When Is the Best Time to Visit Cartagena, Colombia for Good Weather?

when to visit cartagena colombia
Torre del Reloj in Cartagena, Colombia.

There’s no denying it; Cartagena is a tropical paradise. Given its unique positioning near the Equator and at the southern tip of the Caribbean Sea, it never really gets cold in Cartagena. But when to visit Cartagena, Colombia for good weather? There are a few things that you need to know about the weather before planning your trip to the Colombian Caribbean coast, so read on to get informed.

Cartagena de Indias is a picturesque colonial city in Colombia. It is famous for its colorful buildings adorned with bougainvillea on cobblestone streets and white-sand tropical islands nearby. The old town of Cartagena tells stories of a rich heritage through its charming architecture and leafy plazas. Tourists and visitors from all over the world flock to Cartagena all year round to wander its romantic streets, enjoy its beaches, and visit its idyllic islands. Want to know when to visit Cartagena? We have all the info below.  

We are always in Cartagena, rain or shine, and it’s our passion to help you plan your trip in the best way possible. Get in touch to start building your journey!

Weather in Cartagena, Colombia

when to visit cartagena colombia
Rosario Islands near Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena’s climate is as warm and inviting as its people. The city basks in a tropical wet and dry climate, marked by a hot temperature year-round, making any season a good time to visit. However, for those looking to escape the rain and enjoy the city at its sunniest, the best time to visit would be during the dry season, which spans from December to April. During these months, the sky is clearer, the streets are perfect for leisurely strolls. The evenings are cool enough for exploring the city’s renowned culinary scene (see our Best Restaurants in Cartagena blog for our top recommendations!) or its lively nightlife (check out our Best Bars in Cartagena blog for your key to Cartagena nightlife).

Weather patterns in Cartagena

Cartagena experiences a tropical monsoon climate characterized primarily by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. Understanding these weather patterns can help you plan your visit to ensure you get the best out of your trip. Here, we break down the weather in Cartagena by month. The dry season typically spans from December to April, while the rainy season extends from May to November. During the dry season, the weather is characterized by clear skies, abundant sunshine, and minimal rainfall. The driest month is typically January, with an average rainfall of 0.2 inches. Conversely, the rainy season brings frequent showers and occasional thunderstorms, often accompanied by high humidity levels. The rainiest month is October, with an average of 9.1 inches of rainfall.

Source: Climates to Travel

Dry Season in Cartagena (December to April) 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Sunny Day in Cartagena, Colombia.

Most people would recommend this season if you’re wondering when to travel to Cartagena. During the dry season in Cartagena, the weather is predominantly sunny, with clear blue skies and minimal rainfall. This makes it the perfect climate for outdoor activities and exploring the city’s quaint streets and stunning beaches. Temperatures during this period are warm, typically ranging from 24°C to 30°C (75°F to 86°F). This season is ideal for beach outings, strolling through the old town, or enjoying its many rooftop bars and terraces without the worry of sudden showers. There is also more wind during this time of year. Cool breezes refresh the hot streets, bringing a refreshing change from the humidity experienced the rest of the year. 

Rainy Season in Cartagena (May to November)

when to visit cartagena colombia
Rainy Day in Cartagena, Colombia.

The rainy season begins around May and extends through November. This period is marked by higher humidity and frequent rain showers. These can be quite heavy at times, particularly in the months of October and November. While the rain may come in quick bursts, often in the afternoon, it rarely disrupts an entire day’s plans. The temperatures remain warm, similar to the dry season. However, the increased moisture in the air can make the heat feel more intense. Despite the rain, the vibrant life in the city continues to thrive. The showers bring a refreshing change to the landscape, cooling down the air, albeit temporarily! Travelers visiting during this season can enjoy the verdant surroundings and fewer crowds at major tourist attractions, often leading to a more relaxed and intimate experience. 

One thing to keep in mind during the rainy season is that the infrastructure of the old town can easily collapse under the abundant rainfall. One or two hours of heavy rain can easily flood the old town, reducing mobility and causing disruptions. The flooding goes down quite quickly, however; once the sun comes out, it quickly evaporates. 

Best time to Visit Cartagena for Good Weather 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Young woman walking on a colorful street in the Old City of Cartagena, Colombia

Deciding on the best time to visit Cartagena largely depends on your preference for sunnier days versus experiencing the city with fewer tourists and potentially lower costs. The drier weather from December to April also coincides with Cartagena’s high season, which is between mid-December and mid-to-late January. With little to no rain and fresher weather due to increased winds, this is, without a doubt, the most pleasant season to visit Cartagena. However, prices of accommodation and flights go up in the high season, so make sure to budget more for trips during this time. 

Shoulder Season – Neither high season nor low season

Many tourists and visitors have also started visiting Cartagena during its “shoulder seasons”. The shoulder season isn’t either high season when tourism and prices are at an all-time high, or low season when there is a higher possibility of rain. It is a sweet spot when the weather is great, prices are lower, and there are fewer crowds. Shoulder season in Cartagena is in April and May, as well as November and the first half of December. Just make sure you avoid visiting during Holy Week (Easter Week) as the whole country floods with local tourism and prices rocket during this week.

Things to do in Cartagena During the Best Weather

Although Cartagena can—and must—be enjoyed all year round, certain activities are best suited to the drier season. Here’s a guide to some of the top things to do in Cartagena during these optimal months:

Enjoy the nightlife and party alfresco

when to visit cartagena colombia
Nightlife in El Baron, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

Cartagena is a city designed for the warm weather and year-round sunshine. Many of its bars and clubs have outdoor areas and rooftops. One of the joys of Cartagena is having an alfresco drink whilst feeling the warm breeze around your shoulders. We love to visit the rooftop terrace at Alquímico and La Jugada Club House and party on the patio at La Movida. If you’re looking for an intimate space to drink wine or cocktails and people-watch, we’ll meet you at an outdoor table at El Barón. Although all of these places also have indoor options, we love the open-air culture of their rooftops and patios. 

Rent a boat and explore the islands 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Luxury boat heading to Rosario Islands in Cartagena, Colombia.

Another unmissable activity to do in Cartagena during its months of sunny and dry weather is to rent a boat and take a trip to the islands. The nearby islands of the Islas del Rosario National Park offer white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. Renting your own yacht, speedboat, or catamaran is the superior way to explore the islands. You are totally in control of your day and can bring your own drinks to chill in the Caribbean Sea with your group. 

Want to rent a yacht, speedboat, or catamaran with us? Get in touch for a quote today!

Attend cultural events and festivals 

when to visit cartagena colombia
Cultural performance during the Hay Festival at the Heredia Theater in Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena hosts several significant events during these months. The Cartagena International Music Festival, usually held in January, is a classical music event that attracts musicians and audiences from around the world. Additionally, the Hay Festival in late January features international artists, writers, and thinkers. You can find a wealth of talks and performances. There are many other music events and festivals that take place throughout the year, including the Wild Brunch. This highly-anticipated techno festival takes place a few days before New Year’s Eve and features live DJ and band performances. It’s our favorite way to end the year with a bang.

Visit historical monuments and attractions 

when to visit cartagena colombia
San Felipe Castle in Cartagena, Colombia.

There’s nothing quite like a sunny day to hike up to the top of Castillo San Felipe, Cartagena’s historical fortress built hundreds of years ago to protect the city from invading pirates. Learn about the city’s fascinating history, from indigenous settlements to African slaves to European colonizers. You can also enjoy stunning views of the city from the vantage point at the top of the fortress. There are also some day trips from Cartagena which are best enjoyed in the drier weather. For example, visiting the Botanical Gardens in Turbaco, the pink sea at Galerazamba, or the famous mud volcano, are all activities best enjoyed in the tropical sunshine. 

Want to learn more about day trips you can take from Cartagena? Get in touch with our concierge team today! 

Visit Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena shines brightest during its dry season, from December to April. The idyllic blend of sunny weather, cultural festivities, and outdoor activities makes it an unmissable travel destination in Colombia. But if you want to know when to visit Cartagena, rest assured that any time of the year will bring joy, adventure, and magical realism. Whether you’re a party seeker, a beach lover, or a foodie, Cartagena always has something special to offer. So pack your bags, bring your spirit of adventure, and prepare for an unforgettable journey to the jewel of the Caribbean coast.

We are always in Cartagena, rain or shine, and it’s our passion to help you plan your trip in the best way possible. Get in touch to start building your journey!

Unveiling the Truth: Debunking Myths and Embracing Safety in Medellin

medellin colombia safety

When someone mentions Medellin to you, surely one of the first things you think is: is Medellin, Colombia safe? Medellin has long been a city associated with a negative reputation, largely because of its tumultuous history of drug cartels, high crime rates, and civil conflicts. However, this Colombian city has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, shedding its past image to emerge as a welcoming and vibrant destination full of nightlife, culture, great food, nature, and modernity for travelers and tourists.

Despite these positive transformations, myths about security and safety in Medellin still exist. In this article, we will debunk common Colombia Medellin safety myths and offer practical tips for an enjoyable and safe visit to this city.

Ready to turn your Medellin dream vacation into reality? Contact us and we will design a tailored plan for your dream.

Is Medellin, Colombia safe? 8 common myths debunked

medellin colombia safe
El Poblado neighborhood is one of the coolest and safest places in Medellin.

Let’s be clear: when you think about going to Medellin you start looking for information about the city, the people, the culture, if there are good places to party… and about safety. Well, with so much information on the internet, you may still have doubts about whether it is advisable or not to go to Medellin and you are wondering: is Medellin, Colombia safe? Is it really worth going?

In this next section, we have debunked 8 common myths about the safety of Medellin so you can learn more about this destination that was named by Time Out as the coolest place to visit in the world.

Also, Time magazine named Medellin as one of the best places in the world to travel last year, so we are facing one of the most desired destinations in the world today.

However, we recommend that you travel to Medellin with the guidance of local experts and with an itinerary that fits your needs, preferences, and budget so that you can enjoy a total experience.

Myth 1: Medellin is still unsafe for tourists and travelers

One of the most persistent myths about Medellin is that it remains unsafe for tourists. While it’s true that the city struggled with high crime rates and security issues in the past, Medellin has made significant strides in improving its security situation. For instance, Medellin, through the Colombian government, demobilized significant guerrilla groups and implemented security reforms. As a result, Medellin is recognized as one of the most progressive and safer cities in Latin America, with a thriving tourism industry.

Like any major city, visitors need to take appropriate precautions and follow basic safety guidelines, such as:

  • Not displaying expensive belongings in public
  • Avoiding dangerous neighborhoods
  • Being aware of your surroundings

However, overall, Medellin is now considered safe and welcoming for tourists and those traveling to Medellin Colombia, with increased police presence in tourist areas and low crime rates.

Myth 2: Drug cartels still rule Medellin

While the specter of powerful cartels like Pablo Escobar loomed large over Medellin in the 1980s and 1990s, their influence has significantly diminished in recent years. Medellin, through the Colombian government, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, has successfully dismantled many of these criminal organizations. This has led to a notable decrease in violence and instability.

Today, Medellin is a city on the rise, with a burgeoning economy and a vibrant cultural scene that attracts visitors from around the world.

If you want to learn about the history of Medellín and take tours that explain the transformation of the city you can talk to one of our experts who will help you build an itinerary to help you experience Medellín the best way!

Myth 3: Kidnappings are common in Medellin

Medellin was once notorious for kidnapping during the height of the drug war, but the situation has become increasingly rare in recent years. Medellin, through the Colombian government, has implemented robust security measures to combat this threat, and the incidents of kidnapping have significantly declined. This decline in kidnappings can be attributed to the heightened presence of security forces in the city center and along key transportation routes.

Overall, in recent years, tourists and travelers in Medellin are unlikely to encounter this type of danger. Nonetheless, it is essential to stay informed about the security situation in the region you plan to visit or stay.

Myth 4: Medellin is a haven for pickpockets and petty crime

Like any major city worldwide, pickpockets and petty crimes can occur in Medellin, especially in crowded public transportation hubs and markets. However, many areas in Medellin popular with tourists have increased security measures to ensure the safety of visitors.

By taking simple precautions such as not flashing expensive items, using a money belt,  keeping an eye on your belongings, and being aware of your surroundings, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to pickpocketing or petty theft.

Our team of local experts will be at your side at all times and will assist you with anything you may need. From reservations at the best restaurants and nightclubs to buying groceries for your private villa, which you can rent with us.

Medellin was once synonymous with drug cartels and associated violence. However, the situation has drastically reduced in recent years due to the government’s efforts to combat drug trafficking, dismantle major drug cartels, and increase security measures to deal with drug-related violence.

While isolated incidents may still occur, they are not representative of the overall security situation in the city. Besides, visitors and tourists are not typically caught up in drug-related conflicts unless they are directly involved in illegal activities.

However, you should stay informed about current events and practice caution in areas known for drug-related activities.

Myth 6: Taxi drivers RIP tourists off

While it’s true that some taxi drivers in Medellin may try to overcharge or con tourists, this is not representative of the entire industry in this city.

Most taxi drivers in Medellin are honest and reputable professionals who provide reliable service to their customers.

To avoid being taken advantage of, you should use reputable taxi companies or ride-sharing apps, agree on a fare before starting the journey, and ensure that the taxi has a functioning meter. You should also order taxi drivers through your accommodation rather than hail them, for safer, more reliable outcomes.

We also recommend our Concierge service which will take care of you and your group throughout your trip, including transportation to any location. At all times our expert local Concierge team will take care of everything you need.

Myth 7: Men take advantage of women

While all travelers need to be cautious and aware of their surroundings, there is no evidence to suggest that men specifically target women for exploitation in Medellin. There is a widespread fascination for foreign women so you may be looked at, out of interest. Yet attention is not intimidating or overwhelming.

Like in any other country, women should take standard precautions to ensure their safety, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being cautious when socializing with strangers.

Overall, Medellin is a welcoming and inclusive destination for travelers of all genders.

Myth 8: All roads are bad and unsafe

While Medellin’s mountainous terrain can make road travel unsafe and challenging in some areas, the city has invested heavily in infrastructure improvements in recent years.

Most major highways and roads are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the city’s stunning landscapes. However, travelers should exercise caution when driving in rural or remote areas, where road conditions may be less predictable.

Eager to explore the safe streets of Medellin? Contact us today and begin the unforgettable adventure with our expert assistance!

So… is Medellin, Colombia safe? Of course it is!

medellin colombia safe
Typical street in Medellín.

In conclusion, Medellin has a history marked with safety challenges. However, this Colombian city has come a long way in recent years. The myths of a crime-ridden and unsafe (dangerous) Medellin are outdated and no longer reflect the current safety reality.

Today, Medellin is a welcoming and safe destination for visitors and tourists, offering cultural richness, natural beauty, and a thriving economy. However, like any other destination city, it is essential to take safety precaution measures and stay informed about the local conditions. This will ensure you have a vibrant and remarkable experience when you visit Medellin.

With our team of experts behind you, your dream Medellin vacation is safe and secure. Contact us now and let us plan your whole experience!

The Ultimate Mexico City Airport Survival Guide for International Visitors

Mexico City Airport
Mexico City International Airport

Mexico City, the vibrant capital of Mexico, welcomes millions of international visitors every year through its two main airports: Benito Juarez International Airport and Felipe Ángeles (Santa Lucía) International Airport. Navigating through these bustling hubs can be overwhelming, especially for first-time travelers to Mexico City.

To ensure a smooth and stress-free experience, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of these airports and know what to expect upon arrival. Whether you are landing at Benito Juarez or Felipe Ángeles, this airport survival guide will equip you with everything you need to know to make the most of your arrival in Mexico City.

Planning your Mexico City escape? We have got the details covered! Contact us for assistance with transport (flight), tours, accommodations, and experiences.

Understanding the Mexico City International Airports

Mexico City international airport
Mexico City International Airport

Benito Juarez International Airport

As the primary gateway to Mexico City, Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) is located in the eastern part of the city. It serves as the main hub for both domestic and international flights and connects with more than 30 destinations internationally with direct flights.

With its modern facilities and extensive network of airlines, MEX offers a wide range of amenities to cater to travelers’ needs. From duty-free shopping and diverse dining options to currency exchange services and comfortable lounges, Benito Juarez International Airport strives to provide a seamless travel experience for passengers.

Felipe Ángeles (Santa Lucía) International Airport

Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), also known as Santa Lucía Airport, is the newest addition to Mexico City’s airport infrastructure.

Located approximately 35 kilometers north of the city center, AIFA serves as a secondary airport and complements the operations of Benito Juarez International Airport.

While AIFA primarily handles domestic flights, it also operates a limited number of international routes, primarily to destinations in the United States.

Planning your trip to Mexico City but don’t know where to start? We can do it all for you, contact us to build the perfect itinerary.

Arrival Procedures at Mexico City Airport

Mexico City Airport
Passengers at one of the Mexico City Airport’s Terminal.

Immigration and customs

Upon arrival at either Benito Juarez or Felipe Ángeles International Airport, international travelers will be required to go through immigration and customs procedures. You will need to have all the necessary documents, including a valid passport, visa (if required), and any completed customs declaration forms.

You will also be required to undergo security screenings and have your luggage inspected by customs officials.

Transportation options

After clearing immigration and customs, there are several transportation options to reach their final destination in Mexico City.

Fortunately, both Mexico City airports offer taxi services, shuttle buses, and rideshare options for convenient and hassle-free transfers. Additionally, you can opt for public transportation, such as the Metro or bus system, to navigate the city independently.

The best transportation option so you don’t have to stress and worry is the one we can arrange for you. Our Concierge service in Mexico City will take care of you at all times and can arrange your transportation from the airport to your place of accommodation, so you can take one less worry off your mind. Just imagine the comfort of an air-conditioned van, coolers with drinks, and music to your liking taking you to your place of stay after a long flight.

Embark on Your Mexico City Journey of Discovery! Contact us and we’ll tailor your perfect Mexico City escape.

Mexico City Airport Facilities and Services

Mexico City International Airport
Benito Juarez Mexico City International Airport.

Dining and shopping

Whether you are craving authentic Mexican cuisine or international fare, both Benito Juarez and Felipe Ángeles International Airports boast a wide variety of dining options to satisfy every palate. From grab-and-go snacks to sit-down restaurants, you can indulge in a variety of culinary delights while waiting for your flights.

These airports also have duty-free shops and retail outlets that offer a range of souvenirs, gifts, and luxury goods for those looking to indulge in some pre-flight shopping.

Lounges and relaxation areas

For those seeking a moment of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the airport, both Benito Juarez and Felipe Ángeles International Airports feature comfortable lounges and relaxation areas where you can unwind and recharge before your journey.

Whether you need a quiet space to work, catch up on emails, or simply relax with a refreshing beverage, airport lounges offer a serene oasis away from the crowds.

Currency exchange and banking services

International travelers arriving in Mexico City can conveniently exchange currency and access banking services at both airports.

Currency exchange kiosks and ATMs are readily available throughout the terminals. This will allow you to obtain Mexican pesos or withdraw cash as needed. Additionally, banks and financial institutions at these airports offer a range of services, such as currency conversion, money transfers, and assistance with banking inquiries.

We can also give you recommendations on which are the best exchange houses so that you can get a better deal during your whole trip. Our Concierge team will be available to you at all times for any questions or doubts you may have, in addition to taking you to exchange money or helping you in the process as many times as you require.

Mexico City is one of the most exciting cities to visit, but without recommendations and expert guidance, it can be tricky. Let us organize your entire trip so you can just enjoy the experience!

Tips for a Smooth Mexico City Airport Experience

Mexico City Airport
Terminal 1 at the Mexico City International Airport

You should plan ahead of your trip

To ensure a stress-free arrival experience, you should plan ahead of your trip and familiarize yourself with the layout of the airport. You also need to understand any entry requirements and travel restrictions.

Be sure to check your flight status and terminal information before departing for the airport. Besides, allow ample time to navigate through immigration, customs, and security checkpoints.

You should stay connected

You should stay connected throughout your journey by taking advantage of the airport’s WiFi network and mobile charging stations. This will enable you to access important travel information, stay in touch with loved ones, and make any last-minute arrangements as needed.

You should be mindful of security checks

As with any international airport, security remains a top priority at Benito Juarez and Felipe Ángeles International Airport.

You should be prepared to undergo security screenings and follow all instructions provided by airport personnel. You will be required to remove any liquids, gels, or electronics from your carry-on luggage before passing through security checkpoints, and comply with any additional screening procedures as required.

You should stay hydrated and rested

Traveling can be exhausting, so we recommend staying hydrated and well-rested throughout your journey. You should ensure you drink plenty of water, especially during long flights, and take breaks to stretch and move around to prevent stiffness and fatigue.

If you have a long layover or delayed flight, we recommend finding a comfortable spot to rest and recharge before continuing your journey.

Now that you are familiar with tips for a smooth Mexico City experience, let’s design a personalized itinerary for your exploration.

FAQs about Mexico City Airport

Mexico City Airport
Passengers at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City.

Do I need a visa to go from Miami to Mexico City?

US citizens do not typically need a visa for short visits (less than 180 days) from Miami to Mexico for tourism or business purposes. However, we recommend checking the latest visa requirements and entry regulations before your trip, as they may vary based on your nationality and the purpose of your visit.

Which airlines fly LAX to Mexico City?

You have lots of options when jetting from LAX to Mexico City and vice versa. Some of the reputable airlines include Aeromexico, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Volaris.

How long does it take to fly from JFK to Mexico City?

On average, a direct flight from JFK to Mexico City airport typically takes around 5-6 hours. However, this duration can vary depending on several factors, such as the airline, routing, and layovers.

Mexico City Airport Final Advice

Navigating Mexico City international airports can be an overwhelming experience for international visitors. However, with the right insight and preparation, it can also be a smooth and enjoyable one.

Whether you are arriving at Benito Juarez International Airport or Felipe Ángeles International Airport, following our tips and guidelines, as discussed in this article, will help ensure a stress-free arrival experience.

Finally, our Concierge team can help you before and during your entire trip. Before your trip, they can help you plan the whole experience day by day and put together an itinerary with you and your preferences so that your experience is the best according to your needs. And during the trip our Concierge team in Mexico City will be with you at all times, taking care of all the requirements that may arise and giving you the best recommendations.

If you need help to plan your flight to Mexico City, get in touch. We’ll help you plan your Mexico vacation – organizing transport and tours, and getting you that sought-after reservation.

Cartagena or Medellin: Which Colombian City is Better?

Cartagena or Medellin

Let’s be honest here, any trip through Colombia will be an exciting one, especially when heading to the bustling city of Medellin in the mountainous region of Antioquia or to Cartagena in the beautiful Caribbean coast.

So, the question is not about which city is better, rather, it is about which city better suits your taste for adventure. Therefore, if you find yourself undecided about which Colombian gen you should choose for your next trip, fear not.

In this article, we will dive into the unique offerings of both Medellin and Cartagena to help you find your perfect Colombian destination.

Planning your Cartagena to Medellin trip? Let’s help you! From transport to accommodation, we will make sure your visit is seamless. Contact us today for tailored assistance!

Cartagena overview

cartagena or medellin
Colonial street in Cartagena’s Old City.

Nestled on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a city steeped in history, with its cobblestone streets, colorful colonial architecture, and impressive fortifications. Its enchanting walled Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exudes charm at every corner, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in Cartagena’s rich cultural tapestry.

Cartagena captivates travelers with its captivating blend of history, culture, natural beauty, vibrant street life, lively plazas, and pristine beaches. Cartagena is also known for its incredible bars and restaurants. In fact, the #1 bar in South America is in Cartagena.

The vibe of Cartagena is a typical beach vacation.

Medellin overview

visit medellin colombia
Sculptures by Fernando Botero in downtown Medellin.

Medellin, also known as the “City of Eternal Spring” is located in the lush Aburra Valley and is surrounded by picturesque mountains.

It was the center of operation for Pablo Escobar and his drug cartels in the early 1990s. However, since Escobar died in 1993, Medellin has transformed into a dynamic metropolis, renowned for its innovative urban planning, modern infrastructure, and vibrant arts scene. It was even named in 2013 as the most innovative city in the world.

From its bustling markets and verdant parks to its bustling nightlife and thriving culinary scene, Medellin offers visitors a glimpse into Colombia’s contemporary culture and cosmopolitan vibe.

The city has a huge expat scene and is very liveable. There are always people on the streets, and the bars and restaurants are open every night of the week.

Cartagena Vs Medellin: How do they compare?

cartagena or medellin

Now, let us dive into a detailed comparison across various aspects to help you choose between Medellin and Cartagena.

Which city has better nightlife: Cartagena or Medellin?

Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena's best bars.
Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

Cartagena’s nightlife is not as renowned as Medellin’s. However, it has its charm, particularly in the historic center and the trendy Getsemani neighborhood. Visitors can enjoy live music, dance performances, and cocktails in atmospheric settings, with the Caribbean rhythm infusing every corner.

Medellin’s nightlife is legendary, with a vibrant scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. From chic rooftop bars in the upscale El Poblado neighborhood to pulsating salsa clubs in the city center, Medellin offers endless options for entertainment and socializing into the early hours.

Whether you are looking to dance the night away or enjoy a leisurely cocktail with panoramic views, both cities promise unforgettable nocturnal adventures.

How do you navigate around the city: Cartagena or Medellin?

In Cartagena, navigating the city is relatively easy, with options ranging from traditional taxis to colorful Chivas open-air buses popular with tourists. Walking is also a popular choice, especially within the compact confines of the Old City.

Medellin boasts a comprehensive and modern public transport system, which is considered one of the best in Latin America. The metro system and cable car network stand out as an easy, convenient, and efficient mode of transportation, connecting various neighborhoods across the city. Buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services are also widely available.

Which city is safer: Cartagena or Medellin?

In general terms, both cities are very safe and friendly to tourists and foreigners. Although as in any big city, you have to be careful with your belongings in crowded places such as tourist sites or on public transportation.

Cartagena generally enjoys a reputation as a safe tourist destination. However, petty theft and scams can occur, particularly in crowded tourist areas.

Similarly, Medellin has shed its tumultuous past and undergone a remarkable transformation, with crime rates decreasing significantly. However, as with any urban area, exercising caution and being mindful of your surroundings is advisable.

Safety is a paramount consideration for travelers, and both Medellin and Cartagena have made significant strides in improving security in recent years. However, visitors must take sensible precautions.

Which city has better tourist attractions: Cartagena or Medellin?

medellin luxury travel concierge
Piedra de El Peñol in Guatapé, a beautiful reservoir located just two hours away from Medellín.

Cartagena’s allure lies in its wealth of historical landmarks, including the imposing Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, the iconic Clock Tower Gate, and the bustling Plaza de la Trinidad.

Medellin boasts a diverse array of tourist attractions, from the Piedra de El Peñol in Guatapé, two hours from the city, to the fanciful sculptures of Botero Plaza and the scenic cable cars of Metrocable.

Whether you are drawn to Cartagena’s colonial charm or Medellin’s modern marvels, both cities promise an abundance of captivating sights and experiences that showcase Colombia’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Do you want to know the beaches of Cartagena and its history, but also the vibes and culture of Medellin? We have it all, let’s organize an itinerary that fits what you are looking for!

Which city has better food: Cartagena or Medellin?

cartagena or medellin
Celele restaurant in Cartagena and Oci restaurant in Medellin, two of the best restaurants in Colombia.

In Cartagena, seafood reigns supreme, with fresh ceviche, grilled fish, and coconut-infused dishes tantalizing the taste buds. In Cartagena you will find restaurants for all budgets in the Old City. From restaurants that fuse local Colombian food with international touches to specialty restaurants. You may want to discover the best restaurants in Cartagena.

Medellin’s culinary scene showcases a diverse array of local specialties, from hearty bandeja paisa to savory arepas and mouthwatering street food. You can also find a wide variety of international cuisine, from Japanese to European and even Korean food. You can explore the best restaurants in Medellin here.

Whether you are indulging in Cartagena’s coastal delicacies or savoring Medellin’s hearty fare, both cities promise a culinary journey that celebrates Colombia’s rich culinary heritage.

Do you want to know the best of Cartagena and Medellin? We help you with everything you need and build customized itineraries so that your only concern is to get to know this beautiful country.

Which city has more history and culture: Cartagena or Medellin?

Cartagena’s storied past is noticeable as you move through its cobblestone streets, with each colonial building and historic monument bearing witness to centuries of Spanish colonial rule and African influence. From the iconic walls of the old city to the haunting beauty of the Palace of the Inquisition, Cartagena’s cultural heritage is deeply ingrained in its architectural landmarks and cultural traditions.

In contrast, Medellin’s history is marked by rapid industrialization and urban development, with a burgeoning arts scene and innovative urban projects reflecting its vibrant contemporary culture.

Which city has better weather: Cartagena or Medellin?

Cartagena is located at sea level next to the Caribbean Sea. It has a tropical climate, which is characterized by hot and humid weather all year round. The humid season is marked by short, intense rain showers, usually in the afternoon or at night.

Medellin earned its nickname as the “City of Eternal Spring” for a reason. It experiences a temperate climate characterized by mild temperatures all year round. No matter what time of the year you visit Medellin, you will find the weather very pleasant.

While some visitors may prefer the warmth of Cartagena’s coastal climate, others may relish the more moderate temperatures of Medellin.

The best time to visit: Cartagena vs Medellin

The best time to visit Cartagena is during the dry season, from December to March, when rainfall is minimal, and temperatures are comfortable. However, this period coincides with peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and larger crowds.

In contrast, Medellin’s pleasant climate makes it a year-round destination, with temperatures remaining relatively consistent throughout the year. The city’s famed Feria de las Flores in August and the Christmas season are particularly popular times to visit.

Ultimately, the best time to visit either city depends on your preferences regarding weather, crowds, and events.

Things to do: Cartagena vs Medellin

In Cartagena, explore the historic walled city, visit the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, rent a boat to visit the Rosario Islands, and savor fresh seafood at local eateries.

In Medellin, ride the Metrocable for panoramic views, tour the Botanical Garden and Parque Explora, discover local art at the Museum of Antioquia, and experience the vibrant nightlife of El Poblado.

Both cities offer unique cultural experiences, from salsa dancing in Cartagena to exploring Medellin’s street art scene, ensuring there is something for every traveler to enjoy.

Now that you are familiar with things to do during your trip from Medellin to Cartagena, let’s design a tailored itinerary for your exploration.

Where to stay: Cartagena vs Medellin

cartagena or medellin
Colonial Private Villas in Cartagena or Private Houses in Medellin are the best type of accommodations.

In Cartagena it will always be better to stay in the Old City, where all the tourist attractions are located as well as the best restaurants, bars and nightclubs. In this area of the city the best option will always be to rent a Private Luxury Villa, since this type of accommodation has all the comforts of a luxury hotel with the advantage of having a private pool, rooftop, or private security. Besides, it can be customized with any service you wish. You may want to check our article on the best places to stay in Cartagena.

In Medellin, consider staying in the trendy El Poblado neighborhood, known for its vibrant nightlife, upscale dining options, and proximity to major sights.

In Medellin there are several luxury hotels, hostels and apartments or private houses that you can rent for groups of any size and in which you will be more comfortable. There are several areas such as El Poblado, Provenza, Laureles or Envigado, but our recommendation is to stay in the Manila neighborhood, an area where you will find cafes, restaurants, art galleries, boutique stores, as well as being very close to the nightlife area. You can check here some of the best Medellin neighborhoods.

Whether you prefer the historic ambiance of Cartagena or the cosmopolitan vibe of Medellin, both cities offer a range of lodging options to suit every taste and budget.

Need a luxurious and private villa for your Medellin to Cartagena trip? We got you covered! Contact us today!

Which one wins? Cartagena or Medellin

Both Medellin and Cartagena are incredible cities with something unique and interesting to offer.

The main difference is that Cartagena is a party city with the vibe of a Caribbean island. On the other hand, Medellin is more like a modern city with wonderful nightlife and plenty of incredible facilities.

Whichever city you choose to visit, we are sure you will have a good time. In the end, the choice depends on what experiences you seek on your journey and what type of traveler you are.

However, for an ideal experience in Colombia, we recommend you arrive in one of the two cities, stay a few days, and then go to the other city.

Wondering where to start for your trip from Cartagena to Medellin? Message us, and let us start the journey.

Manila Neighborhood: The Best Place to Stay in Medellin, Colombia

medellin colombia
Manila neighborhood in Medellín, Colombia.

Manila – a small yet mighty neighborhood located in el Poblado, Medellín, is quickly gaining recognition as one of the best places to stay in Medellín. Stick with us as we explore this quirky barrio and why it’s one of Medellín’s hottest up-and-coming areas.

Manila is a semi-residential, leafy neighborhood with a fascinating history. At the beginning of the 20th Century, wealthy families who lived in Medellín’s Prado and Centro neighborhoods would get the tram and then a horse and cart over to Manila. Here, they constructed a collection of fincas (rural estates) as their vacation homes. They populated them with animals and fruit trees and made fresh mountain water wells. Now part of the bustling metropolis of el Poblado, Medellín, it’s hard to believe the way this neighborhood started out. This curious mix of past and present adds to the irresistible charm and character of Manila.

Want to set up a trip to Medellín and don’t know where to start? We’ll take care of everything!

Manila: 20th Century Charm meets 21st Century Modernity

Today, Manila is characterized by its modern coffee shops, international restaurants, and quality hotels and hostels. It still retains a hint of its past, with traditional architecture, big houses, and old trees lining its streets. Manila is located right between Avenida El Poblado and Avenida Las Vegas. It is like a small island within El Poblado; a refuge from all the chaos and movement that you will generally encounter around Parque Lleras and Provenza. However, these tourist attractions are just a 10-minute walk away, and the metro station is just a 5-minute walk. Just one of many reasons why Manila is one of the best places to stay in Medellín. 

Where to stay in El Poblado?

where to stay in medellin
Apartment for rent in Manila neighborhood, Medellín, Colombia.

If you’re looking for accommodation options for El Poblado, Manila is without a doubt the best area to stay in Medellín. We recommend this house in Manila, a super stylish 4-bedroom condo with room for up to 10 guests. This new place feels cozy yet still gives the vibe of a 5-star hotel. With warm lighting, high-quality furnishings, and sophisticated, locally sourced decor, you won’t want to leave this home from home. Of course, one of our favorite features is the hot tub, which stands pride of place in the living area. We will run it fresh for you upon arrival. Crack open a bottle of bubbly and live the life you know you deserve!

The apartment doesn’t skimp on luxury amenities. For example, in every bathroom, you will find shampoo and conditioner from a luxury local Colombian brand, plus everything that you need to feel right at home. There is a free washer/dryer in case you are staying for a longer period of time, and every room is equipped with A/C and fans to keep cool. There are also cooking basics in the kitchen. However, one of the biggest benefits of this condo is that the price includes a maid service for your cooking and cleaning needs from 8 AM to 4 PM. 

Private accommodations in Manila: A superior stay in Medellin

8 Bedroom House: Walking Distance to Best Places

where to stay in medellin
Apartment for rent in Manila neighborhood, Medellín, Colombia.

Discover this spectacular house located in one of the best places in El Poblado. This brand new house is one of the best places to stay in Medellin, as it has 8 fully equipped rooms with private bathrooms and all the amenities available. It also has a rooftop with a jacuzzi where you can relax and enjoy the view, and a barbecue for you to enjoy a good BBQ day. In addition, its privileged location means that the best restaurants such as Carmen, Oci, or Dos Santos, and the best nightclubs such as Vintrash, Teatro Victoria, or Gusto, are only a walking distance away.

12 Bedroom Luxury Villa in El Poblado: Perfect for Large Groups

where to stay in medellin
12 Bedroom Luxury House in the Heart of El Poblado neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia.

This is definitely the best place to host large groups or entire families in all of Medellín. This 12-room brand new house is a total luxury thanks to all the spaces it has: private bathrooms in each room, three living rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, work area, two hot tubs, a rooftop, and a laundry area. It is also very well located, so you will find the best restaurants, coffee shops, boutique stores, bars, rooftops, and nightclubs just a few steps away.

Where to eat and drink: The best bars and restaurants in Manila Medellin

where to eat in medellin
General Café Bar in Manila neighborhood, Medellín, Colombia.

Best eats in Manila, Poblado

Manila is full to bursting with fantastic places to eat and drink. It was hard to narrow the list down, but below you can find some of our favorites in Manila. Mamasita Medallo is a restaurant that sells typical Colombian food and has a great daily happy hour. If you have a hankering for pizza, head down to El Zorro y la Gitana for incredible artisan pizzas. We have already raved about Alambique in our Medellín Best Restaurants Blog, and it’s definitely worth a visit. If you fancy some Asian food, the best in Manila is Bao Bei; so good, in fact, that they have a waiting list via WhatsApp. El Altar Taquería sells tacos exactly as they should be sold: cheap, messy, and full of flavor. If it’s coffee or brunch you’re looking for, Hija Mía sells a fantastic cup of home-roasted coffee and has a super varied menu.

Nightlife in Manila, Poblado

In Manila, the vibe is very different from the bars you generally find in Parque Lleras or Provenza. Think more underground, more speakeasy-style. We love 7 Pulgadas – they call themselves a “Listening Bar”: it is super small and intimate with low lighting and old records everywhere. You can’t leave Manila without visiting Palma Piton. This architecturally stunning bar has live music, great drinks, and plants everywhere. La Pequeña Gran Libreria (The Little Big Bookstore) is a super unique bar concept where you can play classic board games on little tables outdoors whilst sipping wine. And if you want to party or dance, you can head to the rooftops of local hostels El Viajero and Los Patios. They open their rooftop parties to everyone, and not just hostel guests.

Find out all the things that Medellín has to offer; from tours to real estate

Manila: A Cultural and Gastronomic Hub

Despite its small size, Manila spearheads and participates in many cultural events throughout the year. The community feeling of Manila as a neighborhood manifests itself in many ways. For example, back in 2022, Manila hosted an “Encanto” themed event. The community opened dialogues about mental health, whilst celebrating the famous “Feria de las Flores” (Medellín Flower Festival). Every year on December 7th, Manila also celebrates “Día de las Velitas” (little candle day). This is a Colombian Christmas tradition where people light candles in the street, representing hope and faith. Festival Manila a la Calle also saw varied gastronomic offerings, dancing, and the celebration of Colombian culture. Manila also got the original nickname of “Calle de la Buena Mesa”, a gastronomic celebration of the varied international offerings that can be found in one street.

Safety and Accessibility in Manila Medellin

It is well-known that el Poblado is one of the safest areas for travelers and tourists in Medellín. Within el Poblado, Manila is specifically praised for its safety, tranquillity, and green landscapes. Provenza can be loud and filled with people partying at all hours of the day and night. Manila is quieter and has a more chill atmosphere. However, it is still plenty close to the action, and Ubers are cheap and plentiful in the area. In terms of safety, it goes without saying that you will be fine in Colombia if you make smart decisions. Keep your wits about you at all times, and “don’t give papaya” as they say in Colombia. This basically means don’t flash what you’re not prepared to lose.

We are passionate about helping you plan your trip and giving you the best tips and tools to enjoy your stay in Colombia. Contact us for recommendations, accommodations, and more!

10 Reasons Why Cartagena, Colombia is The Perfect Wedding Destination Location

cartagena destination wedding

What comes to your mind when you think of a Cartagena wedding destination? Probably something extremely unique and extraordinary? Well, you are right! And Cartagena is a great place to celebrate your big day.

This beautiful destination has a lot to offer when it comes to wedding celebrations. Here are our 10 reasons why Cartagena is the perfect wedding destination spot.

If you are considering Cartagena as your destination wedding, start your wedding journey with us!

1. Getting to Destination Wedding Locations in Cartagena is a Breeze

cartagena colombia

Cartagena’s accessibility is the first enchanting chapter in the tale of its wedding allure. Situated strategically on Colombia’s northern coast, Cartagena boasts an international airport with direct flights from major cities worldwide.

Only a 2.5-hour flight from Miami and a 5-hour flight from NYC, you are there. When you reach there, it is only a 10-minute drive from the airport to the center of the city for about $5, using Uber or easy Taxi apps. Once you are in the city, you can rent a boat to one of the surrounding islands, rent bikes, catch a cab, or pretty much walk to any destination.

This ease of access eliminates the hassle of multiple layovers, ensuring a smooth journey for couples and their guests.

2. Availability of all Types of Accommodations

Luxury Private Villa in Cartagena Colombia
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena offers a variety of accommodations to suit every taste and budget. Whether you are looking for a romantic beachfront villa, a historic colonial mansion, or a modern boutique hotel, Cartagena has it all. You can also choose private villas in the walled city for you and your guests, being the best accommodation option as these villas come with a private pool, terrace, and rooftop and have all the amenities available such as private security, laundry, or private cook. In addition, there are villas available for all group sizes.

You can choose to stay in the heart of the Old City, where you will be surrounded by architectural beauty and historic charm. Alternatively, you can opt for a more secluded retreat in one of the city’s exclusive beachfront neighborhoods. This ensures that your wedding accommodations in Cartagena are as memorable and unique as the celebration itself.

Two Travel has access to a vast range of resorts, villas, and mansions in Cartagena, so contact us today and we can discuss your needs in more detail.

3. Cartagena Has Perfect Weather For a Destination Wedding

Best Rooftop in Cartagena Colombia for bachelor party

The weather in Cartagena is perfect for a destination wedding. In most parts of the city, it is sunny and warm, with clear blue skies year-round, with only a few rainy days per month. This means that you and your guests enjoy beautiful weather on your wedding day.

The sun-kissed looks are also popular in Cartagena. So, having a destination wedding in Cartagena will ensure that you and your guests will look fabulous in all your wedding photos.

Moreover, it is always beach season in Cartagena. So, whether you are saying “I do” with your toes in the sand or dancing the night away under the stars by the ocean, Cartagena’s beach weddings provide a magical setting for a wedding that is romantic and unforgettable.

4. Unlimited Pre and Post-Wedding Event Options

Aisle for wedding on the beach

Whether you dream of an intimate elopement or a lavish celebration with hundreds of guests, our wedding planner service in Cartagena is dedicated to bringing your vision to life and creating a day that exceeds your wildest dreams. First and foremost, our roots are here in the vibrant heart of Cartagena’s Old City, exactly where your dream wedding will unfold. This guarantees that every decision you make is backed by our on-the-ground support.

  • Beach Clubs
  • Boat Day
  • Villa Brunch
  • Rehearsal Dinners in a Private Restaurant or Villa
  • Tours & Experiences

In Two Lovers by Two Travel we handle everything from A to Z. We’ve successfully brought over 100 weddings to life in breathtaking locations, including exclusive villas, historic churches, and elegant venue halls. No matter the size of your celebration, from 50 to 250 guests, our dedicated team and trusted partners are committed to crafting the wedding day you’ve always envisioned.

Save yourselves from days of grueling planning and stress. Plan your wedding with us!

5. So Many Magical Wedding Destination Venues

Wedding venue in Cartagena

One of the most captivating aspects of Cartagena as a wedding destination is the plethora of enchanting venues it offers. From historic churches steeped in centuries-old charm to opulent colonial-era mansions adorned with lush gardens and ornate courtyards, the city presents a kaleidoscope of options to suit every couple’s vision and preferences.

Imagine exchanging vows amidst the timeless beauty of the San Pedro Claver Church, or celebrating your union in the grandeur of a restored colonial mansion-turned-hotel. With such an array of magical venues at your disposal, Cartagena ensures that your wedding day unfolds like a fairytale come to life.

Contact us today for your magical and best destination wedding venue!

6. Experiences For Your Guests

private boat rental cartagena colombia
Rent a Luxury Private Boat

Saying “I do” in a typical destination wedding can be boring for guests who are passionate about the ceremony. However, if you have your destination wedding in Cartagena, you and your guests will be able to enjoy different kinds of activities and experiences.

From snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of the Rosario Islands and dancing the night away at one of the city’s lively salsa clubs to exploring the colorful streets of Getsemaní and sampling local cuisine at the bustling Mercado de Bazurto, there are plenty of things to do in Cartagena. This means that your guests will be able to enjoy themselves even if they’re not particularly interested in the wedding itself.

Couples can also embark on romantic sunset cruises, take cooking classes together, or simply relax and unwind on the city’s beautiful beaches.

Our Concierge service can take care of everything for you, your partner, and all your guests. For your guests, we offer complimentary concierge services, so your family and friends don’t have to worry about finding where to stay, or what to do in the city. We are the only wedding planners to offer such a service and it’s one of the things that separates us from all other destination wedding coordinators. Our goal is simple: make the process as streamlined as possible without sacrificing any quality.

7. Warm Hospitality

Palenque Woman Smiling in Cartagena

Planning a wedding away from home can seem daunting. However, everything becomes more manageable when involving Cartagena and its people. Cartagena’s warm hospitality is the heart and soul of its allure as a wedding destination.

From the moment couples and their guests set foot in the city, they are greeted with genuine warmth, kindness, smiles, and friendliness that is characteristic of Colombian culture. 

Whether you are checking into your luxury private villa, dining at a local restaurant, or exploring the city’s historic streets, you can expect to be treated like family by the locals. This warm welcome sets the tone for a wedding experience that is not only unforgettable but also deeply enriching.

8. Irresistible Food and Local Flavor

best restaurants cartagena

No wedding in Cartagena would be complete without indulging in the city’s vibrant gastronomic scene and rich culinary heritage. From fine dining at one of the many traditional Colombian cuisine restaurants and enjoying fresh ceviche at La Cevicheria to sipping a Lemonade de Coco at Cafe Del Mar, Cartagena is a city filled with culture that shines through their food.

With its fusion of cultural influences and flavors, Cartagena invites couples and their guests to embark on a culinary journey that reflects the essence of Colombian warmth and hospitality and warmth.

9. Photo-Worthy Backdrops

cartagena wedding destination

For couples seeking breathtaking backdrops to commemorate their special day, Cartagena offers an abundance of picture-perfect settings.

The city’s vibrant streets, which feature bougainvillea-draped balconies and pastel-hued facades, serve as a stunning backdrop for romantic strolls and candid wedding snapshots.

Moreover, the historic walls of the Old City feature never-ending allure and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. This provides an enchanting setting for capturing moments of love and joy for your wedding.

Whether you are posing against the backdrop of the iconic Clock Tower or stealing a kiss amidst the colonial charm of Plaza de San Diego, Cartagena ensures that every frame tells a story of eternal romance.

10. Affordable Cost

cartagena colombia

One of the most appealing aspects of Cartagena as a wedding destination is its affordability. Compared to other popular wedding destinations, such as Europe or other Caribbean destinations, Cartagena offers excellent value for money without compromising on quality or luxury.

From venue rentals and catering to accommodations and transportation, couples will find that they can create their dream wedding in Cartagena at a fraction of the cost of other destinations. This allows them to allocate more of their budget towards creating unforgettable experiences for themselves and their guests.

More Reasons to Pick Cartagena Destination Wedding

We are pretty sure after reading this article, you will begin searching for the best destination weddings in Cartagena. It will not only be a memorable day for you and your partner, your guests will also have the perfect excuse to discover and explore this adorable city.

So, let us know your Cartagena wedding fantasies and we will make your Cartagena wedding dreams come true. We are always glad to help you plan your big day!

How Safe Is Colombia For Traveling? Best Recommendations Guide

Medellín cityscape

Colombia, once plagued by drug cartels and internal conflicts, has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. This South American nation has emerged as a popular tourist destination, boasting breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality.

However, safety concerns still linger in the minds of many potential tourists and foreigners. In this article, we’ll delve into the safety aspects of visiting Colombia, including specific destinations like Cartagena and Medellin.

So how safe is Colombia really? What we can tell in advance is that Colombia is safe to travel and that the biggest risk is that you might want to stay longer in this wonderful country!

Ready to turn your Colombian dream vacation into reality? Contact us and we will start planning your dream trip!

How Safe is Colombia: Colombia’s Safety Transformation

comuna 13 medellin colombia

Colombia has made significant strides in improving its security situation over the past few decades. The government has implemented robust measures to combat crime and insurgency, resulting in a notable decrease in violence and instability. According to statistics, homicide rates in Colombia have dropped significantly in recent years, reaching levels comparable to other countries in the region.

The Colombian government has also prioritized tourism as a key economic driver, investing in infrastructure, promoting sustainable travel, and enhancing security measures in tourist areas. Major cities and popular tourist destinations have seen increased police presence and improved surveillance systems to ensure the safety of visitors.

Embark on Your Colombian Journey of Discovery! Contact us and we’ll tailor your perfect Colombian escape.

Common Misconceptions About Colombia’s Safety

colombia beach in santa marta tayrona

Common misconceptions about safety in Colombia persist despite significant improvements in recent years. Although the news many times may show Colombia as an unsafe or dangerous country for tourists, the reality is completely different. Of course, there are still cases of insecurity in some of the main cities of the country, especially in the largest and most populated ones, but it is the same thing that can happen in big cities around the world like New York, Chicago, Paris or London, where the safety recommendations for tourists are the same.

  1. The drug cartels still run the country

Many people still associate Colombia with Pablo Escobar and the notorious drug cartels. While Colombia has faced challenges with drug-related violence in the past, substantial efforts by the government have significantly weakened the influence of these criminal organizations. Today, Colombia is much more stable and safer for residents and tourists alike. Our humble recommendation: Stop watching so many Netflix series about drug cartels and Pablo Escobar!

  1. It is not safe to travel outside of Colombia’s major cities

The notion that it is unsafe to travel outside of major cities overlooks the progress made in enhancing security throughout the country. While rural areas may have previously faced security issues, many of these regions have seen significant improvements. Tourists now have access to a wealth of destinations beyond urban centers, including Colombia’s breathtaking natural landscapes and culturally rich towns.

  1. All of Colombia is dangerous

The blanket assertion that all of Colombia is dangerous is misleading. While certain areas may still experience security challenges, painting the entire country with this broad stroke overlooks the diverse reality of Colombia. Major cities like Medellín, Cartagena, and Bogotá, are generally safe for visitors who exercise caution and adhere to common-sense safety measures.

Step Into the Magic of Colombia! Reach out today and let’s plan your unforgettable journey to Colombia.

Common Colombia Safety Concerns And Risks

Cartagena Cityscape - historical centre and Bocagrande

Colombia, like any country, has its safety concerns, but with proper precautions, most travelers visit without any incident at all. Here are the common safety concerns and the risk levels in Colombia:

  • Transport and Taxis Risk

While transportation networks are generally reliable, there are risks associated with accidents, particularly in remote areas or poorly maintained vehicles. Additionally, there have been reports of taxi scams, so it’s advisable to use reputable taxi services. Our recommendation is to take transportation apps like Uber or DiDi, which work very well in cities like Cartagena, Medellin, and Bogota. But if you want something more private and comfortable from Two Travel we can organize all your transportation.

  • Pickpockets Risk

In crowded areas such as markets, public transportation, and tourist sites, pickpocketing can occur. Travelers should remain vigilant and keep their belongings secure. Travelers should be aware of their pockets, backpacks, and purses as in any city in the world where most tourist places are usually full of people.

  • Natural Disasters Risk

No country in the world is exempt from natural disasters, so it is always good to follow the recommendations of local guides, experts, and authorities on the subject.

  • Mugging Risk

Street crime, including muggings and robberies, can happen in some of the larger cities, especially at night and in areas that are not very busy or crowded. Travelers should avoid displaying valuables and remain aware of their surroundings, especially at night.

  • Terrorism Risk

While Colombia has a history of political violence and terrorism, particularly in rural areas, the risk to tourists is really low, especially in major cities and tourist areas. So this is actually something you don’t have to worry about, as Colombia is a politically, economically, and socially very stable country.

  • Scams Risk

Tourists may encounter various scams, including fake tour operators, overcharging, and credit card fraud. It’s essential to research and use reputable services, negotiate prices in advance, and be cautious with personal and financial information.

  • Women Travelers Risk

Female travelers should exercise the same precautions as male travelers, such as avoiding walking alone at night and being cautious in unfamiliar areas.

Eager to explore the safe streets of Colombia? Contact us today and kickstart the unforgettable adventure with our expert assistance!

How Safe is Colombia: Cartagena

Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena, with its stunning colonial architecture, vibrant culture, and picturesque beaches, is one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations. While it has its share of petty crime, such as pickpocketing and scams targeting tourists, violent crime rates in Cartagena are relatively low compared to other cities in Colombia.

Travelers can enhance their safety in Cartagena by taking common-sense precautions such as avoiding isolated areas at night, staying alert in crowded places, and securing their belongings. Additionally, sticking to well-lit and populated areas, using reputable transportation services, and being cautious when exploring unfamiliar neighborhoods can contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience in Cartagena.

Contact us today to let your dream Cartagena journey start with our tailored trip planning!

How Safe is Colombia: Medellín

Blog Medellin

Once synonymous with drug violence, Medellin has undergone a remarkable transformation to become one of Colombia’s most dynamic and innovative cities. Today, Medellin is celebrated for its cultural offerings, innovative urban projects, and warm hospitality. Medellin’s transformation is not only evident in its physical landscape but also in its commitment to safety and security.

While Medellin has made significant strides in improving its security situation, certain neighborhoods still experience higher crime rates than others. Travelers are advised to exercise caution when visiting areas known for petty crime and to avoid flashing valuables or venturing into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.

Contact us today to let your dream Medellin vacation start with our custom trip planning!

Colombia Travel Advisory And Safety Tips

best neighborhoods in medellin colombia

Like any travel destination, it is vital to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure your Colombia safety. Here are some Colombia travel advisories and safety tips for visiting Colombia and having a great experience during your whole trip.

  • Don’t flash your belongings while you’re out and about

Avoid attracting unnecessary attention by keeping your valuables, such as cameras, phones, jewelry, or large sums of money, out of sight. If you need to use your phone, do it inside and not out on the street, and be mindful of your surroundings.

  • Don’t travel alone at night

If you do go out at night, especially in less populated or unfamiliar areas, be sure to go with a group of fellow travelers or take a trusted transportation mode such as an Uber. Do not walk alone late at night.

  • Learn some basic Spanish phrases

Knowing basic Spanish can help you communicate with locals and navigate various safety situations more effectively.

  • Download and use an offline map of the city

Having an offline map on your smartphone can be invaluable in case you get lost or need directions, especially if you find yourself in areas with limited internet connectivity

  • Stay somewhere with 24-hour security

Choose accommodations and neighborhoods that prioritize safety, such as our private villas in which we can provide security 24 hours a day.

  • Don’t do drugs

Engaging in drug-related activities is illegal and can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment or fines. Avoid any involvement with drugs to stay out of trouble and avoid any drug-related comment as colombians don’t like it.

  • Keep Your Valuables Separate

Distribute your money, credit cards, and important documents across different pockets, bags, or hidden compartments. This way, if one is lost or stolen, you won’t lose everything.

  • Take reliable transportation

Opt for reputable and licensed transportation services or rideshare apps rather than accepting rides from strangers. Our concierge team and logistics can arrange transportation for you and your group during your whole stay.

  • Stay updated on current events

Keep informed about the latest news and developments in the areas you plan to visit. This includes monitoring local news, weather forecasts, and any travel advisories issued by your government.

  • Trust Your Instincts

If a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your intuition and remove yourself from it. Avoid confrontations and seek help from authorities or trustworthy locals if needed.

  • Download tracking apps to your phone and laptop

Installing tracking apps like Prey to locate your stolen devices and remotely wipe sensitive data if necessary. Make sure to set them up before your trip and familiarize yourself with their functionalities

  • If the worst happens, cooperate and just give the attacker your stuff

In the unfortunate event of a robbery or mugging, prioritize your safety above all else. Remain calm, cooperate with the assailant’s demands, and avoid escalating the situation. Remember that you can replace your material possessions, but your well-being cannot.

  • Buy travel insurance

Invest in comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and theft. This provides financial protection and peace of mind throughout your journey.

With our Concierge and Logistics teams behind you, your dream Colombia adventure is safe and secure. Contact us now and let us plan your whole experience!

Final Thoughts About Colombia’s Safety

In conclusion, Colombia has emerged as a shining example of safety and adventure in South America, with cities like Cartagena and Medellin leading the charge. As travelers increasingly seek authentic experiences in diverse landscapes, Colombia stands ready to welcome them with open arms. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure of a lifetime, and discover the beauty and safety of Colombia for yourself.

And remember that with our Concierge services you will have a team of people totally at your disposal to make your experience as safe as possible and you will not have any kind of inconvenience during your stay. From putting together your itinerary, organizing your daily transportation or recommending the best restaurants, to helping you with any special requirements such as using private security for you and your group. Whatever you need we have it all and can improve your experience in Colombia!

The Ultimate Guide to Cartagena’s Colonial District: The Walled City vs. Getsemaní

Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia
Beautiful sunset over Cartagena, Colombia. Photo by: Starcevic.

Not sure where to stay in Cartagena? If you’re looking to immerse yourself in culture, a stay in Cartagena’s colonial Centro area is in order. But which is better, the Walled City or Getsemaní? Stick with us as we take a deep dive into Cartagena’s most historic neighborhoods, from accommodation to nightlife, and safety.

Cartagena is undeniably the jewel of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Positioned on the Caribbean Sea, this historic port town attracts thousands of visitors every year due to its unique architecture and charm. In Cartagena, you can see the stunning juxtaposition of new and old. It is a beautiful sight to see the Miami-like skyline of Bocagrande whilst standing on the centuries-old city wall. But the true appeal to most visitors is the timeless beauty of the colonial neighborhoods of Centro and San Diego within the Walled City, and Getsemaní, just outside of it. These neighborhoods are iconic and, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, remain as a window to a past that has long gone by. 

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Cartagena’s Walled City: A Charming and Romantic Escape

Cartagena Colombia
Photo: Shutterstock

The historic center of Cartagena is surrounded by 11 kilometers of defensive walls. Built in 1586 to protect Cartagena from invading pirates, they now form a central part of the identity of the city. Nowadays, with no threat from conquistadors, pirates, or invasions, Cartagena welcomes thousands of visitors each year to stroll its picturesque streets. You are sure to be charmed by its cobbled streets and quaint, colorful buildings with flowering bougainvillea all year round. Cartagena has been named one of the most romantic cities in the world. Despite its historic facade, Cartagena is full of modern restaurants, trendy bars, and boutique designer shops. This makes it the perfect place to wander around for the afternoon, and well into the evening.

What is the Nightlife like in the Walled City?

Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena's best bars.
Nightlife in Alquimico, one of Cartagena’s best bars.

The nightlife in Cartagena’s walled city is unparalleled. As the sleepy heat of the day wears off, the city comes alive at night. Stroll through quaint plazas where artisans sell their wares, such as San Diego Square, or grab an arepa de huevo (Cartagena’s signature fried treat – the egg arepa) in Fernandez de Madrid Square.

The walled city is always buzzing with people until the small hours of the morning. You can find some of the best and most stylish bars and clubs in Cartagena inside the old town. Check out our guide to the best bars and clubs in Cartagena – all of which are located within the walled city. Some of our favorites include Alquimico for the best craft cocktails in town, and La Movida for a stylish nightclub with excellent music. The old town of Cartagena is super walkable and bar hopping is not only easy but recommended.

Where can I stay in the Walled City?

Luxury Villa in Cartagena Colombia
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia.

The old town of Cartagena probably has one of the highest ratios of hotels and Airbnbs per square meter than anywhere else. It is positively bursting with incredible locations to stay. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of hotels and hostels inside the walled city of Cartagena, we will always prefer to choose a villa over a hotel.

A villa rental is superior because you and your group will have the whole vacation rental to yourselves. The appeal of privacy, plus your own private garden, balcony, and swimming pool is just too much to pass on. Plus, the colonial architecture of the private villas in the walled city is second to none. You can even hire a private chef to cook up a storm for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, while you kick back on your private rooftop terrace. Sounds too good to be true? Check out our villas and see for yourself.

If you do fancy a hotel stay, there are some world-renowned options within the old city, such as the Charleston Santa Teresa or the Sofitel Santa Clara. The Santa Clara is a converted convent that looks onto the ocean and is steeped in history. It is even said to be the inspiration for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book “Of Love and Other Demons”.

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How safe is the Walled City of Cartagena?

If you’re within the walled city, you’re in one of the safest areas of Cartagena. The main streets are busy at all hours and are well-lit. As with any major city, it’s always good to have your wits about you. Pick-pocketing can easily happen, especially in large crowds. Don’t carry large amounts of cash on you, and make sure you take out some Colombian pesos rather than dollars if you want to buy any souvenirs in the street.

Speaking of money, make sure you always negotiate a price before purchasing a service. For example, getting in a yellow cab, getting a massage on the beach, or renting the horse and carts you will see around town. It’s always better to agree on the price beforehand to avoid getting scammed. And that photo with the beautiful Palenquera lady with the fruit basket on her head? It’s not for free. And finally, be careful when using dating apps. Make sure to always meet in a public place and keep your friends informed of your whereabouts.

Getsemaní: The Walled City’s Bohemian younger sister

Cartagena colombia Gesemani neighborhood
Beautiful street in Getsemaní neighborhood. Photo by: Priscilla Burcher

Getsemaní (pronounced het-sem-a-KNEE) was, historically, a slum where the slaves would live during colonial times. Until around 10 years ago, it was preceded by its reputation for being seedy and dangerous. Today, however, it is a totally different neighborhood. Getsemaní is a diamond in the rough; it is charming, without being perfectly polished like many parts of Centro. Enjoy its vibrant street art, much of which celebrates the essence of what it is to be proudly Afro-Colombian. The locals of Getsemaní have banded together to make the most of living right in the heart of one of Cartagena’s most touristic districts. Every family home has become a business; whether they are selling beers through their window, colorful canvases with local art, or cheap cocktails. Getsemaní was even named by Forbes magazine back in 2018 as one of the “coolest neighborhoods in the world”.

What is the Nightlife like in Getsemaní?

Getsemani Cartagena Colombia
Café Havana in Getsemaní, Cartagena, Colombia.

The nightlife experience in Getsemaní is very different from the experience in the walled city. It is a lot more chaotic and busy as there is a high volume of people in a smaller space. It is also a lot more relaxed in terms of the general atmosphere. The beating heart of Getsemani is Plaza de la Trinidad, where you will find many locals and tourists alike. Many people gather in this square during the evenings to chat, drink, and watch the street performers. Keep an eye out, and you might see Michael Jackson, or even Shakiro (Cartagena’s answer to Shakira which needs to be seen to be believed). Or if you fancy a $2 cocktail, head down to Callejon Ancho, where you will find a bunch of makeshift bars, blaring music, and the best vibes to get your weekend started.

There are also some great bars, restaurants, and clubs in Getsemaní. We like Seven Times, a cabaret-style club with different ambiances. Head to the famous Cafe Havana to dance salsa into the small hours of the night, or to Calle Dragones for some creative cocktails. We also can’t forget about dinner at Celele, a contender in the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants (2022).

Our guide dissects The Walled City vs. Getsemaní. Intrigued? Click now to connect with us and start the journey toward a personalized Colombian experience like no other!

Where can I stay in Getsemaní?

Casa Santa Ana Cartagena
Luxury Villa in Cartagena, Colombia

Much like the walled city, Getsemaní also has its fair share of Colonial villas. Much like the villas in the old city, these stunning, centuries-old houses have private pools, terraces, and all the modern amenities. After the hustle and bustle of the busy streets of Getsemaní, entering your private villa feels like the perfect escape. Relax, party, or host in total privacy. Getsemaní has a much higher proportion of backpacker hostels compared to the Old City. Many of these are located on its main street, Calle Media Luna. There are also some more upper-scale hotels, such as Casa Lola, which stays true to the rugged yet charming vibe of Getsemaní.

How safe is Getsemaní?

Despite being a little rougher around the edges compared to the walled city, Getsemaní is also pretty safe. In recent years, safety has improved a lot in this area, as it has gotten more gentrified and popular. Still, it’s important to stick to well-populated areas such as the main square and the streets where the main bars and restaurants are. Don’t engage in conversation with homeless people or people selling things. All our previous recommendations for the walled city of Cartagena also apply here; no des papaya (don’t give papaya) as they say in Cartagena, and you’ll be fine! This local saying basically translates to don’t flash what you’re not willing to lose. If you stick with your group and go to reputable places, you have nothing to worry about. You’re sure to have the best time on your trip to Cartagena!

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Unmissable Sites Near Mexico City: Must-Visit Guide

Oaxaca. Mexico.

If history and archaeology are your passions, and learning about cultures different from your own is what gets you out of bed in the morning, Mexico City has a great deal to offer regarding that. You’ll find many fascinating options in downtown Mexico City alone. However, if your passion also includes the heart of an explorer, you’ll be thrilled to discover that more sites near Mexico City are worth seeing. Sites near Mexico City include the Teotihuacán Pyramids, San Miguel de Allende, and Oaxaca. Every site near Mexico City has something to offer. From ancient ruins in Teotihuacán Pyramids to culinary wonders in Oaxaca, you’ll find these and more near Mexico City.

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Ruins Near Mexico City: Teotihuacán Pyramids

Teotihuacán Pyramids.
Avenue of Dead and Sun Pyramid in Teotihuacán.

Discover the ancient wonders just a stone’s throw away from the bustling metropolis of Mexico City at the iconic Teotihuacán Pyramids. As a testament to the rich history of Mesoamerican civilizations, these ruins offer a captivating journey into the past. Teotihuacán, meaning “the place where the gods were created,” stands as one of the most significant archaeological sites in the region. This easily accessible site near Mexico City, and UNESCO World Heritage place allows visitors to step back in time and explore the remnants of a once-thriving pre-Columbian city.

Nestled within the Valley of Mexico, Teotihuacán’s grandeur is exemplified by the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, both towering structures that beckon travelers seeking a cultural and historical escape. The site provides a unique opportunity to marvel at the advanced urban planning and architectural prowess of the ancient Teotihuacanos. Exploring these ruins near Mexico City is not just a journey into the past; it’s an immersive experience that unveils the mysteries of a civilization that thrived over two millennia ago. For those eager to unearth the secrets of Mesoamerican history, Teotihuacán stands as an unmissable destination, right on the doorstep of Mexico’s vibrant capital.

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San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende near Mexico City

If you’re interested in taking a day trip, Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende is about a four-hour drive. There are tons of things to do there such as visiting museums, visiting boutiques where you can find handmade items, enjoying live music, good food, wine tastings, and more. There are a couple of interesting stops between Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende that you may want to consider if you want to take a break from driving and get out to stretch your legs.

Museo Nacional de Virre is about an hour away from Mexico City. It’s filled with fine art, inlaid wood pictures, religious statues, paintings, and more. This is something of an extension of the beautiful artistic works you’d see in Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.

Another option that’s about an hour away from Mexico City is Xochitla Ecological Park. Though the park is privately owned, it’s open to the public. It offers a beautiful and peaceful 2.3-mile loop that’s typically considered a moderately challenging hike on a dirt trail. The focus of this park is to enhance environmental conscience and to offer a refuge to wildlife.

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Another option for a day trip is Mexico City to Guanajuato, which is about a five-hour drive. Guanajuato was quite a wealthy location in its early days. It was very rich in silver and gold deposits. Back in the 16th century, it was considered a silver-mining center. Then it went into an extended time of decline because of a revolt in 1810. It didn’t start to make a comeback until about the middle of the 20th century.  If you’re into architecture, you’ll get to enjoy colonial-style buildings and brightly colored homes as you explore along cobblestone streets. Guanajuato’s most famous attraction is the Mummy Museum. There’s also an interesting theater, which is a unique blend of ancient Roman architecture on the outside, and oriental styling on the inside.

It’s interesting to note that a drive from San Miguel de Allende to Guanajuato would be about one-and-a-half hours. So it would be possible to visit Guanajuato after spending time in San Miguel de Allende.      

If you were to choose to travel from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende to Guanajuato, you could also pick up Leon, which is about one-and-a-half hours from Guanajuato. Leon is a bustling city and is the fifth largest city in Mexico. It’s a great place to get quality leather goods and is accessible from several airports. 

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If you’re a road warrior, Mexico City to Oaxaca is just over a six-hour drive. So this might make a good weekend adventure because of the travel time involved. As much as Oaxaca has to offer, planning for more than just a weekend visit may be necessary.

Oaxaca is a place of variety, activity, beauty, history, and fine culinary delights. One of the most fascinating places to visit in Oaxaca is the UNESCO site in Monte Alabán. Three different people groups lived in the area for 1500 years, so there is a large number of amazing ruins including ancient pyramids, fortresses, an observatory, and more.

Oaxaca is full of open-air markets. The most well-known is the Tlacolula Market. Besides fresh meat and vibrant produce, there’s also the opportunity to check out local, handmade items such as pottery and wooden collectibles.

A beautiful, historical building in the downtown area of Oaxaca is the Oaxaca Cathedral. It’s been around since the 1500s but had to undergo significant repairs after it was damaged in an 

earthquake in 1714. Oaxaca Cathedral is a beautiful site to visit, especially at night when it’s lit up.

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Beyond Mexico City Surroundings

While Mexico City has a great deal of beauty, history, and fun places to explore, each nearby city has its own story to unfold about Mexico’s past, present, and dreams for the future. The information shared here is only a fraction of the fascinating travel experiences awaiting those who choose to step into the journey of unmissable sites near Mexico City.

Craving a taste of Mexico? Let us be your flavor guide! We’re not just planners; we’re memory architects. Dive into your dream getaway with us, where every detail is a stroke of brilliance.

Cultural Landmarks You Must See in Mexico City

mexico city cultural landmarks

Mexico City is the very heart of Mexico and is Mexico’s largest city. Mexico City is also the biggest city on the continent of North America. Fascinating history, exquisite art, delicious food, breathtaking architecture, and a variety of cultural landmarks. All of these can be found throughout Mexico City.

The bustling city boasts of the variety it offers to tourists who enjoy being immersed in a vibrant culture that embraces life to the fullest. Some of Mexico City’s most notable cultural landmarks include Templo Mayor, the National Palace, and Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral. 

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Mexico City Landmarks

mexico city altitude
Zocalo Constitution Square in Mexico City, landmark Metropolitan Cathedral, and National Palace.

These cultural landmarks can be explored throughout a weekend, and offer some great photo ops. There’s a plethora of dining options available and some nice variety. Besides Mexican food, there is also Spanish, French, Mediterranean, Asian and more. You’ll even be able to squeeze in learning a high-level view of Mexico’s history.

The Aztecs gave Mexico City its foundation way back in the 13th century, although it was known as Tenochtitlan at the time. They were responsible for developing a fairly advanced civilization with an organized social, political, and religious culture. Then the Spanish conquest and the French invasion brought about changes and new influences. 

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Templo Mayor Mexico City

Ruins of the Museo Templo Mayor
Ruins of the Museo Templo Mayor. Photo by: Günther Bayerl.

When the Aztecs originally constructed the Templo Mayor (Main Temple), it was the hub of their civilization’s activities, including special ceremonies and rituals. So they made it the center of their city. It was about 100 feet high and overlooked the entire city with massive pyramids on each side of an enormous platform. The Aztecs were religious and worshiped many gods. Temple Mayor was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun, and also Tlaloc, the god of the rain.

When a new Aztec ruler took the throne, he would typically add enhancements to the Templo Mayor to mark his reign in the empire and to honor the gods and the Aztec empire. The Templo Mayor went through several major phases of construction. The temple has also been home to some of the most incredible works of art in history, as well as elaborate architectural embellishments.

When Hernán Cortés and his Spanish conquistadors invaded the area, their group only consisted of 400 soldiers. However, the Aztec empire had become unstable even before the invasion, and even though Cortés was outnumbered, his conquistadors were armed with better weapons.

After the Spanish overcame the Aztec empire, the Templo Mayor was nearly destroyed and erased from history for many centuries. Then its ruins were accidentally rediscovered toward the end of the 1970s because of some area electrical upgrades, and it was decided that an archeological dig should take place. Today, tourists can walk along gated paths and see the ruins, and pay a fee to see the many artifacts in the museum located behind Templo Mayor.

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National Palace Mexico City

National Palace Palacio Nacional Zocalo Plaza de la Constitucion Mexico City
Photo by: Robert Harding.

The National Palace is an impressive structure that is located at the center of the city’s main square (Zócalo). Today, the National Palace is being used as the location of various government offices and the residence of Mexico’s president. Besides it has an amazing history. Some of the National Palace’s building materials are as old as Montezuma, who was one of the last emperors of the Aztec empire. Because of the building’s history, it’s considered to be one of the most symbolic representations of Mexico.

The National Palace is also home to an exquisite mural that tells the story of Mexico’s history and is entitled, The History of Mexico. Mexican artist Diego Rivera is the artist who painted the mural, which fills the three enormous walls alongside the National Palace’s main stairway. Rivera’s challenge was to choose the key events of Mexico’s history and bring them to life in the present and for future generations with his brilliant artistic ability. His masterpiece spans from the time of the Aztec empire through the Spanish conquest, and the revolution into the industrial years. Rivera also painted other works that can be viewed in Mexico City’s Centro Histórico.

Admission is free, but since it’s a government building in use today, you will need to be prepared to show your identification. Any bags you have with you will go through a security check.

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Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral Mexico City
Photo by: Aidan McRae

Approximately 50 years after Hernán Cortés led his Spanish conquistadors into victory over the Aztecs, construction started on the Metropolitan Cathedral. It took 250 years to build this massive and impressive religious structure. The time involved in its construction meant that several types of architecture were woven in by all who took part. The blend of styles includes Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical.

The Metropolitan Cathedral was built on top of the Templo Mayor upon the orders of the conquistadors as a symbol of their victory over the Aztecs. Many of the remains of the Templo Mayor were incorporated into the Metropolitan Cathedral as additional symbolism of the outcome of the Spanish conquest. The Metropolitan Cathedral has had issues with sinking, and so far, has sunk about 32 feet (10 meters), so a major stabilization project took place during the 1990s and was completed in 2000.

Today, the Metropolitan Cathedral is the home of many gorgeous paintings of religious figures, statues, and various artifacts. In addition, it is the home of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico. The building is often open for self-guided tours when religious services are not taking place. It will be best to check which days and times in advance of your visit.

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Only a Taste of All that Mexico City Offers

These amazing landmarks barely scratch the surface of all the amazing sights and history you can experience in Mexico City. Including these cultural landmarks in your Mexico City itinerary will give you a taste of the beauty and the fun adventures the country has to offer, a desire for a return visit, and plenty of photos and bragging rights to share with friends and family when you get home.

Craving a taste of Mexico? Let us be your flavor guide! We’re not just planners; we’re memory architects. Dive into your dream getaway with us, where every detail is a stroke of brilliance.