What to Do:

Cartagena can only be described as fairy tale meets tropical paradise.

The stunning Colombian seaside city is full of beautiful colonial architecture, colourful winding streets, unforgettable restaurants and romantic ocean views. Whether you’re a foodie, a beach bum, a history buff or an adventurous outdoorsman, you will be spoilt for options in Cartagena.

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The best part? Cartagena is incredibly affordable for students (think brilliant cheap hostels and delicious meals for less than a fiver) and you can easily make the most of the city in 4-5 days. Before you rush to book your flights, read this adventurer’s guide to discover all Cartagena has to offer:

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Historic Center

Cartagena is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited and I found that the best way to explore Cartagena is simply by wandering on foot. The historic centre of Cartagena isn’t very big and you can walk most of it in a day or two, so it’s perfect for taking your time wandering the winding streets and marvelling at the colonial architecture and overhanging balconies. The more southern part of the historic centre is beautiful but bustling with tourists and markets, while the northern area is more quiet and relaxed, with idyllic streets filled with colourful houses and flowers everywhere.

 

To read the full article check it out here at The National Student.

Where to Explore:

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!

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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.

 

To read the full article check it out here at The National Student.

What to Eat

Cartagena is a foodie’s paradise (or really, anyone who enjoys eating) and it is as affordable as it is delicious. Seafood is the city’s speciality (Ceviche is the iconic dish) but really you can’t go wrong whatever you eat. Cartagena’s food is a fusion of flavours from Colombia, the Caribbean, Europe and beyond, and some of the best chefs in the world have restaurants here.

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Fair warning, some of my recommendations don’t quite fit the student budget as I decided that I wanted to splurge and try a few of the best restaurants in the city while I was there – but fear not, you can also get fantastic meals in Cartagena for less than a fiver!

 

Breakfast Cartagena takes breakfast/brunch to a whole new level and it is all amazingly affordable. My favourite places were:

 

  • Crepes and Waffles: home to the best ice cream I ever had and a menu that goes for days, I ended up going twice because I loved it so much, also great for lunch.
  • Café Epoca: come to this chic little café with a big appetite for delicious pancakes, omelettes, and the best Colombian coffee in the city.
  • Beiyu: this adorable gem in Getsemani has the most amazing acai bowls, sandwiches and more smoothies than you can imagine (plus coffee with the best latte art).
  • Mila: this historic, picturesque bakery hits the sweet tooth with amazing pancakes, brownies, juices and coffee.

To read the full article check it out here at The National Student.

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