How to Spend 2 Days In Cartagena: 10 Incredible Things to Do + Itinerary

Experience the enchantment of “2 Days in Cartagena” as we guide you through a thrilling adventure in this vibrant Colombian city.

Cartagena, a vibrant city located on the Caribbean coast is known for its colorful colonial architecture, rich history, and delicious cuisine.

2 days in cartagena

Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Cartagena has something for everyone.

In this post, we’ll share our recommendations for how to spend 2 days in Cartagena, including must-see sights, itinerary options, and travel tips.

Are 2 Days in Cartagena Enough?

Absolutely! Two days in Cartagena can be enough if you plan your trip well.

Even though it’s impossible to experience everything this enchanting city has to offer in such a short time, you can still make the most of your visit with a little organization.

offer, you can still have a fantastic time if you’re smart about planning your adventure. Safe travels and enjoy!

Don’t forget to get travel insurance for your trip! As always, I recommend Safety Wing for great prices and coverage abroad. It starts at only $45 USD per month and will have you covered with everything you may need during your trip! Check them out here.

What Can You Do on a 2 Days in Cartagena Itinerary?

Cartagena, a beautiful Colombian city with a rich history and vibrant atmosphere, offers a plethora of activities and sights to see.

With just 2 days in Cartagena, here’s how to make the most of your time in this charming destination:

Best Things to Do on a 2 Day Cartagena Itinerary

1. Take a Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour to explore the vibrant streets and colorful heritage of Cartagena.

2 days in cartagena

Guides will give you a glimpse into the city’s history and culture as you wander through enchanting alleys and squares.

2. San Felipe Castle

San Felipe Castle is one of the most impressive historical sites in Cartagena, Colombia. This fortress was built in the 16th century by the Spanish to protect the city from pirate attacks and foreign invasions.

The castle is located on a hill overlooking the city, providing visitors with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and the surrounding landscape.

3. Getsemani

Getsemani is a vibrant neighborhood in Cartagena that is famous for its street art and bohemian atmosphere.

2 days in cartagena

This historic neighborhood was once the home of the city’s working-class population, but in recent years, it has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Strolling through the streets of Getsemani is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Cartagena. The neighborhood is filled with colorful murals and street art that showcase the city’s rich artistic culture.

The artwork ranges from political statements to whimsical designs, and each piece tells a unique story about the neighborhood’s history and culture.

4. Try the Street Food

Treat your taste buds to the delicious local street food in Cartagena including arepas, empanadas, and fresh ceviche.

5. Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is a stunning beach destination located just a short distance from Cartagena. This beautiful beach is known for its turquoise waters, soft white sands, and stunning natural beauty.

2 days in cartagena

One of the best things about Playa Blanca is its crystal-clear water. The water is warm and inviting, and it’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.

The beach is also surrounded by lush vegetation, which adds to its natural beauty and makes it a great place to relax and unwind.

6. Plaza la Trinidad

Spend an evening at Plaza la Trinidad, a bustling social hub filled with locals and tourists alike.

2 days in cartagena

Sample some local snacks, watch street performers, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere.

7. Walk Along the Historic Walls

The historic walls of Cartagena are one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

2 days in cartagena

These fortress-like walls have protected the city for centuries, and they offer visitors a chance to experience the city’s past firsthand.

Walking along the walls is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Cartagena, and it’s easy to see why.

The walls were built in the 16th century by the Spanish to protect the city from pirate attacks and foreign invasions.

They are over 13 kilometers long and are made of coral stone, which gives them a unique and impressive appearance.

Walking along the walls is like stepping back in time, and it’s a great way to experience the city’s rich history and culture.

8. Bazurto Market

Bazurto Market is a bustling marketplace located in the heart of Cartagena.

This vibrant market is a hub of activity, and it’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience everyday life in the city.

The market is famous for its fresh fruits, vegetables, and local delicacies, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone interested in food and culture.

9. Day Trip to the Rosario Islands

A day trip to the Rosario Islands is a must-do activity on any 2 days in Cartagena itinerary.

2 days in cartagena

The Rosario Islands are a stunning archipelago located just off the coast of Cartagena. This idyllic destination is known for its clear blue waters, coral reefs, and unspoiled natural beauty.

The islands are home to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Colombia.

The crystal-clear waters are teeming with colorful fish and other marine life, and the coral reefs are a sight to behold.

Visitors can rent snorkeling gear or take a guided tour to explore the underwater world and get up close and personal with the marine life.

In addition to snorkeling and diving, the Rosario Islands are also a great place to swim, sunbathe, and relax.

The beaches are pristine and unspoiled, and there are plenty of secluded coves and bays where visitors can escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet.

The Rosario Islands are also home to a variety of wildlife, including iguanas, monkeys, and exotic birds.

10. Party on a Chiva Bus

The Chiva Bus, also known as a “party bus,” is a unique Colombian tradition.

2 days in cartagena

It’s essentially a wooden bus painted in vibrant colors, often adorned with decorations and equipped with a sound system.

Passengers on the bus enjoy a mix of traditional and modern music, drinks, and plenty of good vibes.

During the tour, the Chiva Bus will make a few stops at various lively bars and clubs throughout the city.

You’ll get a taste of Cartagena’s vibrant nightlife and get to mingle with both locals and fellow travelers.

2 Days in Cartagena Itinerary Samples

If you’re still not sure how to put together a schedule for your trip to this dreamy coastal city, here are three different itinerary options for how to spend 2 days in Cartagena (click to skip):

2 Days in Cartagena Itinerary For Beaches Lovers

DAY 1:

  • Start your day with a walking tour of the historic Old Town, including a visit to San Felipe Castle.
  • After the tour, head to Bazurto Market to try some delicious street food.
  • In the afternoon, take a day trip to Playa Blanca, where you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the beautiful beach.
  • In the evening, party on a Chiva bus and experience the vibrant nightlife of Cartagena.

Day 2:

  • Spend the day at the Rosario Islands, where you can snorkel, swim, and explore the beautiful coral reefs.
2 days in cartagena

2 Days in Cartagena Itinerary For History and Culture

Day 1:

  • Take a walking tour of the historic Old Town, including a visit to San Felipe Castle.
  • After the tour, head to Getsemani to explore the vibrant street art and bohemian atmosphere.
  • In the evening, visit Plaza de la Trinidad and enjoy some live music and local cuisine.

Day 2:

  • Walk along the historic walls of Cartagena and enjoy the stunning views of the city.
  • Visit Bazurto Market to experience the local culture and try some delicious street food or consider booking a street food tour.

2 Days in Cartagena Itinerary for Everything

  • Take a walking tour of the historic Old Town, including a visit to San Felipe Castle.
  • Take a cooking class or a street food class.
  • In the evening, visit Plaza de la Trinidad and enjoy some live music and local cuisine.

Day 2:

  • Spend the day at Playa Blanca, where you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the beautiful beach, or opt for a full-day trip to the Rosario Islands.

Where To Stay in Cartagena

To make your 2 days in Cartagena memorable, you’ll want to find the perfect place to rest your head. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a luxury, mid-range, and budget option!

Luxury: Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

This hotel is the epitome of luxury in Cartagena. Housed in a former convent, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara offers 5-star accommodations, beautiful gardens, a world-class spa, and top-of-the-line restaurants.

When you’re not exploring the city, you can lounge by the stunning pool or sip cocktails at the chic bar.

Mid-Range: Hotel Bantu

For a more affordable option without skimping on luxury, Hotel Bantu is a great choice.

The location is amazing and the rooms are huge and incredibly cozy with gorgeous decoration. There’s also a pet toucan that freely roams the hotel’s grounds!


Budget: Casa Del Pozo Boutique Hostel 

Traveling on a tight budget? Don’t worry, the Casa Del Pozo Boutique Hostel is an excellent option.

Located in the Getsemani neighborhood, this charming hostel is a mix of modern and traditional Colombian design. You’ll have access to free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and a terrace to unwind after a long day of exploring.

The private and shared rooms are clean and comfortable, making it a great choice for your wallet and your rest.

How To Get Around Cartagena

Walking: Cartagena is a walkable city, especially in the historic center, where many attractions are close to each other.

By walking, you can explore the colorful streets and absorb the lively atmosphere. It’s a great way to take in the sights at your own pace.

Taxis: Taxis are plentiful and relatively affordable in Cartagena. You can either hail a cab from the street or call a taxi service.

However, always make sure to negotiate the fare before the ride begins, as taxi drivers may try to overcharge tourists.

A short ride within the city should cost around 10,000-15,000 COP.

Bike rentals: If you want to experience Cartagena on two wheels, there are numerous bike rental shops throughout the city.

Bikes are a convenient way to cover more ground quickly, and many locals use them for their daily commute.

Prices for bike rentals typically range from 15,000-25,000 COP per day, depending on the type and quality of the bike.

Public buses: For those on a budget, the local bus system offers an affordable way to get around Cartagena. Bus routes crisscross the city, and tickets usually cost around 2,000-3,000 COP.

While navigating the bus system can be a bit confusing for tourists, locals are generally happy to help point you in the right direction.

Ride-sharing apps: Apps like Uber and InDriver are available in Cartagena, providing a more convenient and often cheaper alternative to traditional taxis.

The apps make it easy to book a ride, and pricing is transparent.

Just be aware that the legal status of these services can be unclear, and some drivers may prefer to be discreet when picking up or dropping off passengers.


Travel Tips for Cartagena

Visiting Cartagena can be a thrilling experience, but make sure to keep these travel tips in mind for your trip.

This way, you’ll have a fantastic time during your 2 day stay in this enchanting city.

When to visit: The best time to visit Cartagena is between November and April. This period has relatively dry weather, making your outdoor explorations more enjoyable.

Keep in mind that December and January are the peak tourist seasons, so expect more crowd and higher prices during these months.

Currency & ATMs: The local currency in Cartagena is the Colombian Peso (COP). You might not find many places that accept US dollars or any other foreign currencies, so it’s good to carry some COP with you.

Exchange a portion of your money to COP at the airport or use ATMs found throughout the city to withdraw cash in the local currency.

Keep your guard up when using an ATM, and avoid withdrawing cash in remote or poorly lit areas.

Transportation: Cartagena has a variety of transportation options such as taxis, buses, and ride-hailing services like Uber.

Taxis can be a convenient way to get around the city, but make sure they’re licensed and insist on using the meter. Buses are cheaper but can be crowded and confusing for first-time visitors.

2 days in cartagena

Safety tips: Cartagena is generally safe, but you should still take precautions in certain areas. Be particularly cautious in Getsemani and Boca Grande after dark.

Keep your belongings secure at all times, avoid flashy displays of wealth, and don’t venture into unpopulated areas alone.

Stay hydrated: Cartagena can get quite hot and humid, so remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. Bring a refillable water bottle with you to ensure you have access to water at all times.

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Respect local customs: Colombians are typically warm, friendly, and gracious. To get the most out of your interaction with locals, it’s essential to be polite and respectful.

Keep in mind that the Spanish language is widely spoken in Cartagena, even though English is common among those working in the tourism industry.

It’s a good idea to learn a few basic Spanish phrases before arriving.

By keeping these travel tips in mind, you’ll have a fantastic 2-day getaway in Cartagena and make the most of your experience in this vibrant, historic city.

Best Time to Visit Cartagena

The best time for you to visit Cartagena depends on your priorities and preferences. Generally, December to February is considered the most popular time to visit, as the weather is consistently warm and sunny with minimal rain.

During the high season (December to February), you’ll find dry weather and temperatures around 85-90°F (29-32°C).

While it’s true that this is peak tourist season, you’ll also find plenty of events and festivities, perfect for experiencing the local culture.

If you prefer a quieter trip, consider visiting during the shoulder season (March to April and October to November).

2 days in cartagena

You’ll still find nice weather, with temperatures ranging from 82-88°F (28-31°C), but slightly less sunshine and a bit more rain.

The prices for hotels and other accommodations tend to be lower during this time, and you’ll find fewer tourists exploring the city.

If you’re on a budget, the low season (May to September) offers the benefit of even lower prices.

However, keep in mind that it can be quite rainy and humid. The temperature remains quite warm, around 80-85°F (26-29°C).

Don’t forget to get travel insurance for your trip! As always, I recommend Safety Wing for great prices and coverage abroad. It starts at only $45 USD per month and will have you covered with everything you may need during your trip! Check them out here.

2 Days in Cartagena: Conclusion

Spending two days in Cartagena is a wonderful way to experience the beauty and culture of this vibrant city.

From wandering the colorful streets of the Old Town to exploring the historic fortresses, there’s no shortage of things to see and do.

We hope our recommendations have inspired you to book your trip to Cartagena and experience all that this amazing city has to offer.