Engage in the Local Cultures of Diverse Cartagena

Cartagena is a city overflowing with culture and tradition
Cartagena is a city overflowing with culture and tradition | © Jesse Kraft / Alamy Stock Photo

It is Cartagena’s history and people which make this hotbed of cultures and traditions truly magical. Culture Trip has curated this list of hyper-local experiences and hands-on outings that let you immerse yourself in traditional neighborhoods, sights and flavors.

Cartagena is a cultural melange, informed by its riveting history. A city once caught up in Colonial wars and coastal pirating, Cartagena has preserved its culture and flair through the ages. Visit Palenque – the first free town for ex-slaves, which celebrates a rich heritage through music and medicine – or get fully immersed by biking like a local, cooking in a local home or exploring unique neighborhoods and markets. And, of course, no itinerary would be complete without a visit to Cartagena’s stunning UNESCO heritage sites.

ToursFreedom Tour of Palenque
From $96 per person
5 to 6 hours
4.9 (7)
The Freedom Tour is the most authentic tour offered in San Basilio de Palenque given by certified guides that are native to the community. We offer door to door transportation in comfortable AC cars with flexible pick up time to fit any schedule. Visitors are able to learn about incredible history of the community and feel the African essence that the community has maintained alive for over four centuries. During this tour our guests will hear traditional music, see the practice of traditional medicine in person, learn about the unique language that exists in the community and much more. More than traveling is living grand experiences.
ToursGetsemaní Neighbourhood Tour in Cartagena
From $45 per person
2 hours
5 (1)
Welcome to Getsemaní, Cartagena's cultural quarter and the coolest 'hood in Colombia. Meet raucous, proud locals, enigmatic street vendors, bohemian artists and feel the warmth of the smiles that greet you on every street corner.

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ClassBazurto Market Tour and Cooking Class in Cartagena
From $115 per person
4 hours 30 minutes
4.7 (13)
The cooking class Cartagena tour is a unique experience. See and taste exotic ingredients and fruits with great flavors, colors and all sort of shapes and get to know the local coconut rice or try the delicious “empandas”!

The tour for bigger groups, 3 or more people has a better individual price, so it will be awesome to  invite friends to join the cooking class!
ToursBiking Tour Cartagena
From $19 per person
2 hours
4.6 (7)
We want to give you a real experience of what living in Cartagena can feel like and that also includes showing you all the tricks and hidden gems that may be found in this city. We will take some nice time to bike around the walled city of Cartagena, sharing many historical facts, fun stories and experiences and enjoying all the must-see places in this beautiful area, including the Centenario park and Getsemani neighborhood. You have time to take some pictures, enjoy the surroundings, get to know Cartagena through a local person's view and in the end of the tour we have extra time planned in the end of the tour for recommendations and tips. Our tour is a perfect "welcomer"!

Just contact us to book a free biking tour and enjoy discovering each corner of Cartagena old city! We provide you with an urban style bicycle and a helmet for two hours. The tour works under the free tour concept = highest quality, lowest prices in Cartagena!

You rent the bike, we add the guide!

Let's bike!
ToursCartagena 4-hour City Sightseeing Tour with Torre del Reloj and Historic Center
From $109 per person
4 hours
4.7 (45)
On this 4-hour tour, you will visit the best spots of the city guided by a local expert. It all starts with a visit to La Popa Convent, the highest place in the city from where the social dynamics of its inhabitants can be understood and the photos that come out are incredible. Then you will be able to observe El Castillo de San Felipe and you will end with a walk through the center of the city passing through the best-known places such as The Cathedral and La Plaza de Simón Bolivar. You will also go into the Monastery of San Pedro Claver, a saint who fought the hardest for the rights of Afros in Colombia in his time. This tour is the perfect combination of must-see and hidden places in the city.
ToursSalsa Tour Cartagena
From $45 per person
3 hours 30 minutes
5 (3)
Cartagena's rich tradition of music and dance is interwoven into the fabric of life on Colombia's Caribbean coast. As well as sightseeing in the old city, sampling ceviche and cruising through the Rosario Islands, dancing simply must feature in BIG FAT CAPITALS on your holiday hit list. Interacting with Cartagena culture with our feet is a whole lot more satisfying than reading it in a book, that is why, you will get in this tour a combination of dance lessons (so you learn how to hit the dance floor), alcoholic drinks in bars (so you let yourself relax into a more social experience), and the best live salsa music in town in the Salsa House in Cartagena. Known as ¨El Manicomio de la Salsa¨ because is the meeting point for salsa lovers including musicians and dancers.

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