7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience

cartagena walking tours

Are you searching for the ultimate way to explore Cartagena’s allure on foot?

Having spent considerable time in Cartagena on multiple occasions, I’m your trusted guide to the city’s hidden gems.

In this post, you’ll uncover:

  • Cartagena’s finest walking tours, each offering a unique glimpse into its culture and history.
  • Valuable tips and personal suggestions for a fulfilling Cartagena adventure.
  • How to fully immerse yourself in Cartagena’s rich history, culture, and culinary delights through these extraordinary walking tours.

Join me in this exploration of the best Cartagena walking tours, and let’s discover the city’s enchanting history, legends, and modern charm together, the way the locals do.

Cartagena Introductory Walking Tour

7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience -

Begin your journey into Cartagena’s rich history with the best introductory walking tour of the Walled City, a UNESCO World Heritage site that exudes magic, legends, and beauty within its old colonial stone walls. This fun-filled exploration will unravel the origins of the “jewel in the crown of the coast.”

During this shared experience, you’ll retrace the battles and victories of the European conquerors and witness the empowerment and influence of Afro-Caribbean cultures. As you traverse the narrow, colorful colonial streets, you’ll discover the captivating contrast between the old and modern areas of Cartagena.

Meeting at Plaza de la Proclamacion, next to the statue of the “Pope,” your adventure unfolds with an introduction to Cartagena’s beginnings as a populated center at Camellon de los Martires. The tour continues to Plaza de San Pedro Claver, where you’ll learn about its cultural and religious significance and delve into the history of Pedro Claver and his role in the fight for black liberation.

Strolling to Plaza De Los Coches, you’ll uncover the history of Cartagena’s famous carriages and the sociocultural context of their popularity. Along the way, you’ll visit Museo Naval Del Caribe to explore the Indian history of Catalina and learn about the Cartagena International Film Festival.

As you advance to Baluarte de San Ignacio, you’ll gain insight into the city’s fortification process and the use of these structures for protection against external threats. The tour continues with a look into the significance of the National Beauty Contest, the role of the Queens in Miss Colombia, and the infamous Steve Harvey incident.

At Teatro Adolfo Mejia (Teatro Heredia), you’ll hear the story of Gabo, the Nobel Prize-winning literature icon. The tour concludes with a visit to the Palace of the Inquisition, where you’ll discover the historical rules of trial against those who committed acts against the laws of the Catholic Church.

Getsemani and Walled City Walking Tour

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Go on an intimate exploration of Cartagena’s captivating streets with a private walking tour, providing a more personal experience than traveling by coach or car. Your private guide offers the flexibility to tailor the experience to your interests, and you’ll receive personalized recommendations to enhance your vacation. No need to worry about finding a meeting point as your guide will pick you up directly from your accommodation.

As you meander through Cartagena at your own pace, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the rich history and enchanting architecture of the Walled City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Often described as a place with its own soul, Cartagena blends history, modernity, and Caribbean influences.

During the tour, you’ll visit each important square, place, and street where your guide will share their insights into their significance and history. Exploring the Walled City, you’ll learn about battles with pirates and corsairs, the influence of Indigenous and African cultures, and the captivating architecture. The journey will take you through the conquest, colony, and republic stages, all interwoven with the modernity of the 21st century.

Your adventure commences at Camellon de los Martires, where your accredited tour guide will welcome you and verify your reservation. Here, you’ll learn about the indigenous people who inhabited the area before and during the Spanish arrival. As you move to Monumento Torre del Reloj, known as the “Golden Key of Cartagena,” you’ll enter the Plaza del Ecuador, exploring the prelude to the enslavement route.

Continuing to Monumento a Pedro de Heredia, you’ll delve into the relationship between Miguel de Cervantes and the city, the importance of Colombian literature, and the role of slave markets. Portal de Los Dulces will reveal the history of this iconic portal and the enduring traditions of female activity during slavery. The Plaza de la Aduana is where the commercialization of merchandise, including that of the enslaved, played a historically significant role, with notable buildings such as the Municipal Hall.

The tour also includes a visit to the Museo de Arte Moderno de Cartagena de Indias, offering a glimpse of Caribbean and Latin American art from the 1950s, indigenous pieces from the Colombian Caribbean, and the world’s most beautiful emeralds. At Plaza de San Pedro Claver, you’ll explore the architecture of the Church and Museum-Monastery, the headquarters of human rights, and learn about San Pedro Claver, known as the “Slave of the Slaves.”

Continuing the journey at Baluarte de San Ignacio, you’ll discover the history behind the walls of Cartagena and their role in protecting the “Bay of Souls” from pirate attacks. Plaza de Bolivar provides insights into the feats of pirates and corsairs, as well as a glimpse of Spanish military constructions and strategies. The tour wraps up at Plaza de la Proclamacion, where you’ll find various places of interest, including the Palace of the Inquisition, the passage showcasing beauty queens of the country, and the Gold Museum.

You’ll also explore Barrio Getsemani, immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, graffiti art, music, folklore, and unique architecture, with its iconic umbrellas symbolizing advertisement. At Parque del Centenario, you’ll encounter sloths, squirrels, and iguanas in one of Cartagena’s vital green spaces, the Centennial Park, formerly a Railway Station. The tour continues along Cl. de San Juan #25-25, where you’ll learn about graffiti, coffee culture, Blas de Lezo, Gabriel García Márquez, Mister Black, and Joe Arroyo.

Finally, the journey concludes in Plaza de La Trinidad, with a stroll along Calle San Juan, immersed in the rhythms of salsa and African champeta, passing by the church and square of the Holy Trinity.

Cartagena Street Food Walking Tour

7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience -

Get ready for a delectable journey through the heart of Cartagena, where you’ll not only eat but savor authentic local street food. This experience is a window into the soul of Colombian culture, offering a tasting of more than 7 dishes of typical Colombian street cuisine. Each dish comes with its own incredible history, deeply rooted in the local culture.

As you explore the bustling streets, you’ll do more than just sample the food; you’ll become a part of the tapestry of Cartagena’s culinary traditions. Meet the traditional families who have been serving these delectable treats for generations, and experience their warm hospitality as they share their beloved Colombian street food.

Your adventure kicks off by meeting your local and friendly tour guide, who will lead you through a series of stops to taste the best of Cartagena and savor the typical flavors of the Caribbean. From vibrant fruits to succulent shrimp cocktails, crispy fried snacks to delightful sweets, and even a refreshing beer, you’ll savor the essence of Cartagena through its street food. Join them on this culinary journey to explore the flavors that define their vibrant city.

Cartagena Walled City & Gold Museum Walking Tour

7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience -

Go on a captivating 2-hour guided walking tour through the enchanting streets of Cartagena’s Old Town. Immerse yourself in the colonial architecture that adorns this seaside city and unlock the hidden stories behind iconic landmarks like the Cathedral of Cartagena and San Pedro Church. As you meander through the historic neighborhoods, you’ll gain insight into the rich culture of this coastal gem.

Your journey begins at Las Bovedas, where your expert guide awaits to lead you through this immersive walking tour. Plaza de Bolivar, with its changing names throughout history, serves as a reminder of its diverse colonial activities, from Inquisition plaza to Cathedral plaza.

Explore the captivating Walled City of Cartagena, strolling along cobblestone streets and delving into the history that surrounds you. Wander through the protective walls and bastions, discovering some of the city’s most significant historical structures, all at your own pace.

The tour continues to the Torre del Reloj, the beautiful clock tower that serves as the spectacular entrance to the old city of Cartagena, offering a glimpse into its historical charm.

Your journey culminates at the Museo del Oro Zenu, where a stunning collection of gold and ceramics from pre-Colombian cultures awaits. Your entrance fee to the Gold Museum is included, providing a deeper understanding of Cartagena’s cultural and historical tapestry.

Cartagena Bazurto Market Walking Tour

7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience -

Step into the vibrant heart of Cartagena’s bustling Bazurto Market, the city’s largest and most lively marketplace. This guided tour offers an immersive experience where you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of colorful stalls, exotic foods, and local artisans. Delve into the maze of the market to meet vendors, witness skilled craftsmen at work, savor local delicacies, and indulge in a delectable Colombian lunch.

Your adventure begins with a convenient pickup from your central Cartagena hotel, followed by a brief ride to Bazurto Market. Before entering this bustling marketplace, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the Getsemani neighborhood, renowned for its vibrant street art and vibrant nightlife. A visit to a local shopping mall is also on the agenda.

As you venture into the lively market, your guide will lead you through a labyrinth of stalls, offering glimpses into the local way of life. You’ll have the chance to observe a metal mechanic workshop and witness the skilled artisans in action. A visit to a music store awaits, where you can enjoy a cold beer while listening to ‘Champeta,’ a popular urban folklore music genre deeply rooted in the region. You’ll even receive a CD featuring some of your favorite tracks.

While you explore the market, you’ll gain insight into its fascinating history and the Getsemani neighborhood. Take a moment to peruse the stalls and engage in conversations with the vendors. A refreshing stop at a fresh juice stall is included, allowing you to recharge as you continue your journey.

One of the market’s legendary poster artists will be your next stop. Here, you can even have a personalized poster created with your own message, a unique memento of your visit. Your adventure continues as you visit the herbsman stand, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample a traditional Colombian healing potion.

Marvel at the diverse cuts of meat on display at the butcher’s stalls, and gain a deeper understanding of the local culinary culture. After immersing yourself in the market’s vibrant atmosphere, your tour culminates with a sumptuous lunch at Ceci’s restaurant, a legendary eatery featured on American chef Anthony Bourdain’s TV show. Savor a variety of Colombian specialties and savor the flavors of the region.

Conclude your experience with a brief visit to the fish market before exiting the market, where a driver will be waiting to return you to your hotel. Explore the heart and soul of Cartagena’s Bazurto Market on this enriching walking tour, and relish the vivid tapestry of flavors, traditions, and artistry that define this bustling marketplace.

Cartagena Nightlife Walking Tour

7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience -

Get ready to immerse yourself in Cartagena’s vibrant nightlife on a tour that explores the distinctive bars in the Getsemaní neighborhood, where you’ll experience the city’s authentic charm. This adventure promises an unforgettable night filled with typical Colombian cocktails, drinking games, dancing quests, and an opportunity to showcase your salsa or champeta moves.

As you explore the most unique and local hotspots, you’ll be guided by a local expert who ensures you have the time of your life. The tour is not just about drinks but also about games and prizes, offering you a chance to win shots and other fun rewards.

The night unfolds with a lively Salsa or Champeta class at Corriente Latina, following your walk from El Viajero or Casa Zahri. These Latin rhythms will get you ready for a night of dancing and cultural immersion.

At Club Carpinteros, you’ll connect with the local culture and your Getsemaní hosts while enjoying a beer and complimentary shots. Calle Adentro offers a deep dive into Cartagena’s energy, culture, and folklore, featuring a dance show and a free shot to keep the night alive.

Finally, Seven 7 Times is where the night is primed for dancing and fun, as you revel in the best rumba Cartagena has to offer. Whether it’s reggaeton, salsa, merengue, or belting out the best rancheras, the night will be an unforgettable journey through Cartagena’s vibrant nightlife.

Getsemani Graffiti Walking Tour

7 Best Cartagena Walking Tours for the Ultimate Experience -

Experience the kaleidoscope of colors, culture, and culinary delights in Cartagena’s vibrant Getsemani neighborhood on a private tour that showcases the power of muralism and graffiti as a means of expressing local culture and history. Your guide will provide insights into how the area’s street art reflects the spirit and identity of the community.

During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to savor a classic Colombian snack, adding a taste of local flavor to your exploration. What sets this tour apart is the personalized experience of a private guide who can answer your questions, offer detailed explanations, and cater to your specific interests.

As you begin your artistic journey, you’ll discover that many cities across Colombia have been transformed through social and artistic projects, with graffiti and muralism playing a crucial role in preserving memory and conveying powerful ideas.

Explore the vivid and colorful side of historic Cartagena on this graffiti tour of the Getsemani neighborhood, where the walls themselves come to life with stories, culture, and artistic expression.

So… Which of the Cartagena Walking Tours is Best?

Making a choice can be a bit of a conundrum because each of these walking tours offers something truly unique when exploring Cartagena. Your decision will likely hinge on what aspect of the city captures your heart the most:

  • If you’re a history buff, you’ll find the “Cartagena Walled City & Gold Museum Walking Tour” to be a treasure trove of the city’s rich past and culture.
  • For those who adore art and culture, the “Getsemani Graffiti Walking Tour” promises an immersive experience in the vibrant street art scene and local traditions.
  • Foodies can’t go wrong with the “Cartagena Street Food Walking Tour,” a journey through the city’s culinary delights.
  • And, of course, the “Cartagena Introductory Walking Tour” serves as a well-rounded introduction, offering insights into the city’s history, culture, and architecture.

Ultimately, the best walking tour is the one that resonates most with your interests and allows you to connect with Cartagena in a way that feels just right. Each tour has its own special charm, ensuring that your visit to Cartagena becomes a cherished memory.

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