The best Cartagena City Tours with an English-speaking local guide

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Despite our many trips to Colombia, we’ve always had trouble finding good guided tours of Cartagena in english

As you know, we’re always on the lookout for good ideas for our readers, especially for guided tours in english, as many of you don’t necessarily speak Spanish.

Cartagena is Colombia’s most touristy city, yet guided tours in english aren’t widely available, especially if you’re looking for alternative, responsible tourism in a city that really needs it.

So we’re delighted to be able to introduce you to the english-language tours of Cartagena offered by Cathy, whose tours of Medellín you may already be familiar with.

Disclaimer: we apologize in advance for any grammatical or syntactic errors, as our native language is not English (we're a Colombian-French couple), so we hope you'll forgive us and still enjoy the information we share with you! Please note that all the information on our blog is based on our own experience, and is checked and updated regularly.

Cartagena guided tour in english

Best Cartagena city tour with a local guide

Many of you have been looking for a guided tour of Cartagena’s historic center in english– here it is! Cathy offers various guided tours in english, to discover the interior of the city walls, and the Getsemani district.

Accompanied by a english-speaking guide, the Cartagena tour in english allows you to learn more about the origins of the “fantastica“. During the tour, you’ll relive the battles and victories of the Europeans, and discover the power and influence of Afrodescendant cultures. You’ll explore the narrow, colorful colonial streets and learn about the important figures who have shaped Cartagena’s history.

City TOUR in CARTAGENA with a local guide

Kaanas Travel Cartagena (#11)

To contact Cathy directly, you can use the form below. You won’t pay any more, but it will let her know you’ve come from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.

Bazurto market’s Tour in english

Best Cartagena tour with an englishspeaking local guide

For us who took this tour, the guided visit to the Bazurto market is a must when visiting Cartagena!

The Bazurto market is a Cartagena institution. It’s the city’s largest market. Originally located in the heart of Getsemani, it was later moved to the Bazurto district.

It’s an authentic market where you can discover the culinary traditions of Cartagena and the Caribbean. It’s a plunge into the heart of Cartagena’s popular culture, with its ancestral trades, its vendors of all kinds of products, its concert poster makers, its vendors of Caribbean music records, and its small comida tipica restaurants.

Your English-speaking local guide will accompany you through the labyrinthine maze of this “merry-go-round” to sample local specialties, exotic fruits, Caribbean music and feel the pulse of popular Cartagena.

Tour of Palenque de San Basilio

Best Cartagena de Indias tour in english

San Basilio de Palenque is a village located 1 hour from Cartagena de Indias. It is the last “Palenque” in Colombia.

In the 17th century, “Palenques” was the term used to designate fortified villages founded by slaves freed by Spanish colonists. Visiting San Basilio de Palenque is a unique opportunity to discover a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A guided tour of San Basilio de Palenque reveals a piece of Africa in the heart of the Caribbean, where music reigns supreme and drum-making workshops flourish. An ancestral language derived directly from the Bantu languages of Africa is spoken here.

A journey through history, through time, to a unique village that for centuries has fought fiercely to preserve its African identity.

Cultural experience in La Boquilla

Best Cartagena tour with a local guide

La Boquilla is a fishing village located 20 minutes from the historic center of Cartagena de Indias. It’s an Afro-Colombian village with beaches and a sublime mangrove ecosystem.

The local inhabitants have organized themselves to develop a community tourism project that enables them to preserve their ancestral culture and benefits the entire population.

La Boquilla’s various guided tours in english enable you to discover the mangrove ecosystem of the Cienaga de la Virgen, take part in the village’s daily activities and immerse yourself in its music, typical gastronomy, traditional dances and crafts.

Mangrove tour

The villagers open their doors to present their ancestral culture and the ecosystem of the Cienaga de la Virgen. Accompanied by a english-speaking translator, the tour takes you through the incredible mangrove tunnels in a boat driven by a local fisherman.

Cooking workshop” option

After discovering the mangroves, you can also take part in a cooking workshop with the women of the Boquilla community. During this workshop, you’ll learn to cook local specialties with Caribbean flavors, a true heritage of African ancestors.

Fishing workshop” option

Another option during the mangrove walk is tolearn to fish the traditional way with a local fisherman. The activity ends with a delicious meal in the fisherman’s house, with the preparation of the caught products.

Percussion workshop

An introduction to the various Afro-Colombian rhythms presented by students from the Boquilla traditional music school. During this workshop, you’ll also learn how to play percussion! What an experience to meet the students of the music school, a school that has preserved the culture and tradition of Afro-Colombian music!

Sustainable tourism in Cartagena

Best english tour in Cartagena de Indias

Cathy offers tours of Cartagena in english as part of her responsible tourism approach. Each tour has a positive impact.

First and foremost, most of our tours support a community-based tourism dynamic that benefits local populations. Local people also use tourism to preserve and enhance their ancestral traditions.

At La Boquilla, for example, the profits generated by tourism are invested in projects to preserve the mangrove ecosystem and raise environmental awareness. They also contribute to the development of the music school , with the purchase of materials to make instruments and offer free lessons to local children and teenagers.

Finally, Cathy’s agency donates part of the profits from the tours to the FEM foundation, which helps emancipate Cartagena’s vulnerable communities (women, indigenous people, Afro-descendants).

Direct Contact a local guide to visit Cartagena in english

Kaanas Travel Cartagena (#11)

To contact Cathy directly, you can use the form below. You won’t pay any more, but it will let her know you’ve come from us.

IMPORTANT: If you don’t hear from our partner within 72 hours, please check your SPAMS first before contacting us.

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Angélica & Samuel

We are Angélica and Samuel, a French-Colombian couple, professional photographers and web editors specializing in travel to Colombia. We created this blog to change the image of the country, help you prepare your trip and inspire you to discover Colombia in a different way!

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