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Cartagena : Colombian culture on the Caribbean coast

Cartagena vacation

With beaches just steps from its colourful downtown core and weather to die for, Cartagena is the perfect cross between Caribbean indulgence and cultural tourism. Grab your flip-flops and take your time discovering the wonders of this laid-back Colombian gem.

Bienvenidos a Cartagena! Explore this beautiful city on the north coast of Colombia with Leanne, Flight Attendant at Air Transat and travel enthusiast. Since she caught the travel bug a long time ago, she has never stopped travelling and discovering new destinations and cultures. Tag along as she takes you to discover her favourite spots in Cartagena and Baru, Colombia.

Flying to Cartagena...Get inspired by our videos!

Barú

Barú

Leanne, Flight Attendant at Air Transat and travel enthusiast, brings you to discover her top spots in Isla Barú - a gorgeous, luscious and paradise-worthy island in Colombia, and surrounding islands. Its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and diverse fauna and flora makes it a perfect destination to unwind and soak in nature's beauty.

 
Cartagena

Cartagena

Old town Cartagena is so beautiful and colourful that Leanne, Flight Attendant at Air Transat, has 'meandering in the streets' as one of the top things to do there. Find out what else there is to experience in this part of the city enclosed in the Murallas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has so much to offer!
 

 
Getsemani

Getsemani

Ready to discover Cartagena's up and coming neighbourhood? Leanne, Flight Attendant at Air Transat, fell in love with Getsemaní's vibrant colours, funky graffitis and trendy restaurants.

 
 

Plan your trip

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    23 kg (51 lb)
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*The baggage allowance indicated is included with packages. A supplement ($) could be applicable for flights only.
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A walled city of exquisite boutique hotels, sultry nightlife, jet-set tourism and resplendent 18th-century mansions dripping with bougainvillea, Cartagena is a stylish Colombian retreat for travellers in the know.

Discover Cartagena

Out and About
You can’t go to Cartagena without exploring its beloved showpiece, the Old Town. Munch on mango biche as you wander the cobblestone walkways, and don’t forget to take pictures. The bougainvillea cascading from the terraces of 16th-century colonial homes is as photogenic as it is fragrant. When you’ve had enough hustle and bustle, escape to the Islas de Rosario, a small archipelago surrounded by crystal clear Caribbean water. Snorkel, dive or spend the night in one of the island cabins for rent.
Cartagena for the Foodies
If you consider yourself a foodie, make your way off the beaten path to Cecilia’s in the area known as Pescado Frito for river turtle, shark and cow’s tongue. To find it, wind your way through the maze of stalls at Mercado Bazurto and ask a local to direct you. Foodies also flock to one of Cartagena’s best-kept culinary secrets, La Cevicheria in the old walled town centre. Tiny and unassuming, this restaurant serves the best ceviche you’re likely to find anywhere. They make a sinus-clearing chili sauce too!
Drinks and Bars
Widely considered to be the best salsa club in town, Café Havana is a well-known haunt for Colombian celebrities, from ex-presidents to supermodels. Hang by the enormous bar for the best people watching. For a ritzier evening, check out La Casa de la Cerveza, a bar with stunning views perched high on the city walls. Order up an empanada or two and chill to the nightly DJ’s tunes, all at a surprisingly reasonable price.

One trip, two destinations

It's great to be able to swim in the ocean and soak up the sun on a beautiful beach, but imagine also getting able to explore the cultural and historic attractions of an intriguing city! With our duos, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Duo packages in Colombia

Colombia
  • Royal Decameron Baru Beach Resort & Spa

    Cartagena & Baru

    3 nights Decameron Cartagena • 4 nights Royal Decameron Baru Beach Resort & Spa

    Get the most of your holiday in Colombia, starting with a stay in the country’s most popular city – Cartagena. Walk down cobblestone streets and admire the historic old town with its beautiful colonial architecture. Next, head to heavenly Baru Island, where the turquoise waters lap lazily on the shore, and all you can do is sit back, relax and enjoy!

    8 days 7 nights 21 meals       More details >

Cartagena Your Way

Couples
 
Hire a boat and sail off southwest of Cartagena for a romantic afternoon on the platinum sands of Islas del Rosario. Surprise your sweetheart with a picnic of champagne and lobsters plucked fresh from the sea. Learn Cali-style salsa — Colombia’s more romantic take on the popular dance — with a private lesson at Crazy Salsa, where the instructors are patient, experienced and passionate about their craft.
Family playgrounds
 
In a city once besieged by pirates, what’s more fitting than a treasure hunt through the secret tunnels and ramparts of the Old Town’s fortifications and monuments? Kids are kitted out in full buccaneer regalia as they search for booty between ice cream breaks on This Is Cartagena’s swashbuckling adventure.
Travelling with friends
 
Learn about the Cartageneros’ culture through their food with a Cartagena Connections Street Food Tour. See and sample local favourites like fritangas and chicharones, or satisfy your sweet tooth with some sticky cocadas. For a quirky and rustic take on a spa experience, grab your friends and head to the Volcan de Lodo El Totumo, a mud volcano in nearby Santa Catalina. Descend into the pit and float in the mud before a short massage, then head to the lagoon for a rinse surrounded by majestic mountains and breathtaking scenery. 
 
  • The Natural Beauty of the Isla Barú region in Colombia

    By AIRTRANSAT / 16 January 2018
    Isla Barú, an island that has since become a peninsula due to the construction of a canal, is a natural paradise that left its mark on Leanne. Here are her favourite activities and places to see in the Barú region.

    Read more
  • Wandering through Cartagena’s Old Town

    Par AIRTRANSAT / 17 janvier 2018
    The Old Town of Cartagena can be found inside its UNESCO World Heritage listed fortifications, Las Murallas. Their construction, which took two centuries to complete, was intended to prevent repeat attacks from enemy armies and pirates against the rich port city.

    Read more
  • Discover Getsemaní, Cartagena’s Trendiest Neighbourhood

    Par AIRTRANSAT / 17 janvier 2018
    Once a shady neighbourhood mostly made up of locals and youth hostels, today, Getsemaní is modern and trendy. Leanne loves its ubiquitous and creative street art, its ultra-colourful houses and its music, whether in salsa clubs, in cafes or in the streets. Here are her recommendations for visiting the Getsemaní district.

    Read more
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