It is usually a bit difficult to keep children entertained on a family vacation and even though the city offers many activities to keep adults entertained, finding things to do with children in Cartagena requires more research and planning. Luckily the natural surroundings of Cartagena and its beaches offer a great variety of outdoor activities. Take note of these kid-friendly activities so you can all enjoy the family break.
Most Shopping malls such as the Plaza Bocagrande or Caribe Plaza, host free cultural activities, you can also find Play Zone to distract your children and reward them for their good behavior, after a day of adults activites. One of the best options to let your kiddo burn all that energy is Flanagan Park, located in Bocagrande neighborhood, has several options for children of all ages. Open every day 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Visit the San Martín de Pajarales Aquarium at Islas del Rosario
This aquarium is located on the island of San Martin at Islas del Rosario, 40 minutes from Cartagena by boat. You can start your tour in the San Martin Aquarium learning about the different marine species like turtles and sharks; enjoy the dolphin show and end your tour with beach time in the beautiful Islas del Rosario.
How to get there? To get to the aquarium you have two options, the first one is to take a tour from the Muelle de la Bodeguita that takes you to Playa Blanca and to Islas del Rosario. This option is the cheapest but also the longest and you will not be able to fully explore the islands, you will be almost all the way riding in a boat.
The second option and the best one is a day trip to one of the many hotels there, which mostly all includes an optional visit to the aquarium. Not all hotels offer this option, for that reason we recommend Isla Encanto or Islabela. For more information about day trip to Rosario Islands Click here.
The Boquilla and Manzanillo del Mar are just a few beaches with calm sea conditions that make it safe for families.
Visit the Aviario Nacional de Colombia
The aviary of Colombia is located 35 minutes by car from the downtown of Cartagena and it is the biggest aviary of the Americas. Taking into account the importance of birds in Colombia, where 19% of the bird species of the world and 60% of the South American birds live, the aviary is home to 1.800 birds of 135 different species, including the Andean Condor, Colombia’s national bird.
To go over the aviary takes approximately 2 hours. The aviary is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is located at kilometer 14 of the island of Barú, which you can access by boat or by car. However, to get to the aviary we recommend to go by car. For more information about day trip to Rosario Islands Click here.
Walk around the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
This is the perfect place to listen to stories about pirates, treasures and to learn about the history of Cartagena de Indias. Children and adults can have fun going through the tunnels of the Castillo San Felipe, which were extremely useful to protect the city from the pirates and from the enemies of the Spanish Crown. In addition, the Castillo San Felipe offers a great view of Cartagena. The Castillo San Felipe is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Learn to make chocolate at ChocoMuseo
The ChocoMuseo is the perfect place for chocolate lovers. Here kids can find out about the process the cocoa fruit goes through to become chocolate, learn about cocoa plantations in Colombia and see how the artisanal chocolate factory works.
We recommend ending your visit with a break in the café, where you can enjoy foods and drinks made of cocoa beans with the family. The ChocoMuseo has a store where you can buy things like liquors or beauty products made with cocoa and buy souvenirs. The ChocoMuseo is located across the street from the Plaza Fernández Madrid in the downtown. It is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the entrance is free.
If you want to learn to make your own chocolate, they offer two workshops for kids and grown ups (you need to book this activity). The first workshop they offer is called Mini Chocolate Chef. These workshops are offered in English and Spanish.
Take a bike tour through the walled city
One of the most typical activities that Cartagena offers to enjoy with the family is riding bikes in downtown. This activity is perfect to enjoy magical Cartagena while you ride all over the colonial streets and walls of the historic part of the city. You can take a break in the different squares that you can find along the tour through the small streets.
To engage in this activity it is not necessary to take your own bike. You can find different bike rental places in downtown. You will find them in different sizes, doubles to enjoy with a partner and bikes with seats to take children for a ride. The prices change depending on the place but it is approximately COP $5.000. Don’t forget to take an ID since this is necessary to rent the bike.
If you prefer, you can find guided bike tours, which are a better option if you are afraid to get lost in the small streets of downtown or, if you not only want to ride through the streets but also to get to know the history of those streets. If you choose this option you can learn more about it and book it here.
Fly kites in August
An ideal activity to do with children in Cartagena is kite flying. Unfortunately because of the winds flying kites in Cartagena is only practiced in August, when the kite festival takes place.
In August a lot of children gather with their parents in the green areas between the walls and the beach downtown, preferably in the area called Las Tenazas. What’s more, because of the festival you will enjoy kite’s choreographies performed by professional kite flyers from all over the world. Don’t worry if you don’t have a kite because you can buy one there.
If you are in Cartagena with children but you want to have a private night with your partner and enjoy the romantic and nightlife activities that the city offers, you can use a service of qualified babysitters in Cartagena such as Cartagenanny. If you want to get more information about this service you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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