Built by the Spanish in 1533, Cartagena is a tropical port city of swaying hips and bustling squares. Its narrow cobbled streets are studded with churches, monasteries and colourful 18th century townhouses decked with bougainvillea. Horse drawn carriages rattle through the streets, men huddle around chessboards in parks and palenqueras in flowing skirts pedal fruit from bowls balanced on their heads.
Cartagena also lays claim to the best luxury hotels in Colombia, including some fabulous converted mansions, replete with shady courtyards, rooftop pools and gifted bar staff. We have a fix on the best of them, as well as the hottest nightspots and most worthwhile escapes on and off the mainland.
Take off in a private boat towards the Rosario Islands for a day of island-hopping and snorkelling off the Caribbean coast. Back in the city, enjoy a salsa class before heading out to some of our favourite live music venues. For the early-birds, we strongly recommend a morning visit to Bazurto market for a fascinating window onto the lives of Cartagena’s locals.
Few Caribbean cities are as richly emblematic as Cartagena. Get in touch with our Colombia experts to start planning your luxury trip to Cartagena.