Cartagena, Colombia

Balconies in Cartagena, Colombia.


The new darling of the Caribbean is not an island, but rather a 16th-century colonial city on Colombia’s northern coast: Cartagena.

Jet-setters have been secretly enjoying the delights of Cartagena for years, strolling the perfectly preserved colonial streets, dining under jacaranda trees in the lovely plazas, and getting lost in the three massive forts that once protected the city from pirates. But now the secret’s out, and it’s only a matter of time before the place is overrun with day-trippers from cruise ships.

While Cartagena’s new section, Bocagrande, is lovely, it’s the walled, colonial Ciudad Vieja that steals the show.
Stay in one of the 17th-century convents that now function as luxury hotels. The nuns of yesteryear would blush at the current amenities.