CARTAGENA FOR FIRST TIMERS (5 days, from $1,380/per person)
An eye-opening exploration of the ‘crown jewel’ of the Caribbean: CARTAGENA DE INDIAS
An eye-opening exploration of the ‘crown jewel’ of the Caribbean, this 5-day experience will revitalize your senses with its rainbow of sights, smells, and sounds.
Founded in 1533, Cartagena was once the primary Caribbean port for Spanish explorers and was a frequent target of pirates and other countries. With its year-round tropical climate, you can expect sunshine and warm water whenever you choose to visit. Learn about its colonial architecture and Afro-Colombian music, food and dance. Cartagena is the perfect destination for adventure, nightlife, and relaxation alike. You’ll see what all the fuss is about during your personalized stay.
This trip is 100% customizable and upgrades for lodging and tours are available. See bottom of page for some alternate ideas.
Skip the mud volcano for a day trip to Santa Marta or Parque Tayrona instead. Want to spend a night in Islas Rosarios? Done.
We’ll send you any price updates to reflect your personal interests and are happy to answer any questions you have at no extra cost.
Includes first class hotel accommodations that reflect both traditional and modern styles
Includes informative, private tours and excursions with country-licensed, bilingual tour guides
Includes 24/7 online concierge services
Day 1: Welcome to Cartagena de Indias
Arrive to the crown jewel of the Caribbean. We’ll transfer you from Rafael Nuñez airport to your accommodation in El Centro (downtown historic district) for your first night out on the town. Our team will help you get oriented and suggest activities and restaurants for your first night.
Option: If arriving earlier, we can set up an afternoon orientation and walking tour.
Day 2: Getting to know Cartagena
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then get to know Cartagena’s vibrant history via a city and walking tour of the historic downtown. Our guide will break down the city’s storied past and bring you up to speed with current trends in politics, business, culture, tourism...and more. Suggested end to the day is enjoying sunset at Cafe del Mar, right on the water.
Option: Swap in some other options like afternoon rum or coffee tasting tour with San Alberto Coffee - one of the best in the country!
Day 3: Fresh Catch in La Boquilla
Learn about Cartagena’s famous fishing village, La Boquilla, with an ecological mangroves tour in canoe followed by a “Coco Loco” and fresh fish lunch on the beach.
Option: Make it a full day and visit the famous mud volcano (“El Totumo” in the morning), followed by the La Boquilla experience + lunch
Day 4: Explore Islas Rosarios and the island of Baru
Oh, THAT turquoise water…
Take a full day to enjoy the famous Islas Rosarios in a private boat for you and your travel partners. Enjoy another beach side lunch and take an extended dip in sparkling turquoise water. *Snorkeling options available.
At night: shake a leg at Bazurto Social Club or other famous salsa spots. We can help you set up a group class. Conversely, take in the local scene with a dinner in Getsemani plaza.
Day 5: Exploring Palenque
What is Palenque? The first free town of the Americas. Rich in history and language, and fresh with culture and a UNESCO-recognized language, this is a great way to expand your understanding of Cartagena’s storied past. You’ll head out from your hotel to Palenque with our bilingual tour guide and driver. Cultural presentations, walking tour, and lunch on site.
At night we suggest: Go big! Have a cocktail at Alquimico or spring for a sumptuous dinner at Vera or La Vitrola.
Options: Choose a half-day tour of the famous Mercado Bazurto (Bazurto food market) instead, or take the day to explore on your own
Day 6: Farewell!
Transfer to airport
Other excursions we can organize for you in Cartagena:
Bike tour of downtown
Private dance classes at Crazy Salsa or Bazurto Social Club
Another day or overnight at the beach
Day trip to Santa Marta
Rum tasting tour
Coffee tasting at the world-class Cafe San Alberto
City Tour in private vehicle to see Castillo San Felipe, Barrio Getsemani, and Pie de la Popa (a monastery convent)
Botanical gardens ½ day experience with private car and guide
Aviary Experience (en route to Isla Baru for a beach day and overnight)
Horseback riding on the beach of La Boquilla
Segway tour of the Old City
Cooking class in-home with local chef (traditional coastal meal)
Shopping trip to some of the city’s best clothing boutiques (for women)
Poke around some of the best emerald museums and stores in Cartagena
Hotel options include the Bastion Hotel, Bantu Hotel, and the Movich Cartagena, or upgrade to Casa San Agustin
Note: Hotels and tours, transportation and other services are subject to low and high season prices. High season in Cartagena is between October and April. Hotels will charge a tax not included in our initial quote.