Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

You never need to be bored in Cartagena, there are a host of activities to keep you occupied, whatever your preference, the city has something to grab your attention!

  • For those who love art and history, there are a number of excellent museums in the city. Amongst the best, and well worthy of a visit is the Gold Museum, here you will find an excellent collection of pre-Colombian artefacts to give you a clear insight into the fascinating cultures.
  • Another great museum is the Naval Museum. As Cartagena is situated on the coast, it has an interesting naval history. This museum has some excellent exhibits to help re-create that history and to explain the importance of the navy to the city's past growth and development.
  • For art lovers, the Museum of Modern Art is a great place to wander and browse.
  • For lovers of film and theatre, here are a couple of great suggestions: ‘Teatro Heredia’ is worth seeing for its interior alone. Its stunning gold-leaf work makes this one of the finest theatres in the Americas. It hosts some excellent performances, amongst the best being by the local ballet company.
  • Attend some of the best Latin American and international films at the ‘Festival Internacional de Cine’. Famous stars from all over the continent arrive to attend the festival, and can be seen wandering the streets and dining in the restaurants.
  • For those who enjoy walking and taking in the sights, why not give these suggestions a try? Stroll through the many beautiful plazas, stopping for coffee to soak up the atmosphere. Alternatively, why not take a walk along the top of the fortified city wall. With breathtaking views of the Caribbean on one side, and the beautiful Colonial architecture of the city on the other, this is the perfect place to give your camera some exercise. Another great walk is to climb up to the impressive fort of ‘San Felipe de Barajas’, again, this is a great place for photos.
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    If sport is what you like, why not give some support to one of the home games of soccer, baseball or basketball at the local stadium; ‘Estadio Pedro Heredia’. Alternatively, if you want to experience some true cultural sport, you could attend a bullfight in the bullring adjacent to the soccer stadium. However, these are not or the faint-hearted, and can often involve severe injuries with bloodshed!
  • If the beach is more your style, you can you can choose to relax and soak up the Caribbean sun on one of the many beaches, or be a little more active and get your PADI diving certificate. The Caribbean coast of Cartagena is perfect for diving amongst the reefs and old shipwrecks near to the coast, where there's an array of tropical fish to be spotted. A number of reputable agencies are available to instruct you, and from where you can hire all the necessary equipment.
  • A couple of notable, annual events worth experiencing are the ‘Cultural Week’, held every Easter, when there are lots of free concerts, street entertainment and various cultural displays. The second, the ‘National Beauty Pageant’, is held in November when the entire week is declared a holiday. There are music festivals, dancing shows, and some exquisite floats that carry the beauty contestants through the city streets.
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    Another great way to pass your time in Cartagena is to learn Spanish. There are a few excellent schools in the city where you can either join a group at the same level as yourself, or study with a private tutor. Learning the Spanish language is not only rewarding but helps you to understand and appreciate the local culture.

As you can see there are many ways in which to pass your time in Cartagena, these are just some suggestions but the list is endless!

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