With spectacular beaches and a bright, artistic atmosphere, Cartagena has developed into a top tourist destination in Columbia and is a beautiful site for a photo shoot. From fantastic local seafood to the stunning tropical colors, you’re guaranteed a meaningful time in Cartagena, and excellent photos capturing the unique culture of the city.
7 Top Photo Spots in Cartagena
A vibrantly artistic neighborhood, Getsemaní is right next to the Old Town district of Cartagena, but still possesses a singular vibe all its own. The streets are lined with amazing graffiti art, which will add a colorful splash to your photographs. For the real action, evening is the best time to visit Getsamaní, with live music, dancers, and singers performing at almost every venue. To the bright musical tunes of Columbia, you can capture some truly meaningful photographs during your stay in Cartagena.
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
A majestic fortress on the coast of the city, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas was built in the 16th and 17th centuries as a way to keep pirates and other potential attackers from entering the city. It’s remarkably well preserved and offers a glimpse into the past of what Cartagena used to look like. Photographers won’t want to miss this top photo site, both for the view of the coast and city and for the majestic architecture of the fortress. Depending on what tour you take, you might even get a chance to enter the tunnels used to protect soldiers during battle.
Teatro Adolfo Mejia
A historic building, the Teatro Adolfo Mejia was opened in 1905, and has since been hosting film festivals, music performances, theater productions, and much more within its magnificent walls. One of the primary attractions of the building, and what puts it near the top of the list of photography sites in Cartagena, is the majestic ceiling, painted by the famous artist Enrique Grau.
A magnificent chandelier hanging in the center and Grau’s celestial dancers celebrating in a circle around is truly a marvelous sight, and one you won’t want to miss when you’re a photographer in Cartagena. Be sure to tour the rest of the building, with splendid balconies and elaborate façades, and experiment with taking photos from different perspectives to better convey an appreciation for the art and style of the architecture. If you’re lucky, you can even attend a performance during your stay in the city.
Cartagena’s best-known beach, Bocagrande is a marvelous expanse of gleaming sand with high rise hotels and luxury resorts right on the beach. What makes Bocagrande unique, and a top photo site in Cartagena, is the diversity and eclectic vibe the beach has. Along with the modern, stylish resort buildings, there are also street vendors, artisans, and craftsmen selling their goods along the sand. Numerous local cafés dot the beach, where you can try local fruit juices and fresh caught fish. The diversity gives photographers and advantage; you can focus on what part of the beach you want to capture or take the time to get pictures from numerous locations to encompass the scope of Bocagrande culture and its place in Cartagena.
Convento de la Popa
Atop the highest point in Cartagena is the impressive and historic Convento de la Popa. A major tourist attraction and a must-visit site for any photographer in the area, the Convento was built in 1607 and retains the splendor of a bygone era. Undoubtably, it’s the view that makes this such a picture-perfect location; when you reach the top of the brick path leading up to the Convento, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the city and surrounding region. The building itself is also a photo-worthy location, and a place that will add a nice cultural touch to your photographs. With walls decaying slightly, but nonetheless standing strong, the Convento is elegantly decorated with gold embellishments and a charming courtyard full of bougainvillea and palm plants that add to the peaceful atmosphere.
Chiva Bus Tour
These colorful and iconic buses of Cartagena are hard to miss; once used for transportation in the countryside, the wooden sides of these vehicles were repainted with impressive scenes of Columbian landscapes, and then put to use as tourist buses in major cities. Including pictures of these buses in your photo shoot is a great way to add a significant cultural aspect to your photographs.
Running all over the city, the chiva buses are easy to find and are also a great way to see Cartagena. For photographers, riding a chiva bus is both a cultural experience, and a way to get up close to many of Cartagena’s best attractions. With frequent stops, it’s easy to get off and spend some more time at the top photo locations in the city before continuing your ride.
Old Town Cartagena
The area of the city that originally began to attract tourists to Cartagena, the Old Town is full of brightly colored colonial houses some of which have been meticulously restored and others which are crumbling. Original Spanish architecture blends with modern buildings in some places, creating a unique setting perfect for your photo shoot. The area is surrounded by a well- worn stone wall, built to protect the city when the Spanish first colonized the area, and now left standing as a tribute to bygone days. Photographers in Cartagena come to this neighborhood to capture the unique combination of old and new, and the singular and vibrant character of the city in their photo shoot.