Need trip ideas? Check out our curated collections of destinations around the globe.More
Colombia's sultry Caribbean Coast is linked to Bogotá only by the national flag, the milky Río Magdalena, and a couple of snaking highways. The costeño people, driven by salsa and the accordion-heavy vallenato music, have an exuberant spirit not seen in the capital.
Toward the western end of the 1,600-km (992-mi) shoreline is Cartagena, Colombia's greatest colonial
city. With its barrel-tile roofs and wooden balconies, Cartagena's Ciudad Amurallada resembles many cities in Spain, but the feeling is definitely tropical. The Islas del Rosario, just off the coast, provide plenty of exploring options for snorkelers and divers.