In this beautiful city, history was made more than 450 years ago. Localized in the caribbean coast since the colonial times, Cartagena of the Indies was one of the most important ports in Colombia. Now-a-days, it is national district of culture and tourism.
Tall, modern buildings tower over people. They have incredible views of the sea, which is within minutes by foot. Its beachside is always packed with locals selling stunning craftsmanship and offering typical cartagenean sea food.
Located on the hill of San Lázaro is the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, built in 1536 and expanded in 1657. This castle is open to visitors and its tour lasts around two hours, in which people get to see the dungeons as well as the different chambers inside it. This well preserved piece of history is listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
Also listed as a World Heritage Site is the breathtaking city centre, called the Ciudad Vieja (old city). It consists in what was once the entire city during the XVI century, closed in by rock walls that surround it. Keeping the colonial architecture, it has many of the best restaurants and shops in the city. It can be seen by foot, bicycle or horse carriages available at the different entrances.
Inside the city centre, there are museums like the Palacio de la Inquisición and the Museo del Oro, for those interested in all of the local artifacts and craftsmanship of the pre columbine and colonial times. The cathedrals and houses built hundreds of years ago all have stories to tell – if only their walls could speak. Once the sun is set, the Ciudad Vieja is also the epicenter of the night life with some of the best clubs and bars in town.
Blurring the line between past and present, Cartagena is one experience no one should miss. Music, sun, sand and sea surrounding one of the happiest cities in the world is satisfying to say the least. From someone who has been visiting this alluring city for years, there is no way of getting bored of it. There is so many stories and so much history, you can never truly get enough.