If you’re planning a solo trip to Cartagena, Colombia, be prepared for a trip of a lifetime. The city offers an array of exceptional and diverse experiences: everything from its bustling nightlife to tranquil moments by the white sand beaches.
With so much to see and so much to explore, it’s difficult to choose the spots to visit on your trip. Luckily, as a fellow solo traveler, I’ve got you covered. While I’ve tailored an itinerary for each type of traveler in my solo travel guide to Cartagena, Colombia, here are the top places I’ve selected that anyone can appreciate during their stay.
Palacio de la Inquisición
If you’re an Inquisitive Wanderer, you’ll want to make a stop at the Palacio de la Inquisition. The historic landmark, which has been around since 1610, has a fascinating past that dates back to the Spanish Inquisition. Today, the Palacio de la Inquisición has been converted into a museum that tells the story of the city's past and the role of the Inquisition in the region's history. For those interested in history and architecture, the Palacio de la Inquisición is a must-see attraction. The museum offers a fascinating look into the past, while the building itself is a stunning example of colonial architecture. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a curious wanderer, this historic landmark is sure to leave an impression.
The Arsenal is a restaurant that provides a one-of-a-kind experience. Situated in the heart of Cartagena, Colombia, this gem of a restaurant is a must-visit for solo travelers who appreciate fine dining, exquisite cuisine, and impeccable service. Whether you're in the mood for fresh seafood, tender meats, or flavorful vegetarian dishes, The Arsenal has something on the menu for everyone. The restaurant's mixologists are skilled in the art of cocktail-making, and their creations are just as beautiful as they are tasty. It's the perfect place for Travel Foodies to treat themselves to a nice night out!
Palenque is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience a different side of Colombian history and culture. Located just outside of Cartagena, Palenque is the first freed slave town in the Americas and a fascinating place to visit for anyone, especially those who are apart of the African diaspora. As a solo traveler, Palenque offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich and vibrant Afro-Colombian culture. Experience the town's history and culture up-close and personal with Experience Real Cartagena's tour guide, Alex Rocha.
Baru Island Bird Sanctuary
Just on the outskirts of the city, you can find an entire lush green bird sanctuary on Baru Island. You’ll find over 130 bird species and learn a lot about Colombia’s efforts to maintain its incredible biodiversity. The sanctuary is a true testament to Colombia's efforts to maintain its incredible biodiversity, and it's the perfect place to learn more about the country's rich natural heritage. The sanctuary has been carefully designed to provide a safe and comfortable habitat for the birds, and you'll have the chance to witness firsthand the conservation efforts that are being made to protect these magnificent creatures.
Bomba Beach Club
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The Rosario Islands
One of the best things about traveling solo to the Rosario Islands is the chance to disconnect from the world and immerse yourself in nature. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery, the Rosario Islands offer visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. One of the main reasons why the Rosario Islands are such a great destination for solo travelers is the range of activities on offer. Aside from the typical activities like snorkeling and scuba diving or getting a massage on the beach, the islands also have things for Inquisitive Wanderers and Culture Enthusiasts. Rosario Islands are also home to several indigenous communities, who have lived on the islands for generations. Visitors can learn about the traditional ways of life and customs of these communities, gaining insight into the region's rich cultural heritage.
Plaza de la Trinidad
Plaza de la Trinidad, situated in the heart of Cartagena's vibrant Getsemani neighborhood, is a bustling square that is famous for its lively atmosphere, rich history, and unique culture. The square has been a hub of activity in the city for centuries, and it continues to attract both locals and visitors alike. One of the main draws of the plaza is its fantastic street food. The square is lined with food vendors, selling everything from empanadas and arepas to fresh fruit and seafood. The food is delicious, and the prices are reasonable, making it a get spot for Travel Foodies to taste and enjoy Colombian cuisine. The plaza is also known for its bustling nightlife. As the sun sets, the square comes alive with music, dancing, and entertainment. Musicians, dancers, and street performers take to the streets, providing a lively and colorful backdrop for those looking for a fun night out.
Mercado de Bazutoro
Mercado de Bazuroto, located on the outskirts of Cartagena's historic city center, is a vibrant and bustling day market that is a must-visit destination for any Travel Foodie or Cultural Enthusiast solo traveler. The market is known for its fresh and exotic fruits, including lulo, guanabana, and mango biche, which are popular ingredients in traditional Colombian dishes. Visitors can also find an impressive selection of herbs, spices, and chilies, which are key components of the region's flavorful cuisine. But the market is more than just a place to buy ingredients. It's also a hub of activity and culture, where visitors can immerse themselves in the local way of life. The vendors are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and many of them are happy to share their knowledge and expertise with visitors.
During your solo travels to Cartagena, Colombia, you have to experience a visit to the Mud Volcano, also known as Volcán del Totumo. Located about an hour outside of Cartagena, the Mud Volcano is a popular day trip for travelers looking for a fun and relaxing activity. The mud is rich in minerals such as magnesium and sulfur, which can help to soothe sore muscles and joints, as well as improve skin health. It's also incredibly buoyant, so you'll easily float on the surface without sinking. Visiting the Mud Volcano is a truly unique experience and a great way to experience the natural beauty and wonders of the incredible region.