A photo gallery to inspire you to visit the colourful seaside city of Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena isn’t a place that ends up on many people’s radar, but there are many reasons to visit Cartagena. It was just over a year ago that I heard this city’s name for the first time. A girlfriend of mine asked if I wanted to go on a trip with her to Cartagena to which I replied yes, of course! And then I quickly Google’d it to see what I’d just said yes to.

Always up for an adventure, I said yes before I knew what I was agreeing to. I am certainly glad that I did. It is a beautiful and vibrant city. Instead of telling you why you should go, I’m going to show you why you need to visit Cartagena.

I’ve decided to start a monthly photo gallery post of a beautiful location I have had the good fortune to visit. Since International travel is currently on hold, let’s all enjoy a little armchair travel. I previously posted a photo gallery of the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver. This month, join me in exploring the seaside city of Cartagena, Colombia.

8 Picturesque Reasons to Visit Cartagena

1. Fresh seafood

Fresh ceviche in Cartagena
If you love seafood, this is the place for you. My favourite dish to enjoy in Cartagena is the ceviche. It often comes in a coconut milk broth and tastes fresh and delicious.
Plate of fresh seafood in Cartagena
The fresh and delicious seafood wasn’t just in restaurants, we were served these culinary delights while lounging poolside one afternoon.

2. Vibrant culture

Palenqueras on the street in Cartagena
Palenqueras have become a colourful symbol of Cartagena and can be seen selling fruit everywhere in the city. They will pose with tourists for a small fee and I was more than willing to pay for this touristy photo-op.
Street vendors selling fruit in Cartagena
Street vendors were everywhere selling fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as fruit juices. I love being able to purchase fresh street food when traveling.

3. Crystal clear, warm waters

Two women in the water at Playa Blanca beach in Cartagena
My girlfriend and I enjoying the crystal clear, warm waters at Playa Blanca. This white sand beach is just 40 minutes outside of the city and is a popular tourist destination. Be warned that vendors will try and sell you their wares all day long. Swimming in the water was a welcome reprieve from their constant haggling.
Two people riding a seadoo
After many, many conversations with beach vendors I finally caved and went for a seadoo ride. This local vendor had been haggling with me for hours to go for a ride. In the end, I’m glad I did! After all, tourism keeps places like Cartagena alive and if I’m going to spend money, it might as well be on a beach adventure.

4. Colourful street art

Colourful street art in Cartagena
Vibrant street art is everywhere, lining the streets of Cartagena with colourful murals.
Woman walking down a colourful alley in Cartagena
Walking down colourful streets like this one are a common occurrence when exploring Cartagena.

5. Rooftop bars

Women at a Cartagena rooftop bar
Smoking a hookah and drinking a Colombian beer one evening at one of our favourite rooftop bars in the city, overlooking the city centre inside the old walled city of Cartagena.

6. History

The old walled city in Cartagena
The old walled city is to one side, while modern skyscrapers line the beach in the background.

7. Ornate doorways

Colourful Cartagena
Colourful buildings and fun doorways are everywhere you look in Cartagena. And yes, I have a thing for doing handstands when I’m on vacation 😉
Ornate lion doorknob in Cartagena
If you like unique doorways and doorknobs, you will love Cartagena. This is one of the many you will see around every corner.

8. Shopping

Two women shopping in Cartagena
While there are tons of tourist stops with straw purses, fedoras and knick-knacks, there is also a multitude of amazing stores full of local designers. I could have filled a second suitcase with amazing dresses from this city.

And there you have it, eight reasons to visit Cartagena. There are so many reasons to visit Cartagena, but I hope I have given you at least eight. This city holds a special place in my heart and in fact, one of the first travel articles I had published was Why Cartagena, Colombia Should be on Your Radar.

Cartagena, Colombia is a beautiful place filled with inviting and kind people, delicious food and more. Have you been? If you decide to visit, you may wish to also check out these day trips from Cartagena.

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8 Reasons why you need to visit Cartagena, Colombia