Cartagena is an extraordinary city located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, in the north of Colombia. Its Old City with port, monuments and fortress has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This honor is awarded only to areas that “transcend national boundaries and …(are) of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity”.
Cartagena is an alluring mix of exquisitely preserved historical sites and leading-edge creators of fashion and food. It is a treasure that, today, is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Colombia
This trip of four days and three nights will be enough to create memories that will make you long to return for more. Visitors will enjoy the charms of majestic landscapes and the colorful colonial architecture that holds the secrets of history, art and culture. Cartagena’s walled city served as an inspiration to Gabriel García Márquez, winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Cartagena’s mouth-watering gastronomic offerings will be the backbone of this adventure. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will feature indigenous dishes and new creations from the Caribbean region. We will dine in the company of renowned chefs; coffee producers, chocolatiers, leaders in business, social entrepreneurs and public figures who will share their unique viewpoints of life in “The Magic City.”
In addition to feasting on the foods or Cartegena, we will take guided tours of museums dedicated to history, modern art and emeralds. We will visit the impressive Palace of the Inquisition. We will walk the cobbled streets to visit the colorful and lively local market of the city and the Castillo San Felipe, the fortress first built in the 1500s. We will return to the old city to visit art galleries, shops of important designers and the best jewellers to enjoy an entertaining afternoon of shopping.
Tata lives, works and loves her beloved Colombia but especially, her home, Cartagena. She works full-time as the leader of Colombiana Bella, a nationwide gift service network, but has connected with Insider Excursions to provide bespoke tours for elite travelers and travel groups.
Built in 1621, our property was originally a convent that housed the Poor Clares before they were evicted in 1861. For over a century, this place witnessed history and served successively as a charity hospital, prison and medical school therefore generating a series of Republican style changes. In 1995, it became the iconic Santa Clara hotel.
Its walls, which acted as a defensive shield in the past, blend in with colonial balconies and republican buildings that evoke the splendor of bygone eras. After significant efforts, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena opened its doors as a luxurious hotel bursting with history, magic and impressive anecdotes.
In 2012, the Sofitel Santa Clara became Sofitel Legend, thus joining a collection of landmark properties located in cities with a rich cultural heritage all around the world. Travel back in time and discover the legendary story of this iconic hotel infused with French art de vivre, the perfect combination of age-old tradition and local hospitality.
Cartagena is a vibrant city, with countless plans perfect for doing all kinds of tourism. For the first day we will be welcomed with a folkloric sample of music and dance that will allow us to know and understand the traditional and warm environment of the city. Then we can appreciate the sunset on the rooftop of the hotel with an exceptional view of the city. We will also enjoy a VIP tour on horse carriages to appreciate the nightlife of the streets of Cartagena and hear some of its history. The tour will end at the Juan Del Mar Restaurant, where we meet Juan Del Mar himself, its Owner and renowned Chef from Cartagena and Colombia, to delight us with a delicious dinner.
First we will have a breakfast in coffee season with coffee producers who will tell us about the process and selection of coffee while we enjoy a delicious cup of coffee and a rich typical breakfast. Then we will take a short walk through the history of Cartagena, we will visit the Palace of the Inquisition and some monuments, we will also walk through some of the most representative squares. At lunchtime, the appointment is at the Celele Por Proyecto Caribe Lab Restaurant in the Getsemaní neighborhood, where we will learn about the gastronomic culture and biodiversity that the Caribbean Region has, many of these resources are used to prepare different recipes in the restaurant. A few meters away we will enjoy the picturesque streets in Getsemaní, as we pass we will find graffiti artists and art paintings hanging on rustic old walls. Finally, we will arrive at Alquímico Bar, we will enter the world of the only Colombian bar among the 50 best in the world. We will enjoy sensory experiences while we learn more about the local culture with exclusive cocktails based on experimental infusions and our own dishes with Colombian ingredients and techniques.
One of the typical foods most welcomed by locals and visitors is the popular “Arepa de Huevo”, and in the renowned Alyzia restaurant of the Hotel Movich they have the best. Thus we begin our third day of tour in the fantastic walled city. Then we will take a walk through the local market of the city. many travelers say that you don’t really know a city; if you don’t visit their market. so we will learn about the daily dynamics that are experienced in the Bazurto Market. We will also be able to delight ourselves there with delicious recipes that have passed from generation to generation.
After a local gastronomic experience, we will return to the hotel where we will do a quick recharge of energy, and then continue with the rest of the afternoon, as we will have a glamorous shopping tour. We will visit the shops of the most recognized fashion designers in the city, among them: Ketty Tinoco and Beatriz Camacho, among others. Following the design line, we will visit Lucy Jewelry, to meet the elegant designer Lucy, recognized for her exceptional designs that you will want to wear all. And for a complete shopping experience, we will visit a small gallery of very chic artisans.
Finally, our appointment is at the Candé Restaurant, 100% Cartagena cuisine, nominated for the LA BARRA Awards in the category: * Best traditional Colombian food restaurant *. Especially exquisite flavors. This old house has a charm that grabs you from the moment you enter. At night you feel in another era with the dim lights, the excellent attention of the staff and the live Caribbean music.
We start the day with a typical breakfast at the hotel. Then we move to the famous Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a monumental Fort that many years ago served as a protective barrier for the city of Cartagena against the attack of invading pirates. Then we will stop by for a delicious Colombian coffee in a small place full of charm called Café San Alberto. So we say goodbye to this magical adventure of fantasies, experiences and exceptional flavors. Until next time!