This Spanish colonial gem, with some of the hemisphere’s loveliest architecture, built right on the brilliant blue Caribbean, should already be a world-class destination. And, certainly, it already is one of Colombia’s most popular cities, but the nation’s reputation has for decades kept the vast majority of travelers away.
That’s changing. This city has something for everyone, and all the outdated travel warnings in the world won’t keep the crowds at bay much longer. Culture lovers will find museums, live music, and other delights, while epicurious travelers in search of fine dining, excellent hotels, and glittering nightlife in unusual places will find Cartagena worth writing home about. And, while beach lovers may be less than impress with the city’s public stretch of sand, an array of perfect islands just offshore beckon with white sand, cold coconuts, and incredible snorkeling and diving.