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3 Free Things To Do in Cartagena

Columbia’s fifth-largest city, pronounced carta-hey-nah, is a very popular port for South American cruises. Its great mix of history, relaxation and glorious weather make it an immediate hit with tourists and its location on the north coast means that it is also included on many Caribbean cruises.

So, whether you are watching your budget closely or you are looking to save your money for all those exciting experiences on board the ship, here are three free things to do when your vessel drops anchor in Cartagena.

Watch The Sunset On The City Walls

Sunset Cartagena

The most charming part of the city is definitely the Old Town, which creates a feeling that you have just stepped back in time with its narrow alleyways and nostalgic horse and carts. The architecture in this part of Cartagena is beautiful and you get a great feel for the culture by simply walking around and watching the locals go about their lives.

Surrounding the Pueblo Vieja are the well-preserved city walls, creating a great way to see everything around you. You can walk almost the entire length of this ancient structure or just sit in one spot and watch the world go by. One activity that tourists and locals love to do is to sit on the walls with a drink or some food and watch the sunset. It’s a great way to end the day.

Bathe On The Beach

Bocagrande Beach Cartagena

It’s no surprise that this stretch of Caribbean coastline has some fantastic beaches and you should make some time to relax on one of them during your time here. Whilst some of the best examples can be found outside of the city, in the Rosario Islands, you can save money and travel time by visiting one of the urban options.

Bocagrande is where you will find most of the sun-seekers and this is a great place to settle down for the day if you don’t want to travel too far. With the city right behind and lifeguard huts on the sand, there’s a Miami vibe surrounding this stretch of beach. However, if you are looking for something quieter, it’s worth heading to Castillo Grande.

Be In Awe Of Oro


From golden sands to golden artefacts and this is your chance to learn about the history of Cartagena in its most glistening museum. The Museo del Oro Zenú is absolutely free and showcases some interesting trinkets that belonged to the civilisations that lived in the city before the Spanish invasion.

When the Spanish conquered these coasts, they melted down the vast majority of these gold items to destroy their religious ties or help fund further conquests. This air-conditioned museum holds a collection of the pieces that remain.

Once you spend just a few hours in this beautiful Colombian city, you are sure to realise why tourists rave about its charm. If you see Cartagena on your South American cruise itinerary, you know you’re in for a treat.

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