Rosario Islands#9 in Best Things To Do in Cartagena
Committed sun-seekers and nature enthusiasts will make the hour-long trek south of the city to the Rosario Islands. The collection of small islands are only accessible via an hour-long boat ride, which means that they offer an exceptional feeling of privacy. The beaches boast white sand, while the islands' clear water and national park designations makes spotting marine life relatively easy.
Past visitors to the islands were disappointed that many of the activities and amenities cost extra, such as snorkeling equipment and towels, chairs and food. Travelers also warn that large waves can be an issue on windy days. Also, keep in mind that the various operators that are available to take travelers to the island receive mixed reviews. While you can book a trip in advance, we’d recommend waiting until you arrive so that you can ask questions to clarify which amenities cost extra and the itinerary of your specific trip. Also, opt to book through your hotel or another reputable vendor if possible.
Trips to the Rosario Islands cost around $80 per person, and typically take a whole day. Due to the array of tour operators, travelers should check with their hotel to see if they recommend any companies.
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#1 Old City Walls
Cartagena's most famous attraction, the city's historic walls, began construction on the eastern edge of the city in 1586 and finished in 1796. Fast forward to 1984 and the iconic walls were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now, the Walled City of Cartagena draws travelers hoping to explore its colonial architecture and peruse the wares of its numerous street vendors.
Recent travelers appreciated the area's historic charm, complete with horse-drawn carriages. They recommend taking your time in the walled city, as you can easily spend a full day wandering its narrow streets. To make sure you don't miss any of the top sites, sign up for one of the area's many walking tours. The only downside? Recent visitors warn about the street vendors who persistently hawk their wares.
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