Historical Sights, Beautiful Beaches, and Exciting Nights
Cartagena, Colombia was originally founded in 1533 and used as a port for the country of Spain. Precious stones and minerals they mined in South America were sent here to await shipment back to Europe. Due to its precious cargo, the city was built with a great number of fortresses and underground passageways that were designed to provide protection from pirates. The largest of these is Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, which is actually a series of fortresses. Complete with a tunnel system designed for supplying and evacuating the fortress, this is an excellent example of historical Cartagena.
Sight-seeing and Shopping in the Colonial Zone
The historical city representing the colonial era is known as Ciudad Amarullada, or Walled City. Complete with courtyards bursting with beautiful flowers, tiled roofs and small balconies overlooking the narrow streets, this is the perfect place to explore. On Calle Santo Domingo, you can find the Iglesia de Santo Domingo, the city’s oldest church. It, along with Cartagena’s Cathedral, was built to resist invaders. Plaza Bolivar has much to offer in the way of things to see.
To start, the Museode Oro y Arqueloguía boasts a sizeable collection of gold and pottery from the Sinú culture. Down the street you will find the Palacio de la Inquisicíon. This testament to colonial architecture is also home to many historical artifacts including instruments of torture from the Spanish inquisition, and art from the pre-Colombian, colonial and independence eras.
Las Bóvedas offers visitors a place to get their shopping done. Originally serving as dungeons for the military, they have now been converted to boutiques and tourist shops. Many structures from the colonial area are now being used as shops and museums, helping visitors to appreciate the architecture and the history of the city.
Relaxing, Dining, and Dancing in Cartagena
Venturing inland from the bay, there is much to see and do in the interior, near the city of Cartagena. Many choose to travel to the Parque Nacional Tayrona, where you can enjoy white sandy beaches that run right up against some of the highest coastal peaks in the world. Unsafe for swimming, the park is extremely popular among hikers, trekkers, campers and other adventurers.
Bocagrande and El Laguito, located on the peninsula facing the Caribbean are fine examples of some of the newer areas to the city. They are home to upscale restaurants, shops, and hotels, and provide visitors with some of the best places for long nights of dancing and partying. Whether you are in it for the history, the weather, the sights, or the nightlife, Cartagena and the surrounding area is a great place to spend your vacation.
It’s not a matter of where, but when. Time is precious and my time spent living and experience the cultures of this world is what I lust for. This is why I created this website, to share true, genuine experiences and not just typical touristy info. Travel, the love of coffee, and food!