Cartagena Packing List

Cartagena Packing List

Heading to Cartagena, Colombia soon? (You’re gonna have so much fun!) Here’s 5 things you’ll want to pack for your trip!

>This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click one of the product links, we’ll receive compensation, which will help us keep producing our content. For more information, please see our Disclosure page.

  1. Mosquito Net and/or Mosquito Repellant
Yes those little buggers are everywhere! Especially at night. You’ll want to protect yourself from their annoyingly itchy bites by bringing along a mosquito net and/or mosquito repellant. We stayed in an Airbnb without air conditioning which forced us to sleep with the windows open at night. We quickly realized this meant we would be free game for the thirsty mosquitos all night long. This might be the same case if you’re staying in a hostel in the area. Protect yourself by bringing a mosquito net that can be hung up in a multitude of ways, like the one we brought. Even if you won’t be needing a mosquito net at night, at the very least you’ll want to get some repellant. We like wearing the NEOR 100% All Natural Mosquito Repellant bracelets because they’re easier to pack in your bag than an aerosol mosquito spray and it’s not full of chemicals and a nasty smell. It’s easy enough to throw on the bracelet whenever you head outside to keep the mosquitos at bay. You’ll thank us later.


2. Quick Dry Travel Towel

The purpose of the quick dry travel towel is two fold. One, there are lots and lots of beaches in Cartagena! There’s a few on mainland Colombia and also tons of islands. If you’re heading to the beach, you’ll need a towel to dry off. But who wants to lug a heavy wet towel home after a day of fun? Ta-da…that’s where the quick dry towel comes in. It’s lightweight, it dries you off quickly and then it dries quickly too. Perfect for a day at Bocagrande or Islas del Rosario! And the second purpose of the quick dry towel is to discreetly wipe away the sweat that you will accumulate while exploring the city. It is incredibly hot and humid there, so it’s best to come prepared for the worst by bringing along a towel to keep the dripping sweat to a minimum.

3. Pocket Hand Wash

These handy dandy pocket hand wash leaves were probably made with Colombia in mind. Why, you ask? Well lots of bathrooms in Colombia are very, very basic. And by that I mean, some don’t have soap, toilet paper, or even toilet seats (especially in the more rural areas farther from the city). But at the end of the day, you still gotta go! And to keep your hygiene on the up and up, you’ll have to think ahead. Come prepared no matter where you are headed by packing some toilet paper and pocket hand wash in your day pack. You’ll be glad you did.


4. Comfy Sandals

If you’ll be doing a lot of walking outside, best get yourself a pair of sandals that won’t make you want to chop your feet off by the end of the day. Regular tennis shoes with socks will leave your feet hot and sweaty, and cute sandals or flip flops will leave you in pain after walking for barely an hour. The perfect medium to fix both these issues is a sporty sandal that will let you air out and give your foot more support than a flip flop will. We have found Tevas to be our comfy sandal of choice and the two models below are the exact shoes we are traveling with right now!


5. Reusable Water Bottle

If you’ve done a lot of international travel, you might have realized that one of the only places where you can get free water is in the U.S. And as discussed in previous points, Cartagena is extremely hot and humid. To keep from having to buy water constantly or the alternative, getting dehydrated, bring some water with you when you head out for the day. We like to carry our LifeStraw water bottle with us. It filters the water, so we have no problem drinking tap water out of it, meaning we save money and plastic from not having to buy disposable water bottles everyday!


⇒ Still planning your trip to Colombia?! Check out our list of 15 Things NOT to Miss While in Colombia (& What They Cost)

Pin this for later!

Cartagena, Colombia




  1. Mary Leigh Youssi
    August 18, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    did you guys use more than one of the neor bracelets at a time? and did you find that it covered the whole body?

    • Ashly
      August 18, 2017 / 6:26 pm

      Just one at a time, but I changed if I was wearing it on my ankle or wrist based on what I was wearing (if I had shorts on, i wore it on my ankle because mosquitos love to bite ankles!) but I could definitely see a benefit in wearing 2 at the same time for extra protection. If i could do it over again, i would wear one on my right wrist, one on my left ankle to cover everything all at once!