3 Days in Cartagena: The Ultimate Itinerary for Solo Travelers

Discover the Magic of This Colorful and Vibrant Caribbean City

Lobster served off a boat in Cartagena, Colombia - near Rosario Islands

If you’re planning a trip to Colombia, Cartagena is a must-visit destination. With its colorful colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture, this coastal city has something for everyone. Whether you’re traveling solo or with friends, you’ll love exploring the historic walled city and soaking up the sun on the nearby islands. In this article, we’ve put together the ultimate 3-day itinerary for solo travelers in Cartagena.

Getting There and Accommodation:

The easiest way to get to Cartagena is by flying into Rafael Núñez International Airport, which is located just a few miles from the city center. From the airport, you can take a taxi or shuttle to your accommodation.

For solo travelers, we recommend staying at Viajero Cartagena Hostel, which is located in the heart of the historic walled city. This hostel offers both dormitory and private rooms, as well as a rooftop terrace and pool with great views of the city. The relaxed social atmosphere will be great to make new friends. As always when traveling, read Tips for Solo Travelers: How to Stay Safe and Enjoy Your Adventure.

Day 1: Explore the Historic Walled City

Start your trip by exploring the historic walled city of Cartagena. This area is filled with beautiful colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and lively street performers. Some must-see sights include the iconic Clock Tower, the Palace of the Inquisition, and the beautiful Plaza de Bolivar.

For lunch, head to La Cevicheria, a popular seafood restaurant that was made famous by Anthony Bourdain. Be sure to try the ceviche, which is the house specialty.

In the afternoon, take a stroll along the city walls for beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea. Stop by Cafe del Mar for a drink and to watch the sunset.


Cartagena is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, so be sure to check out some of the bars and clubs in the walled city. One popular spot is Alquimico, a speakeasy-style bar with a wide variety of craft cocktails. The bar is located in a beautiful colonial building and has a great atmosphere.

Alquímico Bar in Cartagena, Colombia

Day 2: Visit the Rosario Islands

On your second day in Cartagena, take a day trip to the Rosario Islands. These beautiful islands are located just off the coast of Cartagena and are known for their crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches.

There are several companies that offer day trips to the islands, including transportation, lunch, and access to a private beach. Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.

Day 3: Relax on Playa Blanca

For your last day in Cartagena, head to Playa Blanca, a beautiful beach located about an hour outside of the city. This beach is known for its white sand and clear turquoise water, and is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun.

You can take a bus or hire a private car to get to Playa Blanca. There are several small restaurants and bars on the beach, so be sure to try some of the local seafood.

In the evening, head back to the walled city for a final dinner. We recommend trying Restaurante Don Juan, which offers a fusion of Caribbean and Colombian cuisine.

This 3-day Cartagena itinerary is the perfect way to experience the best of this vibrant Colombian city. From exploring the historic walled city to relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone in Cartagena.  For more ideas around Colombia, check out A Perfect 14-Day Itinerary for Solo Travelers in Colombia

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