It is no surprise that more and more people are adding Cartagena to their travel list. This colorful colonial city offers all the trappings of an exciting tourist destination: a rich history, delicious food, friendly locals, and beautiful beaches. However, many visitors often overlook the climate while making their travel plans. Especially June through October, the high temperatures, humidity, and equatorial sun combine to create a heat that can challenge even the hardiest of travelers. The good news is with proper planning it is easy to find ways to beat the heat. Use these tips to stay happy and cool while planning your visit to this Colombian paradise:
1. Take a Dip
A sure way to cool off is to take a relaxing dip in one of Cartagena’s many swimming pools. If your accommodation does not have a pool of its own, don’t fret! You can easily find a day pass to visit a hotel pool. The 5-Star Hotel Caribe offers a luxurious poolside experience that includes a buffet-style lunch for around $40. Don’t be surprised if you spot animals wandering around by the pool -- parrots, sloth, and deer call the hotel grounds home. If you’d rather just pop into a pool for a short visit, check out the Rooftop at Townhouse. This restaurant/bar features a wading pool where guests can soak their feet while enjoying specialty cocktails and seafood tapas.
2. Get into the Water
To find the strongest breeze in Cartagena, look to the ocean. A great way to enjoy strong winds and stunning views is to hop on a boat for a day or evening tour. Bona Vida offers a sunset tour of the Cartagena Bay on a brand new 85-foot catamaran that is a truly memorable experience. While sipping on a complimentary drink and munching on appetizers, watch the sun slip down below the horizon. After 2 hours of enjoying the refreshing sea breeze, you will be brought back to shore just in time to partake in Cartagena’s famous nightlife.
Cool down, or heat up, with water.
4. Visit a Museum
Visiting a museum is a great way to take in some culture during peak heat hours. There are several free or low-cost museums in the historic center worth a visit. In Plaza de Bolívar you can find the Museo del Oro Zenú (Museum of Gold) that features golden artifacts from indigenous tribes of the Caribbean region. Head to Plaza San Pedro to take in modern paintings and sculpture pieces by Colombian artists at the Museum of Modern Art. Or, if you are feeling a little hungry, be sure to visit the Chocolate Museum near Plaza de Bolívar. Here you can learn about the history of cacao while sampling candy, drinks, and other products made from the magical bean.
5. Lay on the Beach
The ultimate way to stay cool on a hot Cartagena day is to head to the beach. If you’re looking to spend just a few hours ocean-side, the beaches of Bocagrande and Castillogrande are both within a 10-minute cab ride of the city center. But if you’re longing to spend an entire day relaxing by the sea, consider a day trip to one of the more pristine beaches of the Rosario Islands. While you’re lying under an umbrella with a cold drink in hand, the heat of the city will be a distant memory.
You may be interested in beach day trips in Cartagena.
All of these hot weather experts also emphasized important safety tips, including drinking enough water, eating snacks, wearing sunscreen, and avoiding being outside during the hottest times of the day.