Imagine yourself as a character in a Gabriel Garcia Marques novel strolling in the shade of the walls escaping the Colombian heat and when the sun goes down, dancing and romancing throughout a vibrant port city. This is what I envisioned while letting my inner creative run wild when I first arrived to explore Cartagena de Indias for seven days. Somewhere exotic and a genuinely overall authentic city crawling with color, culture, and incredible cuisine, put this destination on your near future list of warm weathered places to discover in South America. Here are five suggested experiences to explore on your Cartagena journey.

TASTE EXOTIC TO OFF THE WALL

TRY…
Ants as an appetizer for the food-venturous.
Ceviche yourself around town – they’re all so fresh!
Cartagena de Indias traditional lunch with margarita
Gelateria Paradiso for a sweet or tart frozen treat.
The Lulo Fruit…in a smoothie or ice-cream.

Cartagena de Indias lulo fruit

Lulo Fruit

Dinner at Bohemia Restaurant inside the El Marques Hotel. I enjoyed my most incredible Colombian meal here.
Cartagena de Indias wine bar for dinner.
STAY INSIDE THE CITY WALLS
…Because it’s boutique beautiful and perfectly curated, book the Ananda Hotel.
…Because the view from here is incredible, book Hotel Charleston.
Cartagena de Indias views of the city with pink flowers in the foreground.
KNOCK KNOCK
Cartagena de Indias purple door with lizard door knocker.
Among all of the colorful doors, there’s a story…Each carefully crafted knocker on the doors of Cartagena represent what it’s owner does. You’ll find the local craftsman behind most of these in Getsemani….

GET LOCAL IN GETSEMANI

Just outside the walls of of Old City lies the eclectic and stroll-able Getsemani. You’ll find street art adorning the walls and alleys and locals playing chess and checkers after work and on the weekends as you make your way through the streets among an authentic atmosphere.

Cartagena de Indias street art.

SEA TIME

Head off on a adventure to the Rosario Islands for a snorkel to explore the marine life and enjoy a beautiful sea to table local lunch.

Cartagena de Indias yellow boat on the Rosario Islands

Rosario Islands

*To avoid tourists, if you’re with a handful of people, the best way to explore is by booking a private boat where you find the less touristy islands.

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What’s YOUR favorite thing to do in cities when traveling? Leave a comment below. We’d love to know!