Why You Should Visit This Trending South American City This Winter

Aerial view of Cartagena
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Colombia has been one of the trendiest destinations of 2024.

Travelers have been flocking to this South American country in record numbers, lured by affordable prices, beautiful scenery, and vibrant cities.

There’s one city in particular that should be at the top of your travel bucket list — Cartagena.

Aerial view of CartagenaAerial view of Cartagena

Cartagena, Colombia is the perfect destination to visit this winter. This gorgeous, colorful city provides the perfect blend of history, culture, and beaches. It was recently named one of the best places to go in 2024 by Travel + Leisure.

Here’s why you should plan a trip to Cartagena this winter.

History, Culture, And Beaches

Cartagena is a unique destination because it offers a great mix of history, culture, and beaches. The city is located right on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and its strategic location means that it was an important port for hundreds of years.

Woman with Fruit on Her Head in CartagenaWoman with Fruit on Her Head in Cartagena

In the walled old town of Cartagena, you’ll be amazed by the colorful colonial buildings, cobblestoned streets, historic churches, and fortified city walls.

There’s a lot to explore for travelers interested in history and culture. It’s also a great destination for foodies — you can try delicious local street food and fresh fish in Cartagena.

But in addition to the history and culture, Cartagena is also a great beach destination. Outside the old town, you’ll find beaches in the modern Bocagrande district.

Rosario IslandsRosario Islands

However, the best beaches are a boat ride away from Cartagena. I recommend visiting the Islas Rosarios, an epic day trip from Cartagena with the most beautiful Caribbean beaches.

Caribbean Vibes For A Lower Price

Traveling to the Caribbean can be expensive. Most travelers don’t think of South America when they think of the Caribbean, but Colombia’s coast is indeed part of the Caribbean. You can definitely see, taste, and feel the Caribbean influence on Cartagena.

Colombia is one of the cheapest destinations in Latin America, so visiting Cartagena is a great way to get a taste of the Caribbean without breaking the bank.

Beautiful woman taking selfies at the walls surrounding the colonial city of Cartagena de IndiasBeautiful woman taking selfies at the walls surrounding the colonial city of Cartagena de Indias

To save money, consider staying outside the old town (the artsy Getsemani neighborhood just outside the city walls is a great choice) and eating local food instead of the pricier tourist restaurants.

Getting to Cartagena is also affordable. The budget carrier Spirit Airlines offers nonstop flights to Cartagena from Orlando, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. There are also nonstop flights from Atlanta on Delta and New York on JetBlue and Avianca.

This makes Cartagena one of the best tropical destinations in Colombia if you’re looking for Caribbean vibes and culture.

Colorful Streets Of Cartagena A Walled Colonial City In Colombia On The Caribbean Coast South America Latin AmericaColorful Streets Of Cartagena A Walled Colonial City In Colombia On The Caribbean Coast South America Latin America

Great For Solo Travelers

Another reason to visit Cartagena this winter? It’s great for solo travelers!

Many destinations in the Caribbean are not solo traveler-friendly, but Cartagena definitely is. There are tons of social hostels where solo travelers can stay, and if hostels aren’t your style, you can meet other travelers by doing activities like walking tours, cooking classes, or a boat trip.

Cartagena is also one of the best destinations in Colombia for solo female travelers because it’s one of the safest cities in the country.

Woman standing in front of Colorful walls in Cartagena ColombiaWoman standing in front of Colorful walls in Cartagena Colombia

Winter Has The Best Weather

Finally, winter is a great time to visit Cartagena because of the weather!

Cartagena has a year-round tropical climate, and there’s very little temperature variation throughout the year. Typically, the daily high is around 89° F, and the low is around 79° F. However, during the winter, it can be a couple of degrees cooler so it’s not quite as sweltering hot.

December through April is also considered the “dry season” in Cartagena. This means you’ll have sunnier weather with less rain. Additionally, it’s not as humid during the winter.

Cartagena ColombiaCartagena Colombia

This makes winter the best time to visit by far — the weather in Cartagena can be oppressively hot and muggy during the summer, but winter is perfect!

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