Vivaaa Cartagenaaa! Cartagena, Colombia was one of my favorite trips of 2018. It was one of those places that I have always wanted to go and then I finally got the opportunity and it TOTALLY blew me away and exceeded my expectations. It is such a beautiful, colorful city that is full of life. It also helped that the trip was perfectly planned out and we went with a great group of girls. Scroll down for my Cartagena travel guide!
So, why did we go to Cartagena you ask? Well, for a casual bachelorette party. I know what you’re all thinking right now.. “you went to CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA for a bachelorette party?! That’s crazy.” I know you’re thinking it because I got that reaction IRL about 100 times leading up to the trip. But if you knew my friend Paula (the bachelorette), you wouldn’t think it was out of the norm. Paula is a crazy, wild, free, lovable, amazing Peruvian friend of mine. She lives in Miami, so really, Colombia isn’t too far of a journey—only about a 2-3 hour flight.
Paula had actually been to Cartagena before and said it’s one of the very few places in the world that she wanted to travel back to. Luckily for us, she knew all the hot spots in Cartagena and planned the PERFECT long weekend in Cartagena. So below are a few of my tips for you:
Where to Stay:
- Stay within the walls of Old Town. Cartagena gets a bad rep because of the drug cartel back in the 90’s. There is still some crime in Cartagena, just like any other city, but within the walled city, it is very safe.
- We stayed at an incredible Airbnb that I will link here.
Cartagena Travel Guide: Where to Eat:
- Juan del Mar
- La Cevicheria
- Restaurante Don Juan
- El Boliche Cebicheria
We basically ate seafood the entire trip because it was SO GOOD and so fresh. If you’re a ceviche fan, definitely check out La Cevicheria and El Boliche. To be honest, my favorite meal was on the boat day where smaller boats would come up to your boat and sell fresh seafood right off of their smaller boats (pictured below).. you can also find videos of this from my Instagram Highlight Reel @champagnegetaway. We also enjoyed the street food from different vendors– anything from fresh fruit to arepas to empanadas to ceviche, you name it.
Cartagena Travel Guide: Where to Drink:
- Café del Mar- An absolute must at sunset, but make sure to get there early to grab a seat!
- Chiva rumbera- This is a local party bus outside of the walled city. Honestly it was SO fun! They sell 2 liter plastic bottles of mixed drinks and you just pass them back and forth as you drive through the city listening to Colombian Music.
- La Movida 2-14- Nightclub where you can get tables and bottle service.
- Cuba 1940’s
Cartagena Travel Guide – What to Do:
- Watch the Sunset at Café del Mar
- Rent a Boat and Island Hop- We booked this through This Is Cartagena and was hands down my favorite day.
- Do a chiva rumbera aka a local party bus. We also booked this through a tour guide at This Is Cartagena, but you will see many people trying to sell you tickets in the city, especially near the clock tower. We did the night tour, which costs 45,000 cop per person and includes:
- A night tour of Cartagena on a traditional chiva bus
- A live band onboard
- Unlimited white rhum and Cola (some Chivas give aguardiente instead)
- Typical Caribbean finger food at one of the pit stops
- Cover entrance to a night club at the end of the tour.
- Farmer’s Market
- Street Shopping
Overall was such an incredible trip and we booked most of it through This is Cartagena, which I would highly recommend if you’re going for your first time. Even though all of us girls are grown adults, all of our parents were worried about us traveling in Cartagena, so they felt much better once we told them we booked it through This is Cartagena. This tour company handled everything from our Airbnb to the boat tour to even our nightlife events. We had a table and bottle service at La Movida Club and the tour company sent a body guard with us to stand by our table. He was not intrusive on our time at all, but it made us feel safe knowing he was there if anything did go wrong. Feel free to email me at Champagnegetaway@gmail.com if you have any other Cartagena questions and enjoy!!