What are the best Cartagena food experiences?

Cartagena’s best bites are to be found in only one place: the street. The walled old city is home to some of the most delicious street carts — from fresh fruits to mouthwatering arepas. Here are some can’t-miss eats:

Arepas con queso. There’s nothing more authentically Colombian than an arepa, a griddled corn cake. The ones you’ll find sizzling on the grills of the old town are even more decadent, as they’re stuffed with a melted, gooey cheese.

Fruit juices. Colombians love their sweets, and the drinks they have are no exception. Cartagena’s streets are filled with vendors selling tart and sweet fruit juices. Opt for one filled with fresh fruit, since the country is known for its abundance of produce.

Ceviche. Every South American country has its take on this raw fish dish, and Colombia’s is typically raw fished served in a succulent coconut broth with tons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon. Another Colombian take is raw shrimp or fish served in a tomato broth with fresh chilies and onions.

Empanadas. What’s not to love about a warm cornmeal pockets stuffed with a runny egg, grilled meat, fresh avocado and cilantro? You’ll find a wide selection of empanadas all throughout the city, so it’s best to sample as many varieties as you can.

Bandeja paisa. This protein-packed platter teems with a variety of beans, pork, fried plantains, avocado, rice, sausages, polenta and a fried egg. One of Cartagena’s best versions is served at the local institution Rancho Paisa, and you’ll find a hearty mix of both local workers and hungover tourists noshing on this satisfying plate.

  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the weather like in Cartagena?

    Thanks to Colombia’s location near the equator, the regional temperatures of most of the country remain stable and comfortable year round (it hovers around 75 degrees Fahrenheit).

    With Cartagena’s proximity to the ocean, the average temperate is a balmy and humid 88 degrees, but it can dip into the high 60s and 70s at night. The coast brings some wind and rain during the rainy season, so it’s advised to always pack a light jacket.

    The best times to visit are probably January through March, however, it’s also the most popular — so there will be more crowds to sort through.
  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where are the best hotels in Cartagena?

    Cartagena’s top hotels all cluster in and around the walls of the old city. Boasting the most foot traffic and a weaving labyrinth of streets connecting restaurants, bars, gelato shops and boutiques, these hotels are the most centrally located.

    One great pick in the center of the old city is Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena, which touts the largest pool in the city, four bars (some with incredible views of the bustling streets and the ocean) and a breathtaking courtyard flanked by palm trees.

    For a stay in a former private home, book the Casa India Catalina, which is right in the center of the old town. Remodeled and decorated by famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero (the one behind the plump depictions of women and animals), it features a quirky but intimate ambiance.

    Home to large spacious rooms, a floral-packed courtyard, a solarium, hot tub and authentica Colombian restaurant, the intimate 18th-century Bantu is another pick. Set in a restored colonial inside the old town, its unassuming façade gives it even more of an element of private and secluded luxury.
  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where are the best hotels in Cartagena?

    Cartagena’s top hotels all cluster in and around the walls of the old city. Boasting the most foot traffic and a weaving labyrinth of streets connecting restaurants, bars, gelato shops and boutiques, these hotels are the most centrally located.

    One great pick in the center of the old city is Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena, which touts the largest pool in the city, four bars (some with incredible views of the bustling streets and the ocean) and a breathtaking courtyard flanked by palm trees.

    For a stay in a former private home, book the Casa India Catalina, which is right in the center of the old town. Remodeled and decorated by famous Colombian artist Fernando Botero (the one behind the plump depictions of women and animals), it features a quirky but intimate ambiance.

    Home to large spacious rooms, a floral-packed courtyard, a solarium, hot tub and authentica Colombian restaurant, the intimate 18th-century Bantu is another pick. Set in a restored colonial inside the old town, its unassuming façade gives it even more of an element of private and secluded luxury.
  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best Cartagena food experiences?

    Cartagena’s best bites are to be found in only one place: the street. The walled old city is home to some of the most delicious street carts — from fresh fruits to mouthwatering arepas. Here are some can’t-miss eats:

    Arepas con queso. There’s nothing more authentically Colombian than an arepa, a griddled corn cake. The ones you’ll find sizzling on the grills of the old town are even more decadent, as they’re stuffed with a melted, gooey cheese.

    Fruit juices. Colombians love their sweets, and the drinks they have are no exception. Cartagena’s streets are filled with vendors selling tart and sweet fruit juices. Opt for one filled with fresh fruit, since the country is known for its abundance of produce.

    Ceviche. Every South American country has its take on this raw fish dish, and Colombia’s is typically raw fished served in a succulent coconut broth with tons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon. Another Colombian take is raw shrimp or fish served in a tomato broth with fresh chilies and onions.

    Empanadas. What’s not to love about a warm cornmeal pockets stuffed with a runny egg, grilled meat, fresh avocado and cilantro? You’ll find a wide selection of empanadas all throughout the city, so it’s best to sample as many varieties as you can.

    Bandeja paisa. This protein-packed platter teems with a variety of beans, pork, fried plantains, avocado, rice, sausages, polenta and a fried egg. One of Cartagena’s best versions is served at the local institution Rancho Paisa, and you’ll find a hearty mix of both local workers and hungover tourists noshing on this satisfying plate.
  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best Cartagena food experiences?

    Cartagena’s best bites are to be found in only one place: the street. The walled old city is home to some of the most delicious street carts — from fresh fruits to mouthwatering arepas. Here are some can’t-miss eats:

    Arepas con queso. There’s nothing more authentically Colombian than an arepa, a griddled corn cake. The ones you’ll find sizzling on the grills of the old town are even more decadent, as they’re stuffed with a melted, gooey cheese.

    Fruit juices. Colombians love their sweets, and the drinks they have are no exception. Cartagena’s streets are filled with vendors selling tart and sweet fruit juices. Opt for one filled with fresh fruit, since the country is known for its abundance of produce.

    Ceviche. Every South American country has its take on this raw fish dish, and Colombia’s is typically raw fished served in a succulent coconut broth with tons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon. Another Colombian take is raw shrimp or fish served in a tomato broth with fresh chilies and onions.

    Empanadas. What’s not to love about a warm cornmeal pockets stuffed with a runny egg, grilled meat, fresh avocado and cilantro? You’ll find a wide selection of empanadas all throughout the city, so it’s best to sample as many varieties as you can.

    Bandeja paisa. This protein-packed platter teems with a variety of beans, pork, fried plantains, avocado, rice, sausages, polenta and a fried egg. One of Cartagena’s best versions is served at the local institution Rancho Paisa, and you’ll find a hearty mix of both local workers and hungover tourists noshing on this satisfying plate.
  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best Cartagena food experiences?

    Cartagena’s best bites are to be found in only one place: the street. The walled old city is home to some of the most delicious street carts — from fresh fruits to mouthwatering arepas. Here are some can’t-miss eats:

    Arepas con queso. There’s nothing more authentically Colombian than an arepa, a griddled corn cake. The ones you’ll find sizzling on the grills of the old town are even more decadent, as they’re stuffed with a melted, gooey cheese.

    Fruit juices. Colombians love their sweets, and the drinks they have are no exception. Cartagena’s streets are filled with vendors selling tart and sweet fruit juices. Opt for one filled with fresh fruit, since the country is known for its abundance of produce.

    Ceviche. Every South American country has its take on this raw fish dish, and Colombia’s is typically raw fished served in a succulent coconut broth with tons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon. Another Colombian take is raw shrimp or fish served in a tomato broth with fresh chilies and onions.

    Empanadas. What’s not to love about a warm cornmeal pockets stuffed with a runny egg, grilled meat, fresh avocado and cilantro? You’ll find a wide selection of empanadas all throughout the city, so it’s best to sample as many varieties as you can.

    Bandeja paisa. This protein-packed platter teems with a variety of beans, pork, fried plantains, avocado, rice, sausages, polenta and a fried egg. One of Cartagena’s best versions is served at the local institution Rancho Paisa, and you’ll find a hearty mix of both local workers and hungover tourists noshing on this satisfying plate.
  • On February 21
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best Cartagena food experiences?

    Cartagena’s best bites are to be found in only one place: the street. The walled old city is home to some of the most delicious street carts — from fresh fruits to mouthwatering arepas. Here are some can’t-miss eats:

    Arepas con queso. There’s nothing more authentically Colombian than an arepa, a griddled corn cake. The ones you’ll find sizzling on the grills of the old town are even more decadent, as they’re stuffed with a melted, gooey cheese.

    Fruit juices. Colombians love their sweets, and the drinks they have are no exception. Cartagena’s streets are filled with vendors selling tart and sweet fruit juices. Opt for one filled with fresh fruit, since the country is known for its abundance of produce.

    Ceviche. Every South American country has its take on this raw fish dish, and Colombia’s is typically raw fished served in a succulent coconut broth with tons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon. Another Colombian take is raw shrimp or fish served in a tomato broth with fresh chilies and onions.

    Empanadas. What’s not to love about a warm cornmeal pockets stuffed with a runny egg, grilled meat, fresh avocado and cilantro? You’ll find a wide selection of empanadas all throughout the city, so it’s best to sample as many varieties as you can.

    Bandeja paisa. This protein-packed platter teems with a variety of beans, pork, fried plantains, avocado, rice, sausages, polenta and a fried egg. One of Cartagena’s best versions is served at the local institution Rancho Paisa, and you’ll find a hearty mix of both local workers and hungover tourists noshing on this satisfying plate.