Situated on South America’s Caribbean coast, Cartagena is known as the Jewel of the Indies. It’s the perfect blend of old and new filled with culture and the city has art everywhere you turn. Obviously, the beaches are a big draw with the waters of the Caribbean, but Cartagena has so much more to offer, here’s why it should be on your list of travel destinations this year.

The Accommodations


Why Cartagena Should be on Your Travel List This Year
Photo courtesy of Sophia Hotel


There is no shortage of hotels in Cartagena, and many of them have a five-star rating. Our pick based on its style, amenities, and location is Sophia Hotel. Overlooking the historic Plaza de la Aduana, Sophia Hotel is an ideal lodging option allowing you to easily explore this magical and historic city. With an on-site restaurant that they bill as unique and serving authentic cosmopolitan cuisine, you may find yourself spending time on the Rooftop Urania which affords you sweeping views of the city and a rooftop pool. After you’ve spent time exploring and you’re ready to unwind, their Mobile Spa will bring services directly to your room.

The Food


Why Cartagena Should be on Your Travel List This Year 

Known for having the best restaurants in Columbia, Cartagena has a wide range of cuisines at every budget level. From street food stands serving arepas, empanadas, bollos, ceviche, and fresh juices on the street to fine dining experiences with chefs utilizing the bounty of local produce and seafood, the food in Cartagena is as rich as the country and culture it represents. It’s often been called a food lover’s dream city not only for its traditional Columbian cuisine but also for its Caribbean, Latin, Asian, and Mediterranean influences.

The Art


Why Cartagena Should be on Your Travel List This Year 

Around every corner and around every turn, you’re faced with art in Cartagena. Whether it’s street art or something more planned like the bronze statue pictured here, Cartagena isn’t just a food lover’s dream, it’s an art lovers dream. You will find the Museum of Modern Art and its small permanent collection and ever-changing temporary exhibits.  We would also recommend the Zenú Gold Museum with its stunning array of gold pieces that rivals any gallery. Speaking of galleries, Cartagena is full of them and they’re full of some amazing art.

The Coolest Neighborhood


Why Cartagena Should be on Your Travel List This Year 

While it’s considered the coolest neighborhood in Cartagena, it may possibly be one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. A visit to Getsemani includes interfacing with a lot of locals and fellow visitors. You’ll also experience street performers and see some of the most interesting street art in the city. It’s especially fun in the evening around the Plaza Trinidad with its hip bars and vibrant, yet laid-back scene.

If these points aren’t quite enough to entice you to add Cartagena to your travel list this year, just think about those beaches on the Caribbean Sea, all of these factors make it one of the most desirable destinations in the world. Perhaps you want something more low key and maybe a little more indulgent? If that’s the case you’ll want to read about The World’s Best Private Islands That You Can Rent.