Credit

Courtesy of Enzo Figueres/Getty Images

Cartagena Area Map

Neighborhoods

Cartagena spreads across Colombia's Caribbean coast. Except for their airplanes landing in the north, a majority of travelers' time is spent in the eastern area of the city. This coastal portion of Cartagena was the original city, complete with its striking architecture and other tourist attractions. Since its founding, Cartagena has expanded inland. Business and residential areas sit farther inland, but most travelers will be content to orbit around the old city.

The primary calling card of Cartagena's northern area is the Rafael Núñez International Airport, which is technically located in the neighborhood of Crespo, where most travelers arrive. Businesses and educational institutions sit north of the airport, while most tourists will head south to Cartagena's downtown area.

A majority of Cartagena's historic attractions are located in the downtown (also known as Centro) neighborhood. Visitors can expect to find primarily Spanish colonial architecture, though a variety of other buildings are scattered through the area. Downtown is also home of the majority of Cartagena's famous Old City Walls, as well as an abundance of religious institutions and street vendors.

Another area surrounded by the Old City Walls, the San Diego neighborhood boasts many historic attractions. This neighborhood is centered on the Plaza de San Diego, an excellent people-watching spot. Plus, a small army of street performers and food vendors are present to help pass the time.

One of the more expensive neighborhoods in Cartagena, Bocagrande is home to most of the city's hotels. The area presents a Caribbean twist on Las Vegas, with palm trees and casinos lining the interior streets, while crowded beaches run along the coast. Visitors staying here have an array of food options to choose between before they retire to their rooms, which typically boast views of the old city and water. Plus, Bocagrande puts travelers just south of many of the Cartagena’s attractions.

A hip neighborhood on the eastern side of Cartagena's old city, Getsemaní stands out for its authentic feel.  The area is centered on the Holy Trinity Square, where travelers can listen to live music and grab food from the numerous stalls. Leaving the square, visitors can wind through the city's storied streets, which are known for their massive, vivid murals. Herds of backpackers stay at the area's hostels, but boutique hotels are also an option.

Explore More of Cartagena

Recommended

10 Amazing Montana Vacations

Breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures will inspire you to visit Big Sky Country.

Gwen PratesiMay 20, 2019

The 13 Best Savannah Tours

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

John RodwanMay 16, 2019

The 15 Best Boston Tours

Get to know one of America's most historic cities with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 14, 2019

The 18 Best New Orleans Tours

With so much to see and do in New Orleans, these tours will help you maximize your time in the Big Easy.

Claire LawtonMay 10, 2019

The 7 Best Chicago Boat Tours

These low-key tours offer unique views of a city famed for its skyline.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

30 Cheap Weekend Getaways in the USA

From beach destinations to amusement parks, these vacations are perfect for an affordable and quick trip.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

The 15 Best Chicago Tours

Foodies, boat enthusiasts and historians alike will appreciate any one of these tours of the Windy City.

John RodwanMay 8, 2019

16 Incredible Midwest Vacations

See which outstanding escapes showcase some of Middle America's top destinations.

Lyn MettlerApril 29, 2019

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019