Food in Cartagena, a world of diversity

Cartagena de Indias is not only famous for being one of the most beautiful cities of the Caribbean, but also for having a powerful and distinguished local gastronomy. If you’re willing to try new flavors and enjoy the exotic taste of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, this is the place for you.

Arepas (corn cake) stuffed with meat or eggs, coconut rice, fried plantain and lots of fish combine to give an unmistakable stamp to Cartagena’s flavor.

Due to its location, the city became an important port of the Caribbean Sea, and three different races have historically converged here- indigenous, Spaniards and Africans – causing a beautiful mix of cultures which harmoniously reflects the food in Cartagena. Each of these ethnic groups has made important contributions to the local gastronomy.

Typical food in Cartagena

Whether you’re going for lunch or dinner, Arepa (corn cake) is a must try food, stuffed with eggs or cheese, the patacones (fried and crushed plantains) and coconut rice with raisins.

Ice creams

With an offer of varied and exotic fruits, Cartagena is a great place to try new ice cream flavors such as guanábana (soursop), mamey or mamoncillo. These new flavors come from delicious tropical fruits.

Exotic meals

The great cultural mix of Cartagena de Indias make a really exotic combination of flavors such us plantain soup, rabbit in coconut milk, the “chicha” beverage, which is the Colombian fermented drink by excellence, and dishes made with corn, rice and different types of pineapples.


Cartagena is not far behind when it comes to sweets. You can enjoy typical homemade treats such as “dulce de leche” (caramel), sweet coconut candy and fruit such as banana and tamarind.


You can also enjoy a delicious tapas night. Among the most common are feta and manchego cheese balls served with strawberry preserves, or squid stuffed with caramelized onions, cream cheese, mint and coriander pesto.


As mentioned above, the delights of seafood that Cartagena has to offer make this city a remarkable culinary center. Dishes from different fish, like the famous sea bass fish wrapped in plantain leaves, it’s one of the most requested by its visitors.

If you are planning to travel and enjoy the food in Cartagena de Indias, you can’t miss a good restaurant tour to dive into the local gastronomy. And to make the journey complete, we recommend a Spanish Course at Centro Catalina Spanish School, a great place that offers the experience of learning Spanish while you immerse in the Hispanic culture.

A great way to connect with the country and the culture is to be able to have conversations with locals and experience a great cultural exchange. Our team is young and dynamic and the atmosphere is so friendly that you will connect with the teachers and students in the process of learning, and having fun at it. Don’t miss the opportunity, come and learn Spanish at Centro Catalina!


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