- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Travel to Cartagena, Colombia
The city of Cartagena, in Spanish as Cartagena de Indias is located on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and it is the capital of the Bolívar Department. The port city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census. It is the fifth-largest city in Colombia and the second largest in the region, after Barranquilla. The urban area of Cartagena is also the fifth-largest urban area in the country. Economic activities include maritime and petrochemicals industry, as well as tourism.
Cartagena de Indias is the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast, a fairy-tale city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's old town is a Unesco World Heritage site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across plazas.
Best Things to Do in Cartagena
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
This impenetrable fortress illustrates Spain's strength during its colonial reign in Colombia. Tour the network of tunnels to see how they served as a means of defense and communication.
Completed in 1796, the 19-mile defensive city wall envelopes the old town and its myriad of architectural gems. You'll see why so many fall in love with Cartagena.
Plaza Santo Domingo
The oldest church in the city from 1539 and a bronze statue of a corpulent, naked woman named "Gertrudis," the creation of Fernando Botero, are the focal points in this square.
Convento de la Popa
Originally built as a small wooden church in 1607, the convent at the city's highest point houses the chapel of Cartagena's patroness: La Virgen de la Candelaria.
Known simply as "The Vaults," these 27 storerooms once held Spanish armament and provisions in the 18th century and later they served as jail cells.