24 Hours in Cartagena, Colombia

Kelly Marble is a student at Drake University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The other weekend I made an impromptu overnight trip to Cartagena. The city is romantic, it is historic, and it is a cultural experience. Plus it is two hours and a  $7 bus ride away from my home base in Colombia, Barranquilla.

Cartagena is a city where there is not time to be bored, but it is possible to fit everything into even an overnight trip. Here is a list of a few of my favorites.

Run along the Caribbean

Cartagena has long sidewalks that stretch for miles along the coast. If you are a morning person and love to run, get up early (to beat the heat) and take a jog along the coast. It may be early, but then you will remember that you are in Colombia on the Caribbean, and everything will be right with the world.

Climb the Castillo de San Felipe

Climb Castillo de San Felipe

I recommend going early in the day as to not die of heat stroke, but the old fort is definitely a must see. It will cost you about $6 USD to get in, but I can promise you that it is worth every penny. The views from the top of this fort are priceless, and so are the memories made climbing it. We even met this awesome guy with a trumpet, and snagged a priceless pic.

Wander the streets of the  Historic Downtown


Historic Downtown

Cartagena is known as the romantic city of Colombia for its atmosphere. This historic town is a beautiful place to wander and take in the old Spanish architecture mixed with the vibrant colors that represent the spirit of Latin America.

Find some cool graffiti


Disclaimer: I love street art. If there is street art and graffiti, I will be sure to find it. I am even planning a trip to Bogota next month to see the graffiti that the city in famous for. As an art nerd, I loved finding the intricate pieces of art lining the winding streets of Cartagena.

Ride a bike around the city to find some more graffiti art


(Pictured above Is Valentina Amaris Villa an ISA student from Virginia)

Biking is a great way to find a new perspective, and even find some new parts of the city you may not have known existed. It is also economical with a one hour rental only costing $4 USD. It also makes for a great Facebook profile picture that will make your friends jealous.

Take in an International Film Festival

International Film Festival

A.K.A the reason I was in Cartagena the other weekend.

Every year in the beginning of March, Cartagena hosts the Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias (FICCI). If you are feeling like a big spender you can buy a ticket to go to the events where they interview directors. If you are a cheap college student studying abroad, you can just take in tons of independent films for free and even get to ask the directors questions. The films were from all over the world, but my favorites were the ones made in Colombia, “Los nadie (The nobodies)” and “Noche Herida.” If you are studying here for the spring semester, I highly recommend planning to attend the festival in Cartagena.

Sit on the city wall to watch the sunset

Sunset in the Walled City

Finish out your weekend taking in the sunset over the Caribbean, and what better place than to sit on the wall of the walled city? It makes for a great end to the weekend to simply sit and talk with friends about life and enjoy the fact that you are in Colombia.

The world awaits…discover it.

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