Venture off Cartagena’s tourist trail, scratch beneath the surface of the city with some tailor-made experiences filled with insight into the city’s idiosyncrasies and go home feeling like a local.

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  • This Is What We Love

    • Discovering the local barrios you don’t see on the holiday brochures and see how real Cartageneros live
    • Cultural meet-and-greets with enigmatic locals on the Real Cartagena and Explore Getsemani tours
    • Gaining a social and historical commentary about famous neighbourhoods such as Getsemani and La Boquilla from the eyes of a local who's seen it all


  • What You Need To Know

  • The Details

    Hours and Days: Mon-Sun: 09:00-15:00 ?

    Address: Meeting point: Centro, Calle Sargento Mayor, Calle 38, Cra 7, No. 6-107, Of 104, Cartagena, Colombia

    Rating: TIC User Rating


    Our Full Review

    It’s hard to imagine another world outside the dreamy colonial city, but for 90% of Cartagena’s population, that’s exactly what the walled city is to locals—a distant dream far from the reality they actually live in.

    Tread outside the walls and you’ll find yourself in a typical Latino workhorse town; a blend of pulsating markets, fishing villages, and grass-roots communities. There are no echoes of colonial Spain here, this is100% Caribbean flavour through and through.

    Our boutique selection of tours embody experiential travel at its most genuine. The Real Cartagena Tour offers an authentic six-hour trail that takes in the famous Bazurto market, street food stops a local fishing village and lush mangroves all in one sitting. 

    Explore Getsemani is an opportunity to inform yourself on the complex socio-economic forces underlying of rapidly gentrifying cultural quarter, Getsemani. As well as informal meet-and-greets with local heroes you’ll learn about the rebellious history which characterises this revolution-spirited barrio.

    Culture vultures eager to glide through Cartagena’s creative circles can gain the inside track on an inspirational Cartagena Art Tour.

    Under the guidance of a local artist, you’ll go beyond the Fernando Botero fakes and delve deep into the rich underground scene which defines this eclectic city.


  • Centro

    Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city.

    Constructed on one of three islands that are now connected to the Colombian mainland, the historic walled city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

    Ever since UNESCO made the announcement the money has poured into restoring the incredible architecture contained inside its historic walls. Wandering aimlessly through Cartagena's historic center is without question it's one of the highlights of any trip to Colombia. 

    Centro has lost none of its importance over the last three centuries, thanks to the universal allure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area. 

    While the riches of the region no longer flow through Cartagena on their way from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador to Spain, the city has maintained its position as the colonial gem in Colombia's Caribbean crown.

    Cartagena's best hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century.

    The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze, added security, papal pardons and the chance to get an early first whiff of pirates.

    While it was home to the slave traders of yesteryear, today not much has changed with only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list able to afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.

    As well as hosting the most opulent churches and principal tourist landmarks, Centro is home to the best bars and restaurants in Cartagena.

    Standout foodie destinations include restaurants Don Juan, La Vitrola and Maria and bars and nightclubs like Alquimico, Cafe del MarLa Movida and La Jugada.

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