I found I couldn’t stop thinking about that movie from long ago, “Romancing the Stone”. haha How did you pull yourself away after just 48 hours? 🙂

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