Cartagena, Colombia: A Solo Female's Perspective

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Advisor - Katie Anderson
Curated By

Katie Anderson

  • Cartagena

  • Colombia

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Outdoors

  • Shopping

  • Local Food

Cartagena beach's blue water
Curator’s statement

When I told my friends I was planning a solo trip to Cartagena, Colombia, they looked at me like I was out of my mind, but I wasn't worried and you shouldn't be either. With an itch to go international and somewhere warmer, Cartagena was the perfect option for a long weekend solo getaway. A fairly easy to get to destination, full of vibrant colors, welcoming people, and incredible food, I had a wonderful time exploring on my own. I was thrilled I took the leap with this one and I promise you won't regret it!

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Where to stay in Cartagena, Colombia

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Things to do in Cartagena, Colombia

Sky and building

Head out on a tour of Rosario Island, Blue Beach, Cholon and White Beach. This is a great way to see the see the islands and cool off from the heat. As a destination located near the Equator, Cartagena can get very hot. This tour includes hotel pick-up, a buffet lunch, and snorkeling opportunities (approximately 6 hours).

As a destination with fabulous shopping, spend some time wandering around Old Town Cartagena, walk the city walls, and head to St. Dom for the latest fashion and unique finds by Colombian designers. Old Town is beautiful with lots of vibrant colors and boutique shops to get lost in.

Take a Private Tour to the Mud Volcano. This is a super-unique experience to enter a mud volcano with properties of the dead sea and anti-aging benefits for your skin. You'll also visit the Galerazamba salt flats, where a microorganism turns the water pink. This tour is approximately four to five hours with transportation from your accommodation.

Everything I ate in Cartagena was incredible, so what better place to take a Colombian Small-Group Cooking Experience class. You will learn to prepare Colombian staples like sea bass ceviche, seared beef, and coconut rice. Enjoy a glass of wine during this three-hour class.

For the thrill-seekers, take an ATV half-day adventure tour on Tierra Bomba Island. You'll enjoy beautiful coastline views and rugged terrain while exploring Bocachica and Fuerte de San Fernando. This is a shorter tour, only 2.5 hours, so you could combine this with some exploration and shopping in Old Town.

As a solo female traveler, I think a perfect activity would be taking a Horseback Riding Tour on the beach in Cartagena. You'll be matched with a horse to your experience level and have roundtrip transportation from your accommodation. Riding a horse along the coastline is always a peaceful, fun experience and a great way to see the beaches of Manzanillo.

For all the coffee lovers and a fun activity if traveling solo, try a Cartagena Coffee Master class. You’ll choose your bean, roast it and grind it yourself while learning the process of coffee preparation. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and meet some people doing a fun activity.

Another foodie activity is a Taste Cartagena Food Tour. This is another great option if traveling solo or in a group, where you will have the opportunity to sample seven dishes of Colombian street food. You’ll walk through the center of Cartagena while you taste all the authentic local food.

Places to eat & drink in Cartagena, Colombia

yummy food of Cartagena

Everything I ate in Colombia was incredible and as a seafood lover, I was in heaven, but here are a few of my favorites!

La Cevicheria

Head here for lunch or dinner for a wonderful array of fresh ceviche dishes, tartare, cocktails, and more. This one is a must-do and famous from Anthony Bourdain’s show. I recommend the Colombiano Ceviche!

La Mulata

For some authentic Caribbean food, head to La Mulata. This one is more of a hole-in-the-wall, cozy atmosphere with amazing cocktails and a great option for lunch or dinner. I recommend The Filet Marinero.

El Burlador Gastrobar

For some delicious paella and fun live music, head to El Burlador Gastrobar. Traveling solo, grab a seat at the bar and a glass of wine.

Mar y Zielo

Another gem in the heart of Old Town is Mar y Zielo. A cozy vibe with fantastic food and drinks. Head to the rooftop and try the ceviche.

Restaurante Celele

For an artistic vibe with gorgeous presentations, head to Restaurante Celele. A delicious Caribbean restaurant that is a unique experience where every dish is creative and beautifully presented.

Café San Antonio

For breakfast or brunch, head to Café San Antonio by Casa Jaguar. Try the Pancakes de Avena and a coffee.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Diana Morales’s guide, Three Days to Discover Cartagena. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Cartagena.

Advisor - Katie Anderson

Travel Advisor

Katie Anderson

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Cartagena.