Explore Cartagena with a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour & Optional Attractions
Cartagena, the beautiful port city in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, is highly renowned for its stunning colonial architecture and colorful cobblestone streets. The walled city, founded in the 16th century, is bursting with culture, unique neighborhoods and historic sites, making it one of the top tourist destinations in South America.
For visitors wanting to explore Cartagena, a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a great way to discover the city in a convenient and comfortable way. This type of tour helps you save time and money and offers a unique overview of the city’s attractions and most important sites.
In this article, let’s take a closer look at the hop-on hop-off bus tour that’s available in Cartagena and its various optional attractions you can enjoy.
What is a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour?
A hop-on hop-off bus tour is an open-top double-decker bus service that allows tourists to tour around a specific city or town while they travel in a planned itinerary. During the tour, passengers can visit popular landmarks and attractions as they make their way around the city, as well as hop off the bus to explore each attraction at their own leisure before hopping back on when they’re ready.
Since hop-on hop-off tours move in a planned schedule rather than adhering to a bus route, you can stop at the attractions you want when you want and easily move on to the next one when you’re done. This makes it much easier and more convenient than regular bus tours, which means you don’t have to fuss over route planning or transportation when exploring the city.
How Does Cartagena’s Hop-on Hop-off Tour Work?
The hop-on hop-off tour in Cartagena is operated by Megamóvil Tours & Taxi, one of the best tourist operators in Colombia. It’s composed of two lines: The Pink Line and The Blue Line, which start from Bovedas Tourist Center and Bolivar Park respectively and end near Plaza de Caycedo where passengers can transfer to another line if needed. These lines navigate the city’s historic center, making up approximately a 2-hour tour each (3 hours if you take both).
When taking the Pink Line, travelers get an excellent view of the Walled City with stops at some of the city’s most important sites such as Plaza de los Coches, Plaza de San Diego, Calle de las Profetas/San Agustín Church and Torre del Reloj/Convento de La Popa. Then, when taking the Blue Line, riders can explore Getsemaní passing through major attractions like Plaza Bolivar, Parque Centenario/San Pedro Claver Church and San Felipe de Barajas Castle among others. Keep in mind that some attractions close before the last run of each line.
Both lines include a professional guide (available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French) for providing additional information about each site alongside live commentary about the city’s history and culture. In addition, Megamóvil has also prepared an inclusive package for its riders that includes transportation from the airport and additional activities such as guided city walks, hiking tours to national parks, etc.
What Optional Attractions Can You Visit?
While touring around Cartagena on either of the two lines you have at your disposal, passengers can make stops at several landmarks within the city center. Each of these attractions has its own history, sights and activities that provide great experiences for visitors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the must-visit attractions guests can experience during their tours.
San Felipe de Barajas Castle
This is one of Cartagena’s most important Spanish colonial fortresses with an incredibly elaborate military engineering beneath it. The castle was designed with an intricate network of narrow passageways and underground tunnels while overground you can find barracks that were used to protect gold from African ships coming from Panama. Nowadays visitors get to explore every inch of this fortress to admire its views from above and below as well as learn about its unique story.
Convento de La Popa Monastery
This grand building is located atop a hill ruled by brilliant views of Cartagena and its bay. Built during the 17th century, this iconic landmark is set on top of Popa Hill, one of the highest points in the city, making it a breathtaking sight to behold. Other than admiring its stunning architecture from below, tourists can opt for guided tours around the monastery or join La Popa Hill Trekking Adventure where adventure jungle trails will lead them to places they’ve never seen before.
San Pedro Claver Church
Named after Saint Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to helping African slaves, this Catholic church was built in honor of his holiness back in 1654. The church’s walls were adorned with golden religious images depicting stories based on biblical passages and with numerous works by Baroque sculptors to honor St Peter Clavers’ legacy. Nowadays this site is considered a priceless artistic landmark and continues to be an important place for Cartagena’s locals to pay respect for this incredible man’s deeds during his life in Cartagena.
This colorful district, located between Cartagena’s historic center and its old walled city, is one of the city’s new trendy spots; full of shops, street art galleries and eateries that provide an interesting atmosphere and interesting experiences for locals and travelers alike. Walking around Getsemaní is like taking a step back in time like during the times when pirates use to control the Caribbean coast making stories most visitors want to be part of.
Book Your Cartagena Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
Now that you know more about taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour while in Cartagena as well as get acquainted with some of its amazing attractions you can explore during your visit, why don’t you start planning your next trip? Both lines are an excellent way to get an overview of what Cartagena has to offer and get an insight into its culture and history without having to stress over route planning or transportation.
If you want to book your own hop-on hop-off bus tour combined with additional activities in Cartagena, visit GetYourGuide where you can find all sorts of tours and activities throughout Colombia with special discounts and first class customer service guaranteed. So go ahead and plan your next vacation to Cartagena!
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