So, what are you going to do while you’re here in Cartagena? You’ll see the sights, drink some beers, have some fun. But you’ll probably want to check out the tourist attractions of Cartagena as well.
Here’s a few of the tours in Cartagena and tours in Colombia:
Have you thought about Sailing to Panama? . It’s a once in a life time trip. You’ll spend about 2 days sailing to Panama and then 2-3 days sailing in San Blas islands. Depending on where the boat finishes you may then sail to Portobelo or Puerto Lindo. The 4-5 day trip will cost around $550, depending on the boat.
MAMALLENA TOURS AND TRAVEL SHUTTLE TO PLAYA BLANCA
Each morning at 08:30am we have a shuttle leaving to go to Playa Blanca for just 35 000 pesos. It takes about 1-1.5 hours to get there and is the most direct way. It leaves from the front door and makes no other stops to pick people up. Theres no waiting in lines and no more taxes to pay. To come back you can either take the return shuttle at 11am or take a boat for 10-15 000 pesos from the beach at around 3-3.30pm. Its easy, and the cheapest way to do Playa Blanca if you want to spent the night. Swing by the hostel to book.
There is also ways to get to the Rosario islands by boat. They leave from the docks in Cartagena, just outside the walls of Cartagena’s old town, about a 10 to 15 minute walk from the hostel. All include a short tour past the Rosarios and a stop for 1 hour at the aquarium in the Rosarios. The aquarium is open air and involves a variety of tanks and a dolphin and shark show. The entrance is 20 000 pesos, not included in the price of the tour. If you don’t want to enter the aquarium theres a small beach to take advantage of and a restaurant and snorkling for another 20 000 pesos. Next you’re off to Playa Blanca for lunch and time on the beach. All tickets are available for purchase at the hostel for no additional charge. Please note that a tax of 12 000 pesos is not included and must be paid directly at the dock. Note you only get around about 2 hours at Playa Blanca if you go boat, and the return price is only good for the same day.
The fast boat – leaves at around 9am each morning and takes about an hour to get to the Rosarios. If you don’t want to go the aquarium you might have the option of being dropped off at Playa Blanca first and then meeting the boat back to Cartagena when it leaves. We suggest doing this, but sometimes they will tell you they go to the beach first and not do it, The ticket cost is 50 000 pesos(plus taxes) If you take the mamallena shuttle and want to come back in the afternoon then this is how you will get back(125oo-15000) You’re normally back in Cartagena around 4.30pm to 5pm. The ticket is only good for same day travel.
The slow boat- It is what it is, a slow boat. It leaves at 8am or so and takes around 2 hours to get to the aquarium in the Rosarios. You’ll get the standard one hour at the aquarium and be on Playa Blanca by around 12.30pm for lunch(included). The boat leaves Playa Blanca at about 3pm so it’s 2 hours or so on the beach. You’ll be back in the city by around 5-6pm. In the high season the boat can be very crowded and they try to make it a bit of a party atmosphere(doesn’t really work with all the families on board). Theres 4 different seating levels and also a small bar and cafe. The boat is cheaper at 40000 pesos(plus taxes), but its a hell of a trip. Out of around 9 hours you spend 6 on the boat. We say its not worth the little bit of money you save.
PLAYA BLANCA(ISLA BARU) SHUTTLE – As described above. Soon we’ll also be going to the Volcano in the afternoon and will be offering a special double pack of Playa Blanca and Totumo Volcano. Please ask at the hostel for details.
For most people Playa Blanca is a must see when visiting Cartagena. It´s a kilometres long white sand beach with crystal clear waters and well worth a visit, whether it´s for a day trip or for a night or two. Contrary to what some people seem to think, it is not over run by tourism(except for a few hours during the day when the tour boats arrive). It is possible to find a stretch where you can be by yourself, especially if you stay overnight. Isla Baru is kinda part of the Rosario islands, but it´s man made. The island itself was created when a huge navigation ditch was made and it was cut from the mainland over 300 years ago by the spanish.
Theres a bunch of basic accommodation places at Playa Blanca, ranging from 7000 for a hammock, 10000 for a tent and 50000 for a room. Get off the boat, walk to the left and you´ll find somewhere pretty easily. Theres two main options for getting to Isla Baru, both include lunch and you have to pay a 12000 port tax(see above). The port can be hectic with heaps of people, try and get there half an hour early to be sure you don´t miss the boat, theres no refunds if you do! Both trips visit the Rosario islands(in our opinion a bit of a waste of time) and make one stop on the island with the aquarium(extra 20000 entrance fee). In our opinion its worth taking the fast boat straight to Playa Blanca and missing the Rosario islands, you’re only there for an hour and unless you want to see the aquarium or go snorkling(both 20000 pesos extra) we think its a waste of the time you could spend on the beach at Isla Baru. If you’re staying the night then we have been sending people to Wizard, up the quiet end of the beach, and have been getting good reviews.
This is what it says, a volcano of mud! And you actually get into it! About 1.5 hurs outside of Cartagena you’ll find the strange looking Totumo volcano. It looks more like a giant anthill but open at the top. You’ll find a strange urge to jump in and cover yourself with liquid mud thats supposed to have relaxing and healthy powers. You’ll find that no matter how hard you try you won’t be able to sink to the bottom of this strange tourist attraction. If you’re up for it you’ll be able to get a massage from the locals hanging out in the mud for that purpose. Take some extra cash, cause if anyone offers to help you with anything, such as a photo, a massage or scrubbing you down in the shower, they will expect payment. Strange as it may seem, many people rate this highly as a must see in Cartagena. The tour to Totumo is 35 000 pesos with 2 departures daily, 8.30am and 1.30pm. It is possible to extend the morning trip to include lunch and a couple of hours at the beach.(organise it with the tour people). Expect to get dirty so take something to swim in and a towel to dry off afterwards. Its kinda not possible to get to Totumo easily, so most people do end up doing a tour from Cartagena to there. We’ll soon be running our own tour to the Volcano so ask if its going yet. We won’t be driving around the city for an hour picking up clients before going to Totumo. Ask if we’ve started yet.
If you don´t have the time to explore the city yourself then you might like to take part in a Cartagena city tour. Starting at between 1 and 2pm and finishing at around 6pm you´ll be driven around tCartagena in one of the traditional open sided buses that you´ve seen around. Among other famous attractions you´ll be take to the huge fortress you can see on the edge of the centre of town(Castillo San Felipe) and also to the monastery call La Popa that overlooks the city. It´s in English and is a great deal considering that it includes entrance fees, and the entrance to the fortress itself is nearly half the cost of the tour. The tour doees include a small walking tour of Cartagena, but they do probably take you shopping as well. Price is 45 000 pesos
Party like the Colombians!! Join a typical Colombian CHIVA party bus and you´ll find out how. You´ve probably seen them driving around town, they´re the colorful bus with lots of interesting names, open sides and bench seating. The price isn´t bad considering it goes for a few hours, has unlimited local alcohol and includes entry into a club afterwards. You´ll find the locals don´t need the alcohol to get going though so you´ll maybe get more for yourself! Guys, don´t go expecting to meet lots of girls….. It leaves between 7 and 8pm, depending on where you get picked up from and finishes between 11 and 12pm. Sometimes it picks up here and other times you have to go to meet the bus. Price is 35 000.
Cartagena has some great diving at very reasonable prices. Just short boat trips away are the beautiful barrier reefs of Baru, Medina, and the Rosario Islands with an abundance of colorful marine life and gorgeous soft and hard corals. There is also the exciting opportunity for wreck diving with several sunken ships, such as Atlas, Tolu, and the Pedro de Herediaamong others, nearby.
For those who are already dive certified, the most popular option is to do aDOUBLE DIVE TOUR; you will head out early morning around 8am on the boat and visit two different dive sites (usually one coral and one wreck), have lunch and be back to Cartagena by early afternoon. You can also choose to do a NIGHT DIVE, or mix it up with a 1 DAY DIVE, 1 NIGHT DIVE package.
For those first-timers, take your first step in exploring a fascinating and captivating underwater world and get certified with a PADI OPEN WATERcourse. Over several days, including 4 dives, you will learn and practice the basic theory and techniques necessary to safely dive with a buddy to a depth of 60ft. You can use this certificate to go diving anywhere else in the world, or take your diving experience further by continuing on with a specialized diving course.
If you don’t have the time to dedicate to doing a full course, you can have still have a taste of scuba with the option of doing a half day MINI COURSEwhich includes 1 confined water practical theory session and 1 ocean time, the two day SCUBA DIVER certification, or you can join on the boat and do a SNORKELLING trip.
You can take your diving experience to the next level and do your PADI ADVANCED OPEN WATER, which is a practical course with 5 specialty dives up to 100ft, or do an ADVENTURE DIVER, EMERGENCY FIRST AID RESPONSE or RESCUE DIVER Certification Course.
Double Dive Tour from 200,000 pesos
PADI Open Water Dive Course from 730,000
Mini-course from 230,000 pesos
Snorkeling from 60,000
Contact us now for more info on the courses and prices
**Don’t forget that you won´t be able fly for 12 hours after your last dive
KITE SURFING in Cartagena
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Want to try something a little different? Why not sign up for kitesurfing lessons down at La Boquilla, or rent one if you already know how? Over the course of several hours (we recommend you do the full 8 hour course over a few days to fully pick up and consolidate the basic skills) our experienced, fun instructors will have you handling the kite and out there on the water riding. Better yet, opt to have the complete adventure of an all-inclusive 6 Day Kitesurf Safari visiting all the best spots along the Colombian coast.
Perhaps standup-paddle-boarding or windsurfing seem more your thing. Or take advantage of the constant beginner-size waves and have your very first surfboard experience. Don´t just watch everyone having fun out on the water wishing you were one of them-get out there!
Kitesurf: Lessons from 90,000 for one hour, 340,000 for 4 hours, 600,000 for 8 hours; Rental 60,000 per hour or 150,000 for a day
Stand-up-paddling or Surfboard Lessons: 1 hour for 50,000; Rental from 35,000
Windsurf: Lessons from 70,000; Rental from 60,000
CARTAGENA SUNSET BAY TOURS AND SAILING CHARTERS
Who wouldn´t want to catch one of Cartagena´s stunning sunsets and enjoy the picturesque city skyline with cocktail in hand while relaxing of one of the yachts cruising in the bay? Ask us to check and see if they have their special 2 for 1 deal happening-that´s 2 people for 80,000 pesos for a several hour cruise,with a free cocktail included!
If you don’t fancy the idea of sharing a boat or want the freedom to go where you choose why not charter the boat with a bunch of mates or some other cool peeps you´ve met in Cartagena? Go for a daytrip to Tierra Bomba or Playa Blanca, or perhaps visit the Rosario Islands or San Bernardo for a few days. Celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, or just have a good old fiesta in an unforgettable manner!
There are 3 different yachts available to charter ranging in size and luxury, but all providing first class attention and service to the guests on board and offering that unique experience of creating your own adventure.
Sunset Bay Tour: Normally 80,000 per person, (2 hours, includes free cocktail)
Yacht Charters: Depending on the boat, prices range from 500,000 (a few hours) to just over 4,000,000 pesos (2 nights/3 days)
TOURS IN COLOMBIA
LOST CITY in Tayrona
The Lost City of the Tayrona civilization was only rediscovered in the 1970s after being abandoned and lost to the jungle soon after the arrival of the Spanish. This spectacular archaeological site is comprised of over 150 terraces and platforms carved into the hillside interconnected by paved roads, walls and steps, atop of would have once stood houses and ceremonial and food storage buildings.
Situated on the slopes of the world´s highest coastal range, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the Lost City is accessed by a stunning hike through lush jungle. You will cross rivers, dive into cool and refreshing natural pools, have the rewarding experience of meeting and getting to know the local Kogui community and culture, and climb 1200 steps on your way to reaching this incredible hidden civilization.
Depending on your fitness you can choose to do the trek in 4 days and 3 nights, or perhaps you want a more relaxed pace and opt for a 5 days and 4 nights, or 6 days and 5 nights trek.
All of your accommodation, meals, guide and transport between Santa Marta and the start of the hike are included in the price of 600,000 pesos. Book with us now and pay in the office the day before.