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About Cartagena

Cartagena is a gorgeous port city in Colombia. With over 970 000 residents, it is famed for its colourful colonial buildings and the magnificent coastal walled Old Town. Today, Cartagena is a popular beach destination, with thrilling activities, shops, and restaurants. The destination’s top attractions include Rosario Islands, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, and Plaza Santo Domingo.

Prepare yourself for an amazing travelling experience to Colombia, because cheap flights to Cartagena are now available for a limited time! Cartagena is the home of Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG), which is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. Rafael Núñez International Airport serves numerous airlines, including Avianca, Copa Airlines, Delta Airlines, and LATAM Airlines. Popular connecting flights to Cartagena are available from Johannesburg. The flight duration is approximately 22 hours and 14 minutes.

Why visit Cartagena

Cartegena de Indias

Historic Treasures

Cartagena’s rich history is a definite drawcard. Take a tour through this city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the magnificent colonial walls and fortress.

Isla Baru Beach Cartegena

A Coastal Location

Cartagena sits along the Caribbean Sea, meaning gorgeous beaches. Soak up the sun and enjoy refreshing splashes at these selection of locations, including Isla de Barú and Playa Castillo Grande.

Ceviche Classic Colombian Dish Cartegena

A Gastronomic Scene

With the city’s access to fresh seafood, meat, and traditional Colombian ingredients like coconut rice and crispy plantains, satisfy yourself with local specialties, such as ceviche and Ajiaco.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Colombia
Currency Colombian Peso
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 205. 89 COP
Language Spanish
Hub Airport Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG)
Airline Avianca / Copa Airlines / Delta Airlines / LATAM Airlines
Time Zone GMT - 5
Travel Adaptor Type A / B

Best time to visit Cartagena

Cartagena experiences hot days (around the low 30s), warm nights (ranging around the mid-20s) and rainy weather throughout the year. Avoid the crowds, rainy weather and steep accommodation prices by visiting this Colombian city from mid-January to April (mid-summer to mid-autumn). This is the dry season, and with the peak tourist season over, you can enjoy cheaper hotel rates. Watch out for the Holy Week though, which falls in either March or April, since this is when the crowds visit Cartagena. You can get the lowest accommodation prices during off season (May – mid-June and August to November), however, this is when the rains begin, and October and November are the wettest months.

Weather & Climate in Cartagena

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 24°C 24°C 25°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 26°C 25°C
High °C 30°C 31°C 31°C 31°C 31°C 32°C 32°C 32°C 32°C 31°C 31°C 31°C
Rainfall (mm) 3 0 1 17 102 113 85 88 124 199 113 25

The beautiful Colombian city of Cartagena is the type of destination you should be considering for your next international holiday experience. One of TripAdvisor’s ‘Destinations on the Rise’ in 2013, it is an enthralling location, with a range of sights, aromas, sounds and experiences.

Explore Cartagena’s historic attractions, which include the colonial walled city and fortress, which were awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the gorgeous harbour and waterfront area, as well as Plaza de San Diego. Treat yourself to scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities at Isla Mucura, or shop at malls such as Caribe Plaza, or the enticing markets like Mercado Bazurto.

When it’s time to relax, enjoy a Caribbean cocktail and sit back at one of the numerous cafés, like Mila Vargas and Beiyu.

You will not need a tourist Visa to visit Cartagena for up to 90 days. Check with your airline to see if you have connecting flights overseas on your way to Colombia, because if you do, you may need a separate transit Visa.

The South African Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, is accredited to Colombia

Address: Edif. Atrium PH-1A, Urb El-Rosal, Av Sorocaima con Av Venezuela, Chacao, Caracas, 1060

Phone: +58 212 952 0026 Fax: +58 212 952 0277

Beware of street vendors in Cartagena, who have a reputation for stealing money when giving change. Practice basic common sense, by keeping your valuables in a safe place and out of sight, refraining from showing large amounts of money when outside, and never walking outside after dark.

Visit your doctor to get all the routine vaccinations four to six weeks before you depart for Cartagena. Additionally, depending on where you go and what you do in the city, you may also need vaccinations and prescription medicines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, malaria, yellow fever and rabies.

ITEM CAPE TOWN JOHANNESBURG CARTAGENA
Meal inexpensive restaurant R 100.00 R 100.00 R 47.62
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) R 25.00 R 25.00 R 11.91
Cappuccino (regular) R 22.33 R 22.34 R 18.57
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R 10.00 R 10.00 R 28.57
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 37.50 R 37.50 R 21.43
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