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An Adventurer’s Guide to Cartagena: Where to Explore


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The city of Cartagena is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do during your stay, a whole world of rainforest hikes, hidden beaches, underwater wonders and more await you just outside the city limits!

I could go on and on about where to explore in Cartagena so I am going to focus on the two best experiences I had: Baru Island and Fenix Beach Club!

My Baru Island day tour with Taroa Adventures was easily the highlight of my time in the Cartagena. I was lucky enough to have my own private tour and we started the trip by spending the morning in the seaside town of Baru, walking around, meeting the locals and learning about their traditions and culture (including a live traditional music performance). We then took a boat ride through beautiful mangrove forests to a picturesque local beach with white sand and aquamarine waters where we ate a lunch of fresh fish and relaxed for the afternoon.

It is a bit more expensive than the basic beach tours but totally worth it, it was such an unforgettable experience and unlike any other tour offered in Cartagena. The guide and founder of Taroa Adventures, Olinto, is so friendly, knowledgeable and passionate about what he does and sharing authentic cultural experiences. If you want to discover local hidden gems and get a taste of the real Cartagena, he’s the guy for you. Taroa Adventures also run day hiking trips to Montas de Maria and a 3-day trip to Tayrona National Park and Minca.

If you want the ultimate laid-back beach day, Fenix Beach Club is the place to go. You pay in advance for full day access to the club, car pick-up from your hotel/hostel, boat trip there and back, and includes lunch. The club has beautiful grounds with a pool, bar, beach, plenty of hammocks and shaded beach beds where you can soak in the sun and totally unwind. The lunch is delicious fresh fish and if you’re still hungry after lunch the bar has a delicious menu of food, desserts, snacks and cocktails. Plus, for a small price, you can get a 30-minute massage (talk about pampered).

There are a number of other trips you can also take from Cartagena, including Rosario Islands, Totumo Volcano & Mud Baths, Salento and Murcia.

Hope you enjoyed our Adventurer’s Guide to Cartagena, comment with any other tips or questions about the city below!

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