The best excursions from Cartagena They will allow you to discover beautiful crystalline beaches, natural pools in the middle of the sea, charming towns and much more. Cartagena de Indias is magical because its colors, its history and culture that you can identify in every corner. You have a lot to see and what to do in Cartagena. But that is not all! Explore the surroundings of the city should also be on the list. In this post we tell you the best excursions from Cartagena of the Indies.

Contents of this article


1. Playa Blanca, one of the best excursions from Cartagena if you are looking for a beach

A 50-minute drive from Cartagena is Playa Blanca, one of the best beaches in Colombia. It is an extensive beach where the color of the sand is what gives it its name. Besides, its waters are very crystalline and perfect to cool off from the heat. This place is perfect to spend a whole day relaxing by the sea. You can too taste delicious dishes made instantly by the locals. They even bring them to the loungers. You will have a meal with the sea at your feet!

We recommend you go to Playa Blanca during the week, since on weekends the locals will spend on the beach and it will be full. When you arrive, several vendors will come by offering you loungers and food. It is better to ignore them because someone will want to charge you more than they should. We recommend you walk along the beach for a while to find a good place at a good price.

In Playa Blanca there are many water activities that you can do. There is an area where all the boats and jet skis are parked, which can be somewhat annoying. So we recommend you stay away from these boats.

We must warn that the sellers are very intense. Especially the masseuses, even when we said we didn’t want the massage, she came over to touch our feet. The problem with this is that they try to “give you” a sample of the service, but in the end they charge you a very high price. It’s a way to rip off the tourist! So be careful and don’t accept anything from any seller.

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best excursions from Cartagena
Playa Blanca, one of the best excursions from Cartagena

2. Rosario Islands

This set of 27 islands is part of a national park. Visiting all of them could take weeks, but you can meet a couple on a day trip. You will be able to see lagoons, coral reefs, many colorful fish, practice snorkeling, kayaking, swimming and cooling off on these Caribbean beaches. It will be the sun, the sea, the palm trees and you. Islas del Rosario is known for its super clear aquamarine waters. They make the scenery magnificent!

The islands you are going to visit depend on the excursion you choose. But, most of them have crystal clear waters, very calm for bathing. Of the best excursions from Cartagena, Islas del Rosario is the most famous. You will see how tourists line up from the early hours of the morning to take this route in a speedboat.

All boats leave from La Bodeguita dock. The last public boats leave at 10:00 a.m. On the other hand, you can also book an excursion to the Rosario Islands. Without having to go to the pier to queue. Includes a guide, lunch, round-trip transportation to your hotel, depending on the area of ​​your accommodation. It is the best option to visit Rosario Islands!

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3. Tayrona Park, one of the best excursions from Cartagena for hiking

Although Tayrona Park is a 4-hour drive from Cartagena, it is a natural paradise that you can’t miss. Consider that, if you go by bus, the transfer can take up to 6 hours. Visit Tayrona Park It is a magnificent and challenging experience. The place is UNESCO World Heritage And no surprise! Its landscapes will leave you breathless.

You will fall in love with the incredible natural beauty and you will not want to leave the park. The trail goes through a green tropical jungle, impressive mountains, huge rocks and white sand beaches with crystal clear waters. You will even run into animals that inhabit the area! You will have to walk around 2 and a half hours to get to the most beautiful beach in Tayrona Park called Cabo San Juan. She is also one of the best beaches in Colombia!

We recommend you go very early to make the most of your time in the park. Besides, the place opens at 8:00 a.m., but half an hour before that, tourists are already lining up to enter. Despite the large number of people that the park receives, you will not feel that it is crowded, since it is huge. You will not run out of space on the beaches!

Can visit Tayrona Park in one day, you only have to consider the transfer time from Cartagena and the time that the walks take. But if you want to spend more time You can stay the night inside Tayrona Park or in Santa Marta. There are areas set up with sleeping tents or hammocks that you can rent and spend the night. It is worth sleeping and waking up in the middle of nature!

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best excursions from Cartagena
The Tayrona is a bit far from Cartagena, but it’s worth it

4. San Basilio de Palenque, one of the best excursions from Cartagena with a lot of history

While you tour Cartagena you will see many women with colorful costumes and fruits called palenqueras. Come from Saint Basil of Palenque, a town 56 kilometers from Cartagena. It has a very important historical value as it It was one of the first towns in America made up of escaped and freed slaves. You will learn about the history of Palenque from slavery, clothing, folk dances, traditional cuisine and more.

Palenque has also seen the birth of popular Colombian musicians and even musical genres such as champeta and palenque. The language and customs here are very interesting. Pay close attention to every detail in Palenque! The town is simple and many of its inhabitants are poor.

For Go from Cartagena to San Basilio de Palenque you can take a bus that will bring you closer to the town or book an excursion. The transfer lasts one hour. It is very close to the city! Visit Palenque It will allow you to know the daily life of the locals and the roots of the town. Definitely, It is one of the best excursions from Cartagena.

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The famous palenqueras, in Cartagena

5. El Totumo, one of the best and most curious excursions from Cartagena

Can you imagine bathing inside a volcano? In El Totumo it is possible because it is a volcanic mound of active mud. The place is small, but the experience is incredible! The mud has a temperature equal to that of the skin, it is dense and with a gray color. It probably doesn’t look the best, but you should cover yourself in the mud of this volcano. Since the mud is rich in minerals and is said to have healing properties. It’s like being in a spa!

There are several legends and stories about this volcano. One of them tells that a priest poured holy water into the volcano’s lava to tame it. This caused the volcano to produce this mud instead of spewing lava. The Totumo seems from another world! Fortunately, this place is barely an hour from Cartagena.

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best excursions from Cartagena
The curious Totumo Volcano

6. Earth Bomb

In ancient times, Tierra Bomba was a key strategic defense point for the Spanish. There are even several old forts and structures that were once used by the Spanish to protect themselves from pirates and other colonial invaders. So you will not only enjoy the beach, sand and sun, but you will also get to know a little about the Colombian history.

Tierra Bomba is a large island that you will even see from the coast of Cartagena, just in front of Bocagrande. You can get to the island by boat, which is 25 minutes away. and relax on its white sand beaches. Earth Bomb has a quiet atmosphere, since it is not visited by many tourists. In addition, here you can enjoy dishes of typical Colombian food made by locals.

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7. La Boquilla, one of the best excursions from Cartagena for nature lovers

If you are looking to get lost in the middle of nature, you must know La Boquilla and its fascinating mangroves. Is about a small fishing village just 20 minutes away by car from Cartagena. For rural Afro-Colombian communities, fishing has been essential. These canals were built by the fishermen to be able to reach the ocean from the town.

Today you can explore the mangroves paddling a canoe to discover Colombian nature, its ecosystem, the extensive wildlife and crab plants. La Boquilla is a very authentic town. It is a different alternative to best excursions from Cartagena.

Is traveling to Colombia dangerous?

8. Playa Tranquila, the name says it all

We cannot finalize our list of best excursions from Cartagena to say nothing of quiet beach. if what you need is a relaxed day You must know this beautiful beach located in the Barú area. It is located 50 minutes from Cartagena, very close to Playa Blanca. So you can see both in the same day of excursion. These are two of the best beaches in Cartagena.

In addition, this place keeps a spectacle of nature, you can contemplate the bioluminescence of the Caribbean sea in Quiet Beach. You can not lose this! We recommend you stay until sunset to be able to witness this incredible natural act.


On the following map you will find marked the best excursions from Cartagena de Indias.


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