Cartagena de Indias is in my eyes the most atmospheric city of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast. The weather is great, people are kind and it has many nice bars and restaurants. Cartagena has something for everyone; a new city centre with a great nightlife and a beautiful old centre for those who love culture. In the area you will find beautiful beaches. In this article I tell you everything about where to stay, eat and go in Cartagena, Colombia. Click here if you want to read more about a great route through Colombia.
A place to stay
First you need to decide where to stay in Colombia. In the old or new part of the city? We decided to stay in El Arsenal Hostel Boutique in the new part of the city, to experience the nightlife a bit as well. Unfortunately, they were not clear about how sustainable they are but besides that, we really loved this place. The people were very kind, the hostel was clean and there was always something fun to do. You can play pool in the cafe, have a drink at the pool and every week they organize fun activities, such as pool parties.
Looking for a sustainable place to stay? You can go to Hotel 3 Banderas. They are doing a lot of things about sustainability. Keep in mind that it’s a bit more expensive to stay over here.
Places to eat
The stepping Stone Cafe
My favourite place in Cartagena to grab some breakfast or lunch is the Stepping Stone Cafe. It’s a social enterprise cafe in Cartagena, which fights inequality in Colombia. They focus on local non-profit foundation FEM, with sustainable development projects to empower indigenous and afro communities to dream of a better future. Besides that, the food and drinks are amazing! You must try the Oreo Super Shake, yumyum! They have so many options, so we went here twice. Both times it was delicious.
Nice to know for vegans, they serve a lot of vegan dishes.
Another great place for lunch is Pasteleria Mila, in the old city centre. Because our parents used to have a bakery, we still have a weakness for beautiful bakeries. Well this is definitely one! Over here you can enjoy pastries and more.. The milkshakes and pancakes are also worthwhile. I’m a real goat cheese fan. If you are a huge goat cheese lover as well, you need to try the goat cheese salad! It’s AMAZING!
Cafe del Mar
Do you want to enjoy the sunset? Go grab a cocktail at Cafe del Mar, a restaurant at Las Murallas. Be early for a nice table and enjoy the spectacular view from the beginning of the evening.
Are you looking for a place for dinner? Just take a walk around the centre. By strolling around you can enjoy everything the city has to offer and both the old town as the new area have more than enough nice restaurants.
Vamos a la Playa
Unfortunately, Cartagena itself doesn’t have white dream beaches. The best beach on walking distance is Bocagrande. It’s a good place, but again, it isn’t one of the bounty beaches you dream of. But don’t worry, there are plenty of places to go to in the nearby area! We visited Playa Blanca, Isla de Baru and stayed here for two nights. We can definitely recommend this. Why? Stay tuned because soon we will launch our article about Playa Blanca. In addition, we have heard many positive stories about Islas del Rosario, a group of 30 small islands.
As you can see, there are plenty of nice places to be found in Cartagena. In my eyes it’s a wonderfully bustling city, which breathes a true Caribbean atmosphere. Have you ever been to Cartagena? What did you like the most?
Do you want to read more about a great route through Colombia? Click here.