One of the most enchanting cities in South America, Cartagena seduces visitors with its old colonial architecture, unique musical, artistic and culinary talents and charming beaches and islands. For centuries, it was a mecca for gold seekers. Its wealthy residents built elaborate mansions and palaces in the historic center, many of which have now been converted into richly designed hotels and restaurants. It is no wonder Cartagena was home and inspiration to Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marques, who captured the city’s fascinating atmosphere and cultural nuances in the pages of his books. Cartagena’s old town is best explored by foot, wandering around the flower-filled narrow streets, browsing museums and boutiques and visiting nearby beaches. At nightfall grab some tropical cocktails and move to the alluring salsa beat!

Where to Stay

Cartagena is larger than visitors usually think. The highlight is its enchanting historical center and we have focused our hotel suggestions in this area, all of which are especially beautiful. This region is also closer to the lovely beaches, so make the most of your stay and enjoy a bit of sun and sea as well. If you are travelling on business, you may prefer to stay closer to your business appointments, and hence probably off the walled city. In this case, we highly recommend visiting the old city for pleasant strolls in its delightful cobbled streets and some delicious nourishment in the charming cafés and top-notch restaurants.