Situated at an average height of 2 m a.s.l., Cartagena always welcomes you with a new adventure. The "Fortified City" lies 702 mi (1130 km) away from the capital Bogota by bus, and it is considered among the most sought out destinations in all Latin America. Founded in 1533, Cartagena is the capital of the Bolivar department and its situated right next to the seashore of the Caribbean sea, which positions the city right next to to beautiful beaches like la Boquilla, Castillo Grande or Bocagrande. On your route through the urban area you will be surrounded by unique streets where you can relive the history of Colombia through its colonial architecture. Its historic center has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.
Expreso Brasilia is one of the main bus companies in Colombia, having a wide coverage nationwide. Expreso Brasilia was established in Barranquilla in 1961, with multiple routes on its beginnings on the Atlantico and Caribbean Coast. From Cartagena, you can travel to Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Maicao, Riohacha, and many more destinations with Expreso Brasilia.
Exalpa es una empresa de transportes que concentra sus servicios en la Costa Caribe. Con esta empresa podrás viajar desde Cartagena a Barranquilla, Riohacha, Maicao cómodamente y sin contratiempos. Exalpa is a transport company that focus its services on the Caribbean Coast. With the company you can travel from Cartagena to Barranquilla, Riohacha, Maicao comfortably and without setbacks.
Most Important Routes from Cartagena
● Cartagena to Barranquilla: This is one of the most popular routes in Colombia. Thanks to the nearness between these two cities, you can find many daily departures with different bus operatos at different times. You can travel from Cartagena to Barranquilla with Expreso Brasilia, Copetran, and Exalpa.
● Cartagena to Maicao: The Cartagena to Maicao route is very popular among travelers, as Maicao is one of the most important cities in La Guajira. You can travel with Expreso Brasilia, Copetran, Unitransco, and Exalpa. The bus fares vary from 50000 to 70000 pesos.
● Cartagena to Riohacha: Known for the Wayuu native community, Riohacha is a very attractive touristic destination in Colombia. The travel time for this route is approximately 7 hours.
Best time to visit Cartagena
The best time to visit Cartagena is the period from December to April, the dry season.
Climate in Cartagena
The climate in Cartagena is tropical and presents an average temperature of 80.6 °F (27 °C) to 84.2 °F (29 °C). The humidity of the air is 80% on average.The rain level ascends considerably from May to November, with its highest peak in October.
The things to do in Cartagena
Cartagena is a destination really interesting since it has been declared the "heroic city", because in a war period the city supported 3 months without supplies. Its historic... center has been declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO, so the colonial adventure is assured. A must see in Cartagena is the fortified city and the Zenu museum
Nightlife in Cartagena
Café del Mar Cartagena
Location: Calle 9 N° 1528 Hours: 7:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. Prices: it doesn't say A good place where you can have beer and taste the various cocktails that this place provides, besides having a gorgeous view over the city and the sea. Have a good moment with friends, the prices can be a little expensive, keep it in mind.
Taboo Crossover Club
Location: Calle 24 #10-56 Hours: it doesn't say Prices: it doesn't say Rumba and a lot of fun waits for you in Taboo, with a great offer in cocktails for you to enjoy an unforgettable night with friends. Life music with DJ's, VIP atmospheres and 2x1 promotions in cocktails that will do that you won't wish to leave Cartagena.
Location: Calle 31 #3-38 Hours: 8:00 p.m. - 3:45 a.m. Thursday to Sunday Prices: it doesn't say Large rooms and great service to start with rumba. Youthful music, cocktails and people from all over the world to get to know is what waits for you in the nightclub Babar, enjoy in the bar all the national and international drinks, another reason to stay in Cartagena.
Bazurto Social Club
Location: Calle 31 #3-37, Getsemani Hours: 7:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m. Thursday to Saturday Prices: it doesn't say A special place, Bazurto Social Club captures you with its fun character, colored, raucous and appealing at the same time, a place that praises the Colombian Caribbean culture. Located in the historic neighborhood of Getsemani, you will enjoy a great variety of dishes and cocktails, drinks of tropical fruits mixed up with liquors of diverse places all over the world. Party and celebration is made by the dancers, singers and life musicians will be present tonight in your soiree to make you live the real Cartagena spirit.
Where to eat in Cartagena?
La Vitrola Restaurant
Location: Calle 33 N° 2 - 01 Calle Baloco Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Monday to Friday Price: An average of 79500 COP/ 86.50 PEN per person One of the most traditional restaurants of Cartagena, you will enjoy an excellent food with life Cuban salsa music bands. You will have a personalized service, a pleasant atmosphere with brilliant flowers to cheer up anybody's day; don't you be surprised seeing an important celebrity from the city. Children are not allowed and there is an strict code of clothing (you can't use sandals nor shorts).
La Mulata Restaurant
Location: Calle Quero 9 58 San Diego Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday Price: it doesn't say It's a beautiful and quite colored restaurant that offers to the visitor various typical dishes to make his choice, with adequate rates and the service is great, so it's a welcoming place. There are marine dishes and refreshing drinks to put up with the climate of the city.
La Olla Cartagenera Restaurant
Location: Av. San Martín N°5 -100 Bocagrande Hours: 12:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. everyday Price: it doesn't say The Olla Cartagenera has a diversity of dishes so as to taste, refreshing drinks and wines to accompany your marine tasty plates. It's a pleasant environment and a dedicated service, combined with a tidy and brilliant atmosphere.
The tourist places to see in Cartagena are:
La Ciudad Amurallada (The fortified city)
Location: Following the Avenida Pedro de Heredia Hours: all day Price: free entrance Declared Heritage of Humanity, this part of the city is the one that was fortified in the 16th century and there you can appreciate old mansions, streets that still preserve little details and decorations from the colonial period, even it's preserved 6kms of the fortress that limited the access to the city in that period (in total, the fortress had 11km). You can go with a guide to get to know the most representative places, besides the stories and legends that keep a city as old as Cartagena, but don't you forget a parasol and water to get the best out of your route.
Museo del Zenú
Location: Cra. 4 No. 33-26 Plaza de Bolívar Hours: 08:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 18:00 Mon - Fri / 9:00 am - 17:00 Sat. Price: free entrance Located in the old city, the zenu museum is a place that harbors the legacy and culture of the zenu's culture goldsmithing and of the settlers of the Colombian plains. You can appreciate 135 lappets of melted filigree in the second area, while the first exhibits a sample of the different archaeological areas of the Colombian territory. In the third area it's described the interesting system that helped to face the recurring floods of the region and that allowed the subsistence of the zenu culture, which you can find descendants in the region.
El Barrio Getsemaní
Location: In the streets 24 ,25 y 32 Hours: all day Price: Free entrance The creation of the neighborhood was done in the middle of the 16th century and takes this name of Getsemani from the suitable conditions of the land to the olive tree cultivation. It's a neighborhood of multicolored houses and historic spaces that transport the traveller to the colonial period; you can also see sculptures forged in iron that decorate diverse places around. Here you can taste some typical dishes or buying interesting handicrafts as a beautiful souvenir of your visit. It's a popular place that transmits all the joy and brotherhood characteristics of the city of Cartagena.
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Location: Historic center Hours: all day Price: 25 000 COP Adults (29,00 PEN) / 10 500 COP Children minor of 13 years old (12,30 PEN) This fortress was built in the second half of the 17th century by the Cartagena governor, Francisco de Murga, and served as defense of the city from pirates, corsairs and enemies. It's located in the San Lazaro hill and the cost was around 13235 pesos of gold. In the visit through the castle you can see replicas of cannons in position ready to defend the fortress, go across various tunnels and visit rooms as old as the legends that surround this place that cost a lot of african slaves lifes to be built.
A tour on Segway across the city
Location: Calle Del Tejadillo, #06-26 | Local 108, Centro, Edificio Mirador del Tejadillo Hours: from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Price: 130 000 COP (152.00 PEN) for 1 hour - 210 000 COP (245.50 PEN) for 1.5 hours If you look for a different way of getting around the fortified city, or you wish to get to know the most interesting places that offers the city in a more comfortable way, enjoy a tour on a segway completely personalized with guides that will tell you the details that you can not miss in your visit to Cartagena. It's as well an interesting service that you can benefit a lot in little time. Even if the price is a little bit expensive, you will be satisfied for sure.
Viaja en carroza (trip in a carriage)
Location: El Laguito, Edificio Atlantis Hours: it doesn't say Price: 40 000 COP (46.70 PEN) You can get around the city and be amazed, but if you do it in a carriage it will be an enchanting experience and if you add a bottle of wine, you can be sure that you will never forget it. If you already found the special person or you want to visit the city with family or friends from other perspective, different from a bus, don't you lose this opportunity in a route where you will learn about the most interesting legends of the place or the most captivating stories of the city with more than 400 years of history.
The things to do in Cartagena
Fly with paramotor
Location: Playas El Laguito If you like to try new experiences, you enjoy the height excitement and you don't fear having nothing under your feet, the travel with paramotor is for you. As opposed to paragliding, the paramotor is made with the help of a huge fan that propels you or the travelers to reach heights of 30-500 meters. Go and fly with a professional instructor and you will have a privileged view over the city; you can ask for photographs and a video in order to remember this impressive experience.
Location: Cr 1ra #1a - 81 Feel the closest emotion to fly or floating in the air on your own, practicing this new sport. It works using special boots fixed to a flat surface that on the lower side eject pressurized water, which is soaked up by a hose connected to it; the athletic is hanged up and can make interesting somersaults in the air or under the water, enjoying the panoramic view over the beaches where you practice it.
Location: Historic center, Hostal Calamari Slide through water with the ease of fishes, feel the wind and adrenalin propelling yourself to try pirouettes each time more risky. The kitesurf combines paragliding, flyboard and surf in a discipline where the only requirement is bravery. The athlet is on a board and is carried along by a kite that propels him forward, with just some courses you will have a lot of fun and you probably never forget this experience.
Typical dishes in Cartagena
Arroz con frijolito morado
It's a delicious combination that includes violet beans, rice, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. The beans are steeped the previous day and when they start to be soft, you add the rice, ground garlic, onion, salt and pepper. One of the most representative dishes of the Colombian gastronomy.
Arroz con coco
It's a sweet and sour dish that is accompanied by fried fish and it's served with slices of fried banana and salad. The white part of the coconut is liquefied with lukewarm water and it's filtered until there is only a white liquid that you can add brown or white sugar, depending on the color you want to have. The rice is boiled in this liquid and at the end you add salt and raisins.
Mote de queso costeño
It's a soup prepared based on yam, coconut and lemon juice and ingredients as onion and garlic fried with a little bit of salt that is later mixed in the first preparation. This plate also has coastal cheese in little squares that are boiled with the soup, that give a soft texture to the palate and have a delicious smell.
Pargo rojo frito
It's a fish preserved in the lemon juice, that you add garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and onion cut in slices; and you leave it in cold for an hour. Then you separate the liquid to fry it in warm oil. When it starts to float, you turn it over and you serve it quite warm.
It's a marine dish that has shellfish as piangua (a mollusk) and boiled prawn titi, carrots, beans, celery, sweet pepper, coconut milk, thyme, among other ingredients. It has a colored presentation due to the diversity of ingredients and a unique flavor.
Accomodations in Cartagena
Sico's Hotel Beach
Location: Carrera 9 #38-14 La Boquilla Rates: 25000 COP/ 27 PEN - 80000 COP/ 86 PEN It's a low-cost accomodation where you can spend the night and enjoy its proximity to the private beach. The inexpensive rooms are shared in bunk beds. Some rooms have a space where you can relax, as well as the courtyard. The kitchen is shared, has free wifi, free parking lot, a beautiful terrace and air conditioning, besides being located near the airport.
Hotel Casa Isla de Mango
Location: Carrera 30 28 - 85, Manga Rates: 30000 COP/ 32 PEN - 140000 COP/ 150 PEN This hotel has all you need to spend a quiet stay, all the rooms have TV and private bathroom. You will also have free wifi, air conditioning, free parking lot and it's placed close to interest places as the airport or the historic castle San Felipe de Barajas.
Important dates in Cartagena
Festival Internacional de Música
One of the most important events of the city that gathers famous national and international music bands. There will be around 40 concerts and talks in the most appealing scenaries of the city. The learning of classic music is promoted among children and teenagers.
Fiestas de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria
The image of the patron saint of Cartagena leaves its usual place to make a saint route to La Popa hill, a festival that shows the religious devotion of the population.
Festival Internacional de Cine y Televisión
This annual event brings together all the public interested in the film industry, film-makers, actors, musicians and there the trophy of the India Catalina is given to the best works of the Ibero American cinema.
The Heroic City celebrates two reigns for the independence and the beauty that exhibits the candidates from the city. Cartagena was the first Colombian city that rised up against the Spanish yoke, declaring itself free and independant in November the 11th 1811.
Top Operator Bus Images
Q: What is an M-Ticket?
A: An M-Ticket is the virtual replacement of your bus ticket printout. An M-Ticket is an SMS that’s sent to your registered mobile number the moment you have successfully booked a bus ticket on the official website of redBus. The M-Ticket will basically contain details of your bus ticket such as timing, pick-up and drop-off points, vehicle registration number, PNR, and TIN numbers as well. The M-Ticket procedure has been an eco-friendly initiative employed by redBus to help reduce the amount of paper being used.
Q: How do I get in touch with the customer care department of redBus, Colombia?
A: If you need any assistance with your booking or if you have a query about a particular bus operator or route, you can contact the customer care department of redBus in Colombia by dialing +57 1 381 6508 or you can even write an email to email@example.com
Q: Do I need to make an account on the redBus website to book a bus?
A: No, you do not need to make an account with redBus to book a ticket. But, it is advisable to make an account to help speed up the booking process the next time you need to book a bus ticket. redBus offers a number of discounts and offers as well and you can easily avail these offers if you are registered with redBus.
Q: How do I book my bus ticket at Cartagena?
A: You can either visit the bus operator counter of your choice or you can visit the official website of redBus. The user-friendly and interactive website offers a step-by-step process of booking a bus ticket in a matter of minutes. The site offers a lot of useful information such as bus timings, fares, pick-up and drop-off points, and much more.
Q: Is it safe to use my debit or credit card to book a ticket on the redBus website?
A: redBus has invested a lot to ensure that their customers are protected at all times and not just during their journey. redBus hosts a secure platform where transactions can be made safely. With over 180 million satisfied users, history should tell you exactly how secure it is to make a payment through the redBus website or app.