What to visit near Cartagena de Indias: 9 unforgettable towns of Bolívar

Bolívar is one of the 32 departments of Colombia, a territory full of peace and a tourist beauty bathed by the Caribbean Sea and the Magdalena River, which offers all travelers beautiful natural scenery to immerse them in a fantastic adventure.

This land of happy people has become the perfect territory to brighten the soul of those who decide to take a few days to get to know a new place and relax by its streets or squares. has made a tour by these fascinating territories of the department of Bolívar. Feel with us the delight of its dishes, the richness of its mountains and the warmth of its inhabitants.

You can also read: Cartagena and the wonderful land of birds


The Stone Balcony or Bright Star de Cartagena, as it is also known because from there you can see the Heroic City and the Caribbean Sea. You can reach it by the Troncal de Occidente route. It is a picturesque town owner of its own and very pleasant ecosystem, typical of the tropical rain forest. This natural wealth has allowed it to be recognized as a perfect place for inspiration, reflection and rest. We invite you to discover its diverse options of environmental, adventure and cultural tourism.Turbaco, Bolívar


It is a historical city. In addition to having served as seat of urban settlement during the colonial period, it was also a stopover and important port for the collection of merchandise for distribution, to the interior of the country or to the Caribbean Coast. Located on the Mompox arm of the Magdalena River, nowadays it keeps magnificently its houses, mansions, streets, temples and the cemetery, considered one of the most beautiful in the country.Mompox, Bolívar

Santa Catalina de Alejandría

The Volcán del Totumo with healing properties, the El Ceibal Park, the coastal lagoon complex, the Salinas de Galerazamba and its Cristo de Sal, the mangroves, and the beautiful virgin beaches of Lomita Arena, are the main tourist attractions of Santa Catalina de Alejandría, located 20 minutes away from Cartagena, on the Atlantic department border.Santa-Catalina, Bolívar

San Basilio de Palenque

It is located 55 kilometers away from Cartagena, and 5 kilometers from the detour of the trunk road that goes to Sincelejo and the interior of the country. Palenque, as it is commonly known, is a village of the municipality of Mahates. This population, of people with African origins, thanks to its ethnic wealth has been classified as an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In this small settlement of African-Colombian inhabitants, the freedom of the first American people was originated. Its people speak, in addition to Spanish, a second language of Bantu origin, coming from Angola, Africa.Palenque, Bolívar

San Juan Nepomuceno

Ninety kilometers separate this population from Cartagena. The importance is given by its environment, considered a natural reserve of primates, given the existence of Los Colorados Wildlife and Flora Sanctuary. This attraction is located in the Montes de María.

San Juan Nepomuceno is one of the picturesque municipalities of the Montes de María. The spirit of resilience of its inhabitants is one of its greatest patrimonies, the one that makes it a population attached to the culture and the old customs and traditions.San Juan Nepomuceno

San Jacinto

This town of African and indigenous roots, located in the center of Bolívar, is the cradle of minstrels, musicians and it is an artisan emporium. In this "Land of the Big Hammock", it is worth visiting the San Jacinto Community Museum; get to observe beautiful views from Cerro Maco, a mountain with more than 800 meters above the sea level; visit the petroglyphs of the ancestors -symbolic designs engraved on rocks-; either savor a delicious creole chicken stew in a cocoa or avocado farm, or if you prefer, a crispy pork rind with yucca during its patron saint festivities in August. Welcome to San Jacinto, land of traditions and customs that are preserved from generation to generation.San Jacinto, Bolívar

El Carmen de Bolívar

It is considered one of the most important municipalities of the department. It is the third largest in population and economy of Bolívar, and it is the capital of the Montes de María. It still preserves the Santuario Nuestra Señora del Carmen, where every July the 16th is visited by devotees who arrive to participate in the traditional procession through the main streets. Stories, traditions, a beautiful religious sanctuary, exquisite cuisine, excellent hotels, ecological tourism, beautiful sunsets, an a huge and beautiful central square with an imposing church, as well as tranquility and affectionate people, make El Carmen de Bolívar, a magical town in the center of Department.Carmen de Bolívar


An hour and a half from Cartagena. The attractions of this municipality are the ciénagas Grande de Marialabaja in Puerto Santander, Correa and Flamenco, and the dams of Matuya and Playón. Stroll around, observe beautiful sunrises and sunsets, appreciate the flora and fauna, go into oil palm crops, stop to watch different types of fish such as tilapia, mojarras, bocachico and cachama, eat a ripe mango freshly lowered from the tree in one of the Nearby farms. All of these are great plans to do in this Caribbean population, proud of their race.Marialabaja, Bolívar


Magangué is one of the most prosperous populations of Bolívar and the second most important. Its people are warm and live on the banks of the Magdalena River. Fishermen, rice farmers and ranchers push the economy of this population. This population has a special condition, it is located between La Mojana Bolivarense and the Depresión Momposina. This mean you can find a warm place, they say, and that's the way it is. Well, the warmth of its people is unparalleled and surely if you visit Magangué you will want to return.Magangue, Bolívar
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Cartagena, Colombia
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