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Cartagena Colombia Travel Itinerary 7 Days

Cartagena Travel Map

Updated on 04/05/2024

Greetings,
I’m Frank, the proprietor of a premier tour operator based in Bogota, dedicated to crafting personalized and luxurious travel experiences throughout Colombia.

As you navigate through this guide, anticipate discovering a compilation of additional invaluable travel itineraries for your exploration of Colombia.

Cartagena Trip Summary

Day 1 – Cartagena
Day 2 – Cartagena
Day 3 – Cartagena
Day 4 – Cartagena- Rosario Islands – Cartagena
Day 5 – Cartagena – Rincon del Mar
Day 6 – Rincon del Mar
Day 7 – Rincon del Mar – Cartagena

Planned Places/Cities

Cartagena

Regarding tourism, Cartagena is probably the most important Colombian city after Bogota. It is the capital of the department Bolivar, on the northern coast of Colombia. It has an average temperature of 32°C (89°F), the climate is hot but breezy since it is located at sea level. There are over 500 years of history to be found here and Cartagena was also cataloged as UNESCO World Heritage in 1984. Its perfect location right on the Caribbean Sea and its beautiful colonial old town (Ciudad Amurallada) enchant national and international tourists, who also choose to arrive on cruise ships. In the historical part, you will find many sights, boutique hotels, and restaurants. The walled city is known to be a common honeymoon destination due to the romanticism of its streets and architecture. Cartagena is a city with a lot of history and fascinating places to visit, such as San Felipe de Barajas Castle and the historic center.

Rincon del Mar

Rincón del Mar is a charming coastal village located in the northern region of Colombia, on the Caribbean coast. Situated in the Sucre Department, this hidden gem offers a serene and unspoiled paradise for travelers seeking a laid-back beach getaway.

Rincón del Mar is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. Its beaches boast soft white sand and crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. The tranquil atmosphere of the village allows visitors to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

One of the standout features of Rincón del Mar is the welcoming and friendly nature of its residents. The village has managed to preserve its authentic Colombian charm, and visitors often have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture. Traditional music, dance, and cuisine are prevalent, offering a taste of the true Caribbean spirit.

The location of Rincón del Mar is ideal for exploring nearby attractions. Visitors can embark on an exciting island-hopping adventure, with the Archipelago of San Bernardo being a popular destination.

For nature enthusiasts, Rincón del Mar provides ample opportunities for eco-tourism and outdoor activities. The surrounding mangrove forests and lagoons create a unique ecosystem, perfect for birdwatching, kayaking, and nature walks.

Rosario Islands

The Rosario Islands, known locally as “Islas del Rosario,” are a group of idyllic and paradisiacal islands located in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. This archipelago is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, coral reefs, and diverse marine life, making it a sought-after destination for beach lovers and snorkelers.

The Rosario Islands offer a true Caribbean paradise experience with their white sandy beaches, palm-fringed shores, and warm tropical waters. The islands are an escape from the bustling city life of Cartagena, offering a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.

The archipelago is part of the Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Natural Park, which was established to protect the valuable marine ecosystems, coral reefs, and diverse aquatic species found in the area.

The Rosario Islands are a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The coral reefs are teeming with colorful marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and rays.

Isla Grande is the largest and most popular island in the archipelago. It offers various accommodation options, restaurants, and beach clubs, making it a convenient base for exploring the area.

The Rosario Islands are easily accessible from Cartagena, and many tour operators offer day trips and excursions to the islands.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Cartagena

Arrival to Cartagena

You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel.

The bilingual guide will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport.

Accommodation

Here you will find the best hotel recommendations in Cartagena

Day 2: Cartagena

Full Day City Tour and Mercado Bazurto

Your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the Bazurto market, a very busy place in Cartagena, a maze of colorful stalls, exotic foods and local handicrafts. This guided tour will take you to the heart of the market, where you will have the opportunity to meet the vendors, watch the artisans at work, taste local delicacies and if you prefer, enjoy a delicious typical Colombian lunch.

On the way back you will have a 3 hour tour of the city of Cartagena, visiting the residential neighborhoods that border the Bay of Cartagena. You will visit the Monastery of San Pedro Claver and its church, built in honor of the patron saint of slaves – Pedro Claver. The church is considered a national monument and, because of its history and charm, is one of the favorite churches for weddings in Cartagena. You can also visit the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the most important work of military engineering in the New World. This fortress was built by the Spanish during the colonial era (from 1536) to protect the city from pirates and invaders. Today it is one of the 7 wonders of Colombia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 3: Cartagena

Full Day Route Of Liberty – San Basilio de Palenque

San Basilio de Palenque is a place where music, language, medicine and other daily traditions permanently remind us of the continent that five centuries ago became the main source of slaves in the world. It is known for its mark in the history of the eighteenth century, as it was the first black slave town in America to free itself from the Spanish crown.

55 km from Cartagena, in Palenque, one of the first free towns of the continent and cradle of important boxers like Antonio Cervantes ‘Kid Pambelé’. Learn about the Afro-Caribbean history, the past, present and future of Palenque and enjoy its typical food, guided by young people from the community.

Day 4: Cartagena – Rosario Islands

Private Boat tour to Rosario Islands

The driver will pick you up at the hotel and take you to the pier. Where you will have a tour through the Rosario Islands, an archipelago in the Caribbean Sea formed by 28 islands. The natural national park was created to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Caribbean coast of Colombia. From Cartagena, it takes about 45 minutes by boat. During the private boat excursion to the islands, the captain and an assistant will take care of you. Cold drinks such as champagne, beers and water, as well as delicious snacks, will be the perfect accompaniment to the views over the blue ocean. You will be able to discover the beaches and islands at your leisure or do other activities.

Day 5: Cartagena – Rincon del Mar

Departure to Rincon del Mar

You will be picked up at the hotel and driven to Rincon del Mar.

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation, we will be more than happy to help you.

Day 6: Rincon del Mar

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation, we will be more than happy to help you.

Day 7: Rincon del Mar – Cartagena

Day at leisure

If you need any recommendation, we will be more than happy to help you.

Departure to Cartagena

You will be picked up at the hotel and driven to the airport Rafael Nuñez in Cartagena

Travel Map

Cartagena Travel Map
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About Author

Frank

Frank

Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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