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Cartagena: Vacations & Travel Guide - Colombia's Official Tourism Portal

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Cartagena vacations: colonial architecture

Colonial Architecture is an important part of Cartagena's tourism guide

If you are looking for for romantic vacation days, an unequalled nightlife, a magical place where history combines with modernity and native elements mingle with the influence of European culture, we welcome you to Cartagena de Indias. Cartagena will offer you holidays filled with epic battles and an intense sense of freedom since the rebellious days of the Independence Wars.

Declared by UNESCO a World Cultural Heritage Site, Cartagena adds an intense nightlife, international cultural festivals, lush scenery, magnificent beaches, excellent cuisine, and a diverse hotel and tourist infrastructure to its colonial, republican, and modern architecture. No one doubts that Cartagena is the jewel of the Colombian Caribbean.

Mostly because of History, Cartagena is the choice destination for its pirate tales, golden beaches, architecture, partying, and food.

Touring the Walled City in a horse-drawn coach and observing the colorful colonial houses is a true pleasure. Every single street in Cartagena has a history of its own. And, it is impossible not to visit magnificent sites like the Palace of the Inquisition, the Clock Tower, and the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas.

Lodging in the historical center turns out to be the best option for visitors who desire a luxury experience on their vacations. Choices include beautiful colonial hotels like Santa Clara and Charleston Santa Teresa, and for an even more exceptional experience, boutique hotels like Agua, Quadrifolio, and El Marqués guarantee utmost comfort, an exclusive décor, and highly qualified personalized service.


Cartagena de Indias

Cartagena’s travel guide: history, arquitecture, nightlife and beaches all combined in one

Cartagena, also known as “La Heróica” (the heroic city) is synonymous with rest and entertainment. Its welcoming plazas are an invitation to enjoy delicious cocktails, music, and the culture of the people. Its gastronomic alternatives range from typical recipes to the exquisite preparations of chefs who are Chaîne des Rôtisseurs members. Among the recommended restaurants are 8-18, La Vitrola, and El Mar de Juan. Well into the night, the best bars and discos offer a privileged view of the city and memorable partying.

It is not difficult to discover the magic of Cartagena. The city exudes sensuality, and several options for all kinds of travelers. The time of day (or night) determines choosing among beaches, diving, snorkeling, restaurants, bars, shopping, or simply romancing.

Essential tourism information for your vacations


Average temperature is 28°C.


2 meters above sea level.


  • Latitude 10º26' N
  • Longitude 75º33' Wp


Cartagena’s Rafael Núñez International Airport, located in the Crespo sector, in the northern part of the city, is the second largest on the Colombian Coast. It was named after Rafael Núñez, a Colombian President and the author of the words of the National Anthem. The Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa is in charge of its management since 1996. This Colombian company has the Spanish AENA (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea) as its operating partner.

How to get there

Being a Cultural and Tourism Destination, all means of transportation arrive in Cartagena, Colombia

From the north, the main access by land is from Barranquilla and Santa Marta; from the south, from Montería and Medellín. Cartagena has a modern transportation terminal in the Doña Manuela Sector, located on the Carretera de la Cordialidad. Address: Diagonal 57 N° 54-36. Phones: + 57 (5) 663-0317, (5) 663-0289, and (5) 663-0454.

There are flights from the main cities in the country to Cartagena. Most international flights arrive at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá, where it is necessary to take a connecting flight. Cities with international direct flights to Cartagena are Miami (Avianca), Madrid, and the cities of the Central American countries that connect to Panama City (Copa Airlines). Address of the Rafael Núñez International Airport: Calle 71 N° 3-89, Barrio Crespo, Phone: + 57 (5) 666-6610.

It is also possible to arrive by sea in this beautiful city of the Colombian Caribbean. Close to 100 cruise ships from various destinations dock in Cartagena during the high season.


Transcaribe: This is the name of the integrated transportation system of the District of Cartagena. At present, it is under construction, but soon it will change the appearance of the city and will facilitate everybody’s vacations . It will be based on articulated buses that will cover the entire city, thanks to the fact that the city moves along a single axis.

This transportation system has 35 routes. The buses are privately owned and most of them tour the city from one end to the other.


  • Centro Taxis S.A., Phone: + 57) (5) 674-2400
  • Cooprotax, Tel: + 57 (5) 651-1111
  • Estación de taxis Aeropuerto de Crespo, Phone: + 57 (5) 666-4206
  • Radio Taxis Cartagena RTC, Phone: + 57 (5) 677-0100
  • Rapitaxi ejecutivo, Phone: + 57 (5) 664-4444


Alcaldía Mayor de Cartagena (Mayor’s Office)

Map of Cartagena, Colombia


Calle 28A Nº 13A-15 Piso 36

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Fondo de Promoción Turistica PROCOLOMBIA

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