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How to get to Cartagena

In the Colonial Era it would have taken you days or weeks to get to Cartagena in a boat. While you can still do that if you’d like (it’s a beautiful trip) it’s so much quicker and easier to travel by plane. You can be on the ground in Colombia within hours and having dinner and drinks with friends before the stars come out.

From The United States

If you’re wondering how to get to Cartagena from the United States, you can fly through Miami International Airport. Avianca airlines offers daily flights directly to Cartagena. If you’d like to bypass Miami airport you can catch connecting flights in Fort Lauderdale Airport on Jet Blue or Spirit Airlines and be in Cartagena in under 3 hours.

From farther north, you can catch non-stop flights to Cartagena via Jet Blue (out of New York City) or Delta Air Lines out of their national hub in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is regularly listed as one of the busiest in the world (with more flights in and out per day than any other). While that tends to make the airport terminals crowded, the main portion of the facility is roomy enough to accommodate everyone easily and offers enough services that you can find pretty much anything you need at a moment’s notice.

Direct Flights

Miami International Airport (MIA): Avianca offers daily direct flights to Cartagena, with a typical flight duration of approximately 2 hours and 55 minutes.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): If you’d prefer to bypass Miami, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines offer direct flights from Fort Lauderdale. Each airline has a daily service, and you can reach Cartagena in just under 3 hours.

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York: JetBlue provides non-stop service with 2 flights per day, taking about 4 hours and 59 minutes.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia: Delta Air Lines operates out of their national hub with a daily flight to Cartagena. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours and 12 minutes. Atlanta’s airport is known for being one of the busiest in the world, yet it remains efficient enough to manage the crowd smoothly and offers a wide range of amenities to cater to travelers’ needs on the fly.

From Europe

If you’re coming to Cartagena from Europe you’ll likely either stopover in Miami, Florida or Bogota, Colombia.

Both of these international airports serve as major travel hubs connecting Cartagena with the rest of the world. While they’re busy, a bit crowded, and sometimes a little difficult to navigate, they’re laid out to handle all of that international traffic and the staff is used to handling issues international travelers might run into.

Miami specifically is one of the largest (and busiest) airports in The United States but it’s also one of the most modern, well equipped, and well-designed with every conceivable modern amenity you might need.

Bogatá airport just recently added two modern terminals specifically designed for international travelers (which has dramatically decreased the stress associated with transferring through this once notoriously crowded facility).

Both airports are excellent option for experienced travelers who expect a certain level of comfort and services during their long flights but are also easy enough to navigate that first-time visitors to Cartagena won’t get lost along the journey.

Direct Flights

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), Netherlands: KLM operates direct flights to Cartagena. The service is available once daily with a flight duration of approximately 9 hours and 50 minutes.

Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD), Spain: Plus Ultra offers direct flights to Cartagena. This service is less frequent, with 0-1 flights per day depending on the season, and the flight duration is around 9 hours and 30 minutes.

Zurich Airport (ZRH), Switzerland: Edelweiss Air provides seasonal service to Cartagena with 0-1 flights per day. The direct flight lasts about 10 hours and 25 minutes, making it one of the longest direct flights from Europe to Cartagena.

How to Get to Cartagena

Popular Destinations from Cartagena

Most Popular Destinations from Cartagena (CTG)

Destination Airport Flights Scheduled Next Month
El Dorado International Airport (Colombia) 1022 flights
Jose Maria Cordova (Colombia) 426 flights
Tocumen International (Panama) 96 flights
Matecana (Colombia) 86 flights
Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International (Colombia) 77 flights
Miami International (USA) 62 flights
San Andres Island (Colombia) 54 flights
Jorge Chávez International Airport (Peru) 46 flights
Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International (USA) 31 flights
John F Kennedy International (USA) 31 flights
Juan Santamaria International (Costa Rica) 28 flights
Schiphol (Netherlands) 28 flights
Palonegro (Colombia) 27 flights
Las Americas International (Dominican Republic) 22 flights
Panama Pacifico Airport (Panama) 13 flights
Barajas (Spain) 13 flights
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (USA) 12 flights
Punta Cana International Airport (Dominican Republic) 9 flights
Zurich Airport (Switzerland) 5 flights

From Canada

If you are planning to travel from Canada to Cartagena, there are direct and connecting flights available from major Canadian airports:

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Ontario: Air Transat offers seasonal direct flights to Cartagena. This service operates with 0-1 flights per day, depending on the season, and the flight duration is approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL), Quebec: Air Transat also provides seasonal direct flights from Montreal to Cartagena. Similar to the Toronto service, this route has 0-1 flights per day and the flight lasts about 5 hours and 25 minutes.

From Central America

Depending on which part of Central America and/or The Caribbean you’re flying from, you’ll likely be catching a direct flight to Rafael Nuñez International Airport in the heart of Cartagena.

However, if you have an exceptionally long way to travel or opt for a budget carrier, you may stopover in either Bogota or Panama.
In such cases it may often be quicker (if not more cost-effective) to hire a charter plane to take you and your travel companions to paradise.

Tocumen International Airport (PTY), Panama City, Panama: Copa Airlines offers direct flights to Cartagena, operating four times daily. These flights are particularly convenient due to their short duration, taking only about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), San José, Costa Rica: Avianca provides daily service to Cartagena. The flight takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, making it a quick and efficient route from Costa Rica.

La Aurora International Airport (GUA), Guatemala City, Guatemala: While direct flights are less common, connecting flights via other major hubs like Panama City are available, providing access to Cartagena with reasonable travel times.

From South America

Travelers from most locations in South America can catch direct flights to Cartagena from their home airports. However, it may be more cost-effective to select a flight plan with multiple stops in Panama, or Bogota.

You can often save hundreds of dollars per passenger going this route but the cost savings is often translated into inconvenience, time, and pre-packaged airport food!

Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM), Lima, Peru: LATAM Airlines operates direct flights from Lima to Cartagena. The service runs 2-3 times per day with a flight duration of approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes.

El Dorado International Airport (BOG), Bogotá, Colombia: Avianca provides the most frequent service between Bogotá and Cartagena with 33-36 flights per day. The short hop takes about 1 hour and 28 minutes.

José María Córdova International Airport (MDE), Medellín, Colombia: Avianca also covers the route from Medellín with 13-16 flights daily, lasting around 1 hour and 13 minutes.

Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO), Cali, Colombia: Avianca services this route as well, offering 1-3 flights per day with each flight taking approximately 1 hour and 34 minutes.

These routes provide extensive connectivity within South America, making Cartagena an accessible destination for both leisure and business travelers from the region.

From Asia

Folks vacationing in Cartagena from Asia have the farthest to fly but thankfully several Asian airlines have pioneered a new era of comfort and economy in long international flights. With optional upgrade packages you can travel like royalty as your flight takes you over the Northern Hemisphere and you experience stopovers in spectacular European Locations like London and Madrid.

With a little forethought you can make these stopovers a part of your vacation getaway and create dual-destination vacations or simply add a few hours to your travel time so you can see some internationally renowned landmarks and take in some the foreign culture.

From Colombia!

Domestic travelers will have no trouble getting to Cartagena. Flights are available from pretty much every airport in Colombia including Medellin, Bogota, San Andrés, Cali, and Pereira.

Our preferred domestic carriers include Avianca, Copa Airlines, and Lan Colombia. With documentation hassles, no need to check through customs, and no long layovers you can hop on a plane and be in Cartagena—our own beautiful vacation destination—within minutes!

Private Planes to Cartagena

If you prefer a more refined travel experience, there are several companies which provide private planes for flights to Cartagena. This VIP experience allows you to travel in comfort and style without the need to be herded like cattle through a busy international airport terminal.

We recommend Prive Jets for service to and from Cartagena and can arrange travel for you and yours with one call.

Rafael Nuñez International Airport

When you fly into Cartagena, you’ll be landing in Rafael Nuñez International Airport. This modern travel hub is located just two miles (a short cab ride) from the heart of historic Cartagena. In addition to taxis (which cost about COL$20,000—or $7-$10 US), regular bus service ferries passengers from Rafael Nuñez International Airport into Cartagena.

However, when you book your luxury vacation rental home with us, we recommend starting your vacation off right. We can arrange for private car service to whisk you from the airport to your new luxury home away from home without any hassle at all.

Be at the beach, in the pool, or at the bar within minutes of touchdown and make the most of your time here.

Documentation You Will Need When Entering Colombia

To enter Cartagena, travelers must present specific documents at the airport. Those without a Colombian passport must show a valid passport from their home country to exit the airport.
Visitors planning a stay of less than 60 days in Colombia do not require a visa. However, if your stay will exceed 60 days, you must obtain a tourist or business visa before arrival.
Return Tickets
To exit the airport, you must also have a valid return ticket or proof of onward travel from Colombia. Failure to provide this may result in being denied exit.

Buen Viaje! ✈️
Now that you’re prepared for your journey to Cartagena, we eagerly anticipate your arrival. Consider reserving one of our exclusive luxury vacation rental homes today, or contact us to plan your unforgettable vacation in Cartagena with ease.

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Cartagena Airline and Aircraft Information

Biggest Airlines from Cartagena (CTG)

Airline Flights Scheduled Next Month
AVIANCA 1008 flights
LATAM Airlines 373 flights
JetSMART 251 flights
Wingo 146 flights
Copa Airlines 96 flights

Top Aircraft Types from Cartagena (CTG)

Aircraft Type Flights Scheduled Next Month
Airbus A31X/32X 1694 flights
Boeing 737 339 flights
Boeing 787 Dreamliner 28 flights
Airbus A330 13 flights
Bombardier CRJ / Challenger 9 flights

Flight Path into Cartagena

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