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How to Spend 3 Days in Cartagena

How to Spend 3 Days in Cartagena

With a Caribbean climate and beautiful colonial architecture, Cartagena attracts travelers seeking sun, sand, and history. With 72 hours, you can explore Unesco World Heritage sites, visit vibrant markets, and venture to nearby islands for some stellar snorkeling. Here are a few ways to spend 3 days in Cartagena.  

Day 1: Walled City Walks and Nightlife

Explore the centuries of Cartagena’s history with an introductory city tour. Take a ride on the hop-on, hop-off bus, and stop at attractions like San Felipe de Barajas Castle. Opt for a guided walking tour of the old walled city, and learn about the city architecture and culture while visiting top landmarks, including San Pedro Claver Church, Plaza de Bolivar, and Torre del Reloj. Then head to the mountaintop La Popa Monastery and enjoy a new perspective of the city.

Complete the day with an introduction to local nightlife: Climb aboard achiva—a colorful bus typical of rural Colombia—for a cruise through the city with live music. Nightlife tours often include admission to a local nightclub. 

Day 2: Cook, Bike, or Skydive

Get to know Cartagena’s local culture with a cooking class that includes a market tour. You’ll join a local guide for a wander through the bustling Bazurto Market and pick up local ingredients for a cooking workshop before heading into the kitchen to learn the secrets behind traditional Colombian dishes. After the lesson, enjoy a feast of dishes you’ve prepared yourself. Alternatively if you’re looking for thrills, book a tandem skydive to see the coastline from above.

In the afternoon, sign up for an art-focused tour. A guided stroll through the Getsemani neighborhood includes visits to galleries showcasing local work and contemporary artists’ studios. Or, for a little exercise, follow a guide on a bike tour of the city.

Day 3: Escape to the Islands

On your third day, head out on a day trip and explore the pristine islands off of Cartagena’s coast: Travel by speedboat to the Rosario Islands, and spend a day sunbathing and swimming. Visit Playa Blanca, relax and enjoy a hearty lunch, and then kick back in hammocks for a peaceful afternoon. If you’re looking for a more active trip, opt for a trip that also includes snorkeling and scuba diving among coral reefs. For a more private adventure, you can even book a full-day boat rental (boat captain included) and set your own itinerary for the day. 

For an on-shore option, book an excursion to the Totumo mud volcano and enjoy a restorative soak in the mud baths known for their healing properties. Then in the evening, head back to the city, and dance the night away with a tour of the city’s salsa clubs.

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12 Tours and Activities | All Cartagena Tours

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Full-Day Rosario Islands Including Barú, Cholon and Playa Blanca

Full-Day Rosario Islands Including Barú, Cholon and Playa Blanca

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Explore the pristine beaches of the Rosario and Barú islands during this day trip from Cartagena. Travel off the coast of Colombia via speedboat to the Corales del Rosario National Park. Swim and snorkel in the azure waters, relax on the soft sand beaches, and take in the picturesque natural surroundings. National park fees, lunch, and round-trip transportation from Cartagena hotels are provided.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.00
From
$95.00
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Tour to Totumo Mud Volcano from Cartagena

Half-Day Tour to Totumo Mud Volcano from Cartagena

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Totumo Mud Volcano is a one-of-a-kind attraction home to mineral-infused mud that’s reputed to have healing properties. Avoid the hassle of public transport and the expense of taxis on a stress-free trip to the the volcano, which include lunch and convenient hotel pickup and drop-off. You’ll have ample time to soak in the mud bath and, unlike conventional tours from Cartagena, this excursion includes a stop at Manzanillo Beach.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$40.00
From
$40.00
Taking safety measures

Playa Blanca Complete!

Playa Blanca Complete!

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Enjoy some fun in the sun during this full-day excursion from Cartagena to the lovely Playa Blanca beach on Baru Island. Journey outside of the city to reach this paradise of white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, spending the day sunbathing, swimming, and relaxing amidst the magnificent tropical scenery. Enjoy an included lunch of Colombian specialties (if option selected), tropical fruit and water, a professional tour guide and transport via an air-conditioned coach.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$35.00
From
$35.00
Taking safety measures

City Sightseeing Cartagena Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Cartagena Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

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Discover the captivating colonial charm of Cartagena on a spectacular City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city. See all of Cartagena’s alluring attractions from the unique perspective of a double-decker bus; visit the renowned Rafael Núñez house, the colossal Castillo de San Felipe, and the legendary statue of Simon Bolivar. Enjoy unlimited hopping on and off for 48 hours as you experience the ultimate way to see the city sights.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$18.00
From
$18.00
Taking safety measures

Zumba and Island Hopping in Rosario and Cholon

Zumba and Island Hopping in Rosario and Cholon

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Spend a day out on the waters that make Cartagena famous on this island-hopping snorkel tour of Colombia's Baru Islands. Snorkel with the comfort and security of a guide and nautical team, and relax as you sail around the scenic archipelago in the Caribbean sea between locations. This tour includes all equipment, lunch, and hotel pickup and drop-off from your Cartagena lodging.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$80.00
From
$80.00
Taking safety measures

Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena

Bazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena

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Learn to cook traditional Colombian food during this half-day class in Cartagena. Shop at a local open-air market with your chef/instructor, who will guide you in selecting ingredients for the dishes. In a local family's kitchen, try your hand at making dishes such as empanadas, coconut rice and others; then feast on your work. Round-trip transportation from Cartagena hotels or a central downtown meeting point is included.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$115.39
From
$115.39

From Cartagena: Rosario Islands day trip at Isla del Sol

From Cartagena: Rosario Islands day trip at Isla del Sol

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Escape to the picturesque paradise of the Rosario Islands on a delightful day-trip from Cartagena. Experience the idyllic splendor of the iridescent water and silken sands as you cruise to the alluring archipelago. Plunge into the crystal clear Caribbean waters; recline in the shade of a palm tree on a blissful beach. Treat your taste buds to a traditional lunch and enjoy convenient hotel pickup on this heavenly excursion.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$97.00
Price varies by group size
From
$97.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Cartagena Bike Tour

Cartagena Bike Tour

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A bike tour is a fun way for first-time visitors to discover Cartagena. Catch a breeze and cover more ground than is possible on a walking tour as you follow your guide down a mostly flat route to Cartagena sights such as churches, monuments, and parks, all as your guide shares fun stories about the city’s history and culture that you might miss on your own.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$40.00
Price varies by group size
From
$40.00
Price varies by group size

Cartagena Nightlife Tour by Chiva Bus

Cartagena Nightlife Tour by Chiva Bus

star-3.5
Capture the color and charisma of Cartagena’s vibrant nightlife on a 4-hour city tour by bus. Climb aboard a vibrant ‘chiva’, a colorful wooden bus typical in rural Colombia, to begin your exciting excursion into the night. Listen to pulsing live music, sip complimentary drinks and admire spectacular sights as you cruise around the captivating colonial city. Carry on the revels at a popular local nightclub, or return to your hotel at the end of this energizing excursion.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$19.20
From
$19.20
Taking safety measures

Cartagena Art Tour

Cartagena Art Tour

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Get in touch with your creative side during this 3-hour exploration of Cartagena’s thriving art scene. Head to the Getsemani Quarter as you meet up with local artists at their studios, tour the newest galleries and check out the city’s diverse street art scene. An art historian guide, all entrance fees, water, and coffee or beer is included.
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  • 3 hours
From
$67.00
Price varies by group size
From
$67.00
Price varies by group size

Flavors of Colombia: Chapinero Street Food Tour

Flavors of Colombia: Chapinero Street Food Tour

Get your thrills on a sky-diving adventure in beautiful Cartagena. After a convenient hotel pickup from Old Town, Getsemaní, or Bocagrande, enjoy a safety and training briefing, get outfitted with gear and soar to more than 5,000 feet. Leap into the sky while securely attached to a personal instructor and marvel at the views before returning to terra firma. 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$61.00
Price varies by group size
From
$61.00
Price varies by group size

Cartagena Guided Walking Tour

Cartagena Guided Walking Tour

star-4.5
Discover the unexpected charms and fascinating history of Cartagena, one of southern Spain’s lesser-known gems, during a 3-hour guided walking tour. Learn about the city’s ancient history and founding as the city of Carthago Nova, an ancient settlement dating back to the Carthaginians in 228 BC, and see its historic amphitheater and Punic Wall. Then jump a few centuries forward to the medieval era during a visit to La Concepción Castle before finishing your day in the present by exploring Cartagena’s modernist architecture in the city center.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.48
From
$35.48