Gracing the top of South America, lying between Aruba and Panama City, the port city of Cartagena, Colombia sparkles on the Caribbean Coast. A prime luxury travel destination, Cartagena offers historic architecture, vibrant culture, and exciting day trip excursions. Whether guests seek to explore the beaches and forests, savor Colombian cuisine or encounter indigenous tribes and traditions, Cartagena boasts a diverse array of adventures through which to discover Colombia.
The Iconic Palenqueras
Sporting colorful dresses and balancing baskets of fruit on their heads, the palenqueras are an iconic symbol of Colombian culture. The Afro-Colombian women are a radiant presence, selling fresh fruit and candy and stopping to chat and take pictures with visitors. The origin of the palenqueras and their presence in Cartagena is a story of resilience and innovation. Descended from formerly enslaved Africans, the women of San Basilio de Palenque trekked to Cartagena to sell their fruit and make a livelihood. As inhabitants of the first city of freed slaves, they created a thriving industry and have remained a joyful feature of Cartagena.
Mud Volcanos & Cloud Forests
El Totumo Mud Volcano can be found an hour outside of Cartagena and promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Guests climb wooden steps to the top of the 50-foot-tall, active mud volcano and bathe in the warm mud where attendants provide relaxing massages. After soaking up the detoxifying, skin cleansing, and anti-inflammatory healing properties of volcanic mud, guests rinse off in the nearby lagoon.
Colombia is also home to high-altitude cloud forests, located in the Western Andes. Named after the mist formed by the warm and cool airs colliding, the cloud forest contains almost a sixth of global biodiversity. Nearly two million species inhabit the forest which has been threatened by climate change and deforestation. Conservation efforts are ongoing to preserve the rich array of animal life including the Andean spectacled bear, wooly tapir, sloth, and olinguito, a member of the raccoon family. Guided treks through the trove of biodiversity offer the chance to spot howler monkeys and colorful birds.
Cartagena’s crystal-clear waters are a prime setting for activities like scuba, snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more. Cruise on a yacht around Tierra Bomba, Barú, and the Rosario Islands, docking to lounge at beach clubs and savor fine Colombian cuisine. After trekking on land, be transported to a tropical paradise that promotes rest and relaxation with a variety of beaches, restaurants, and water activities.
Cartagena has plenty to offer within the city itself but if you’re looking to venture further there is always the option to charter a private helicopter to the neighboring cities and beaches. No matter your interest, you can find activities and experiences unique to Colombia that de-stress, educate and challenge. Cartagena proves to be the perfect home base for a variety of adventures and discoveries for anyone seeking to visit Colombia. Contact us today to book your next once-in-a-lifetime adventure!