Discovering Medellin and Cartagena: An Itinerary

Discovering Medellin and Cartagena: An Itinerary

Colombia is a country that has been gaining more and more attention from travelers in recent years. With picturesque landscapes, rich culture, and friendly people, it’s no wonder that it’s becoming a popular destination for those seeking an adventure. Two must-visit cities in Colombia are Medellin and Cartagena. Each city has its own unique charm and attractions that make them an unforgettable experience. In this article, we will take you through a four-day itinerary that will help you discover both of these Colombian gems.

Day 1: Exploring Medellin’s City Center

Medellin, the second-largest city in Colombia, is located in a valley surrounded by the Andes Mountains. On the first day of your itinerary, you’ll explore the city center, where you’ll get a glimpse of Medellin’s history and culture. Start your day at Plaza Botero, which is a large public square filled with sculptures by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The sculptures are whimsical, and visitors will enjoy taking pictures with them. From there, take a walk to the nearby Palace of Culture Rafael Uribe Uribe. The Palace is an iconic building in Medellin, and it’s a great place to take a picture.

Afterward, continue your walk towards Antioquia Museum, which is located in a historic building. The museum features exhibits of local art, history, and culture. If you’re interested in learning about Colombia’s history, this is a great stop. From there, take the metro to Parque Berrio. The park is located in the heart of the city, and it’s a great place to relax and people-watch. Make sure to try some street food from the vendors in the area, such as a traditional arepa or a cup of fresh fruit juice.

Day 2: Nature and Art in Medellin

On day two, you’ll explore the natural and artistic side of Medellin. Start your day at Arvi Park, which is a natural reserve located just outside of the city. Take the cable car to the top, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Once you arrive at the top, take a hike through the park, and visit the local farmers’ market. Here you can find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious local food.

Afterward, return to the city center and visit the Botanical Garden. The garden is home to over 1,000 species of plants, making it a great place to relax and enjoy nature. The garden also features a butterfly house, which is a must-visit attraction. From there, take a walk to the Museum of Modern Art, which features contemporary art exhibitions by local and international artists. The museum is located in a historic building, and the exhibitions are always changing, making it a great place to visit multiple times.

Day 3: Cartagena’s Historic Walled City

On day three, you’ll travel to Cartagena, a city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The city is known for its colonial architecture, colorful streets, and rich history. Start your day by exploring the historic walled city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walled city was built in the 16th century to protect the city from pirates and other invaders. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination filled with restaurants, cafes, and shops.

Take a walk through the colorful streets, and don’t forget to take a picture with the famous Cartagena door knockers. These knockers are unique to Cartagena and are a symbol of the city’s history and culture. From there, visit the Palace of the Inquisition, which is a museum that showcases the history of the Spanish Inquisition in Colombia. The museum features exhibitions of torture devices, documents, and other artifacts from the Inquisition.

Afterward, take a walk to the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, which is a historic fortress that was built to protect the city. The castle is located on a hill, and it offers stunning views of the city and the Caribbean Sea. Make sure to take a guided tour of the castle to learn about its history and significance.

Day 4: Beaches and Culture in Cartagena

On the final day of your itinerary, you’ll explore the beaches and culture of Cartagena. Start your day by taking a boat tour of the Rosario Islands, which are a group of small islands located just off the coast of Cartagena. The islands are known for their white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Spend the day swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing on the beach.

Afterward, return to the city and visit the Museum of Gold. The museum features a collection of pre-Columbian gold artifacts from the Zenu people, who lived in the area before the arrival of the Spanish. The artifacts are intricate and stunning, and they offer a glimpse into the culture and history of the Zenu people.

From there, take a walk through the Getsemani neighborhood, which is a vibrant and colorful area of the city. The neighborhood is known for its street art and lively atmosphere. Make sure to try some local street food from the vendors in the area, such as a traditional empanada or a cup of fresh coconut water.


Medellin and Cartagena are two Colombian gems that offer a unique and unforgettable experience. From exploring the city center and experiencing nature and art in Medellin to discovering the historic walled city and beaches of Cartagena, there’s something for everyone in these two cities. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or just relaxing on the beach, Medellin and Cartagena have it all. So pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable Colombian adventure.

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