Destination guide

Welcome to sultry Cartagena

Once the richest city in the Americas, Cartagena's gilded past can still be read in its ornate landmarks. Little wonder that it is today a UNESCO World Heritage city, resplendent with Spanish colonial architecture that will have you reaching for your camera at every opportunity. Sitting on Colombia's Caribbean coast, Cartagena is also famed for its association with the legendary novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. With serene white sand beaches, an atmospheric old town bedecked by cobbled streets and thick city walls, and colorful local markets – not to mention restaurant tables spilling onto beautiful squares, and the sounds of Latin music around every corner – Cartagena is a city ripe for discovery.

Things to do

Museums and marine life

Cartagena abounds with historic sites. The Palacio de la Inquisition offers a glimpse into some of Cartagena's darkest chapters of history, while the Museo del Oro Zenu offers up some of its most glittering treasures. Don't miss a trip to Castillo de San Felipe, a fortress dating back to the 17th century that provides some stunning views over the city and the sea. If you're staying at your Cartagena vacation rental with kids, you should make a beeline for the aquarium on the island of San Martin de Pajarales, where you can come face to face with majestic marine life, including dolphins and turtles.


Wander Cartagena's old town

From your Cartagena vacation rental, the best way to get your bearings is on a trolley bus tour, but exploring the districts of the old, walled city can be easily and pleasurably done on foot. A considerable amount of gentrification has happened in recent years, with luxury hotels, upscale restaurants, bodegas, and bars flourishing in the area. Head to Getsemani to enjoy authentic nightlife, with Latin rhythms, coffeeshops, bars, and street food to be found around Trinidad Square. Or, book an excursion to the Islas de Rosario archipelago for a day trip to laze on its beautiful beaches.


Soaking up the climate in Cartagena

Anyone familiar with the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez will know of Caragena's characteristic steamy climate. Summers here are warm and wet, with the driest season being the early months of the year. The siesta is welcome in this sultry town – make the most of the museums in the morning, relax in the early afternoon, then venture out from your Cartagena vacation rental to enjoy the shops, bars, and restaurants late into the evening.

Natural features

Hit the beach in Cartagena

Cartagena's Bocagrande beachfront is lined with bars and cafes where you can enjoy an oceanfront coffee in stylish surroundings. Or, for a more relaxed beach experience, the nearby Rosario islands have sparkling, sandy coves, and clear turquoise waters perfect for learning to snorkel or scuba, and are easily reached by boat. For a trip with a difference, outside town on the road to Barranquila, you'll find the Volcan del Totumo, Columbia's smallest volcano. Here, you can enjoy a mud bath in its crater before washing off in the nearby lagoon.

How to get there

How to get to and around Cartagena

The nearest airport is in Cartagena (CTG-Rafael Nunez Intl.), located 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from the city center.

Where to stay around Cartagena de Indias?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 1,046 vacation rentals near Cartagena de Indias. From 201 Houses to 717 Condos/Apartments, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Cartagena de Indias are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in Cartagena de Indias?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Cartagena de Indias. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Walled City of Cartagena: 340 vacation rentals
  • Zona Norte: 159 vacation rentals
  • El Laguito: 288 vacation rentals
  • Bocagrande: 660 vacation rentals
  • La Matuna: 302 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in Cartagena de Indias! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in Cartagena de Indias?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Cartagena de Indias:

  • Rosario Islands: 26 rentals
  • Barú: 35 rentals
  • Turbana: 47 rentals
  • Turbaco: 975 rentals
  • La Boquilla: 979 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in Cartagena de Indias?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in Cartagena de Indias. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Corales del Rosario National Park: 217 rentals
  • Blanca Beach: 994 rentals
  • La Boquilla Beach: 992 rentals
  • Clock Tower: 993 rentals
  • Bocagrande Beach: 1,001 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Cartagena de Indias listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.