top of page

Cartagena de Indias, the most romantic city in Colombia

Cartagena de Indias is a city full of history, color and joy that will make you fall in love as soon as you arrive. Located in the Caribbean Sea, it is a perfect destination full of places with a lot of cultural interest, as well as beautiful beaches. Cartagena de Indias is considered the most beautiful and most romantic city in Colombia.

In this post I will tell you what to see and do in Cartagena de Indias, what places you can visit near the city, travel tips and the best areas and hotels to stay in the city.

Cartagena de Indias, the most romantic city in Colombia


Visit the walled city

Cartagena de Indias was a city very frequented by pirates and troops in the past. It is for this reason that construction of the wall began in the 16th century, just after Francis Drake's attack. Over the years, the wall grew stronger. The last attack was in March 1741, when a British troop consisting of 27,600 men, 186 ships and 2,000 cannons reached Cartagena, Colombia. The British were defeated. Many of the deaths were due to tropical diseases.

Cartagena de Indias, the most romantic city in Colombia

The walled city is the most emblematic place in Cartagena de Indias and the most visited in the city. It is an area full of charm, with colorful streets, churches, houses with balconies full of plants and flowers... It is a place where there is always an atmosphere and music playing.

Clock tower

The Clock Tower is the entrance to the fortified city. This tower was inaugurated in the year 1631. Once you pass under one of its arches, you will arrive at the Plaza de los Coches, where the slave trade with people from Africa used to be carried out. In the center of the square there is a statue of Pedro de Heredia, founder of Cartagena de Indias.

Visit the church and the Monastery of San Pedro Claver

San Pedro Claver was a Jesuit who dedicated his life to helping slaves brought from Africa. Before the time of his death in 1654, he had baptized 300,000 slaves. In the 17th century, the San Pedro Claver church and monastery was built in his memory. His remains are found in the main altar.

Sit down and talk to the locals at Parque de Bolivar

This park is located in the historic center. It is a perfect place to rest, since it has a grove, and with the humidity and heat of Cartagena it is always good to sit in the shade.

Here there are always locals, children playing ball and ladies gossiping. It is a good opportunity for you to talk to the locals and they will personally tell you what to see in the city. They recommended some very cool places that I tell you about in this post!

In this same square, you will find the Gold Museum and the Palace of the Inquisition.

There is also a statue of Simon Bolivar.

The Cathedral of Cartagena de Indias

This cathedral is the most important in the city and it is beautiful, in an intense yellow tone that combines perfectly with the place. Construction began at the end of the 16th century, but in 1586 the pirate Francis Drake destroyed much of it. Finally, it was completed in the year 1612, and since then there have been some renovations.

Church and square of Santo Domingo

One of the most beautiful squares in Cartagena is the Plaza de Santo Domingo. Here is the church that bears the same name. A simple church at first glance, in an orange tone, with a smooth façade and a limestone pediment. It has a very special charm making it unique.

Aduana's Place

This square, although beautiful surrounded by colorful buildings, is one of the less traveled areas of the city. Perhaps it is due to the fact that there are no benches or trees in the square, so that tourists and locals shelter from the heat.

Even so, you must come to know it and admire the colorful buildings, the wooden balconies and the street food stalls that come and go.

Within the walled city there are many places to visit, I also invite you to wander around and marvel at the houses, their patios... the architecture is very unique and beautiful. Other buildings and places in the walled city that you cannot miss are: the Museum of Modern Art, the Naval Museum, the Theatre, the Convent of San Agustín and Parque Fernández Madrid.

You can do a free tour in Cartagena de Indias, through the walled city. I recommend it to you! The guide explained all kinds of details about the history of the city in a very entertaining way, in addition to telling us some gossip, advising us on more places to visit...

Visit the Getsemaní neighborhood

During colonial times, this neighborhood of Cartagena was home to the slaves who came to the city. A few years ago, Getsemaní was associated with prostitution and drugs. Today, after years of “renovation”, it is a popular neighborhood and an essential stop on your trip to Cartagena de Indias.

During colonial times, this neighborhood of Cartagena was home to the slaves who came to the city. A few years ago, Getsemaní was associated with prostitution and drugs. Today, after years of “renovation”, it is a popular neighborhood and an essential stop on your trip to Cartagena de Indias.

To explore the neighborhood you can take a free tour of the Getsemaní neighborhood. Its streets are full of colors, with artistic graffiti on many of its walls, there are always little flags, there are always flowers... it is a very nice place to visit in the city. Do not miss it!

You cannot miss the Plaza de la Trinidad, Calle de la Magdalena (street with hanging pennants), the Callejón Angosto (small street full of umbrellas) and the graffiti route.

San Felipe de Barajas Castle

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a large fortress located on the hill of San Lázaro built to protect the city from possible invasions.

Several battles have been fought there against the English and French who arrived with the aim of conquering Cartagena de Indias, due to its strategic location. The castle began to be built in the year 1536 and was completed in the year 1657. It had a large number of underground corridors, 63 cannons and large walls.

Currently, visiting it is an essential stop to do in Cartagena de Indias.

What to see in Bocagrande, Cartagena de Indias

Bocagrande is located next to the historic center of Cartagena de Indias. It is the most luxurious area of ​​the city. Here you will find all kinds of hotels, but especially luxury ones, restaurants, shops...

The contrast of the buildings in this area with the historic center is brutal, here you will find modern and tall buildings.

The area does not have much, it is more of a commercial area. It is a good option to stay, since sleeping in the historic center is quite expensive. But, we talked about it at the end of the post, and I'll tell you which are the best places.

Beaches of Cartagena de Indias

In the city there are many places where you can enjoy the Caribbean Sea. The beaches of the city are not very beautiful, but nearby there are really beautiful beaches, with crystal clear water, turquoise color and white sand. A true paradise!

I tell you all about the beaches of Cartagena de Indias and all the small islands that you can visit from Cartagena in the post: The most beautiful beaches in Cartagena de Indias.


My favorite area is within the historic center of Cartagena de Indias... Here are my recommendations:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Colombia a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

If you liked this article, subscribe to the blog so you don't miss the next destinations, curiosities, travel tips and inspiration for your trips.

A hug and see you soon!


bottom of page