The colorful city of Cartagena is known for its rich history and scenic coastal location. With 48 hours in this Colombian city, you can see its highlights and still have time to learn to cook traditional food, explore the local art scene, and take a sunset cruise. Here are a few ways to spend two days in Cartagena.
Day 1: City Heritage and a Harbor Cruise
Morning: Get your bearings in Cartagena with an introductory tour. Choose a ride on the hop-on hop-off bus to see landmarks such as Castillo San Felipe or a Segway tour that moves quickly between attractions. History-themed walking tours with a local guide are also available.
Afternoon: Connect with local culture during a tour with an emerald-jewelry-making class or a market tour and cooking class. Before you get in the kitchen to learn to make traditional Colombian dishes, visit the Bazurto Market to source fresh ingredients.
Night: See the city of Cartagena from the water with an evening harbor cruise that includes a multicourse dinner and wine. To experience Cartagena’s atmosphere after dark, wrap up your first day in the city with a nightlife tour that includes transportation, drinks, and access to a nightclub.
Day 2: Boat Rentals and Carriage Rides
Morning: Discover Cartagena on two wheels with a guided bike tour, covering ground quickly to see parks, landmarks, and monuments. Alternatively, travelers interested in Cartagena’s art scene may want to join a tour in the Getsemani Quarter focused on contemporary art, including visits to artists’ studios and galleries.
Afternoon: Cool off during the warmest part of the day with a private boat rental. Let the captain do the steering while you admire views of the coast and stop to swim and snorkel. As sunset approaches, another fun water activity is a stand-up-paddleboarding excursion with an LED-lit board. The glow illuminates the water for 5 feet beneath the board.
Night: Discover the streets of Cartagena at night with a horse-and-carriage ride, passing popular landmarks including the Cathedral of Saint Peter Claver (Catedral de San Pedro Claver) during the journey. Some night rides also feature a multicourse dinner at a traditional Colombian restaurant.