Cartagena is an Instagram lover’s dream. In fact, Cartagena is one of the most photogenic cities I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. The “Jewel of the Indies” oozes with old-world charm and enchants its visitors with its rich history and colonial architecture. The magic Cartagena flows through its cobblestone streets and radiates off its vibrant facades. It seems impossible to put your camera down when around every bend is another perfectly framed moment to capture. Sure, you can always take thousands of photos. But wouldn’t it be helpful to know the most Instagramable places in Cartagena, Colombia?
That reason is why I created a list of top photo spots in Cartagena. Whether or not you care about sharing your travel experiences on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, properly documenting your travels is important for you to properly remember it. Oftentimes, we come home from our travels and are disappointed to find that we forgot to properly document certain aspects of a city. I put together a photographer’s bucket list of the most Instagramable places in Cartagena – the top things to capture while exploring the “heroic city”.
1. The Palenqueras (Fruit Ladies)
You can’t visit inside the Walled City of Cartagena without seeing La Palenqueras, otherwise known as the “Fruit Ladies“. Chances are, they’ll come to you first, asking if you want a picture. These iconic Colombian women walk the streets balancing handwoven bowls of fruit on top of their heads, adorned in brightly colored apparel. While today the palenqueras may seem to spend more time taking pictures than selling fruit, these ladies have a very unique history.
In 1691, San Basilio de Palenque, a small village south of Cartagena ruled by runaway slaves, gains its independence from the Spanish colonial powers making it the first free town of the Americas. Unfortunately, freedom had its own set of challenges which caused the town to be very poor. Taking advantage of their natural resources, the palenqueras would pack the tropical fruit into baskets and make the long daily trek to Cartagena in order to provide for their families. While the trek to the Walled City may be the same, their history has made them the poster child of a resilient Colombian culture.
2. Colorful Door(s)
Cartagena is absolutely adoorable! One of my favorite things to do in Cartagena was wandering the streets in search of more cute doors. Explore the touristy area of Centro before heading to the north-east corner of Cartagena’s walled city, San Diego, which has a relaxed and colorful vibe!
It doesn’t matter where you are within the walled city, there are photo opportunities galore with these beautiful doors. The colorful doors make the top of the list of the most Instagramable places in Cartagena.
3. Cobblestone Streets of Cartagena
The cobblestone streets of Cartagena can mostly be found in Centro and throughout the Walled City. While these charming streets may be a photographers dream, they can be tough to walk on. (That’s a warning to those wearing stilettos!)
4. Getsemani Graffiti
Cartagena’s hipster neighborhood, Getsemani, may have a shady history but is making a come back with artists and younger travelers. Check out their awesome street art during the day for some Instagram-worthy shots!
5. Rooftop Sunset in the Walled City
End the day at one of the best places to watch the sunset in Cartagena. Cocktail in hand and a view in sight! Doesn’t require a ton of arm pulling, does it? Check these Rooftop Bars in Cartagena!
6. Sunset at Cafe Del Mar
One of the other best places to watch the sunset in Cartagena is on the wall itself! Situated on top of the Walled City, Cafe Del Mar has good music and a casual atmosphere. This sunset spot gets crowded so arrive early to be seated!
7. Street Fruit Cart
Street fruit carts are abundant inside the Walled City and out. Colombia is a fruit-lovers paradise so don’t be afraid! With tons of tropical fruits to choose from, it’s hard to disappoint. The carts are pretty sweet too!
8. Ceviche Dish(es).
I mean, you have to eat right? Grabbing ceviche could even be a great snack break when you’re tired and hungry from walking! Try one of these delicious restaurants in Cartagena.
La Perla Cartagena
9. Fried Fish and Coconut Rice
This dish may look a little intimidating but I swear, the fish is really good and the coconut rice is to die for! Yum!
10. Cathedral Picture from Calle de la Iglesia
Arguably the most iconic part of Cartegena, a picture of the Cartagena Cathedral definitely makes the list of most Instagramable place in Cartagena. Although its construction was delayed due to an attack by Francis Drake, the Cartagena Cathedral was finished in 1612. Calle de la Iglesia translates to Street of the Church – and what a beautiful street it is!
11. On the Wall of the Walled City
The wall was constructed in an effort to defend the city of Cartagena from pirate attacks in the 1700s. The 7-mile long stone wall construction took over two centuries to complete and with its fortifications and bastions, is a pretty cool sight to see.
12. Street Vendors
These colorful souvenirs stands offer such pretty colors that you can’t help but want to take a photo of them! (Or at least I couldn’t!) Street Vendors in Cartagena are all over the walled city, so be sure to walk around to find the exact items you want at a price that you consider fair.