Central/South America

Cartagena, Colombia

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Cartagena

Cartagena de India, a historic port on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is sometimes known as the “City of Walls” for its defensive structures surrounding the Old Town. The residential area of the city sprawls significantly inland, but most tourism is centered around Old Town, the beachfront of Playa Bocagrande, and the cheery marina neighborhoods with their colorful facades and distinguished eateries. Not only is Cartagena a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s a vibrant, cultured city, with an edge reminiscent of Miami Beach. This unique combination of beaches, history, and thriving neighborhoods makes the running in Cartagena some of the best in Latin America.

It’s hard to pick a favorite Cartagena running route, but the boardwalks along the Getsami and Manga Waterfront and the Castillogrande neighborhood are a real treat. Runners can also explore the Caribbean coast of Cartagena on the Bocagrande waterfront or one of the city’s many beaches, which feature top-notch running sand. For a tour of Old Town, it’s possible to run on top of or around the perimeter of the walls to see the sites. Or, runners can combine all our routes into one Grand Tour of Cartagena!

One thing that makes following running routes in Cartagena a cinch is that there aren’t that many streets, and they’re all numbered (Calle or Carerra). In terms of transport, taxis are the easiest way to get around Cartagena, and they provide both individual service and “collectivo” style service, which serves multiple passengers on a set route. There are also buses, which are more economical, but the routes can be a bit difficult for newbies to follow. Most visitors who plan to bide their time in and around Old Town will find their destinations close enough to walk (or run) to.

Special thanks to Mauricio and the team at This Is Cartagena for their help with this guide!

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Bocagrande Waterfront

Cartagena, Colombia

Starting from the lively beaches of Bocagrande, this sidewalk reaches north along the Old Town seawall to Playa Marbella. At several points, runners can spice up the terrain by dropping down to the sandy beaches.
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Like any Caribbean location, Cartagena can be hot and humid. It’s best to run at/around sunrise to beat the heat. Temperatures are nearly unifory year-round, with average high temeratures in the 30-32C (86-90F) range. Nights stay warm and humid, with lows rarely dipping below 24C (75C). Note it is humid, averaging 80% throughout the year. Precipitation is most frequent in September-November, with 10-15 days of measurable rainfall. December-April is dry.

 

Most hotels in Cartagena are located around Old Town, to the south near Bocagrande, or to the north along the beaches of Playa Boquilla. Our friends at This is Cartagena have a great English language lodging guide here.

There are no independent running stores in Cartagena. But there are two Adidas outlets, and the Sport Line-America store sells outdoor and athletic gear including running clothes and shoes.

Group runs are hard to come by in Cartagena, but let us know if you find any!

Races are hard to come by in Cartagena, but let us know if you find any!