Beautiful women in Colombia are out every day in the streets of Colombian cities, but especially in November in Cartagena de Indias.

Giancarlo Pocorobba



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Independence of Cartagena and National Beauty Pageant

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  • Place: Cartagena
  • Region: Caribe
  • Date: November 11, every year
  • Duration: 1 day.

On November 11, the city of Cartagena commemorates the day in 1811 when it became the first province to declare independence from the Spanish Crown. This event is celebrated all over on account of the great influence it exerted on the process of liberation of the whole country.

Beginning of the Celebrations

Independence of Cartagena and National Beauty Pageant

Independence of Cartagena and National Beauty Pageant

In the beginning, the celebrations of the independence of Cartagena focused on a parade and several speeches, during which tribute was paid to the courageous heroes who gave their life in return for the independence of this important Colombian port.

In the afternoons, the inhabitants of Cartagena enjoyed the music played by native and foreign groups. At the end of the day, one of these groups was awarded the title of Diosa de la Libertad (goddess of freedom).

In the evenings, there were fireworks for the enjoyment of all. This was the true feast of the people. In the meanwhile, important citizens and the local and provincial authorities attended a ball in the city hall.

Present Day Celebrations of Independence

In this competition, the most beautiful woman in Colombia is chosen and is later a contestant in the Miss Universe Pageant.

Nowadays, the independence of Cartagena is celebrated in the colorful framework of the “November Feasts”, which are full of carnival elements such as: the float parades and the groups of typical dancers inspired by African and Caribbean rhythms.

National Beauty Pageant

With the rise of tourism, beginning in 1933, the traditional independence feast was replaced by the social event whose maximum expression is the Concurso Nacional de Belleza (national beauty contest), which attracts the attention of all Colombians to the “Heroic City” for the beauty of the women who participate in it.

Candidates to the title of “queen” come from all over the country.

The most important moments in the contest are the following:

  • The Desfile de Balleneras in the bay of Cartagena: this is a parade where the beauty contestants are paraded by marines as their entourage follows them in yachts, sailboats and speedboats.
  • Contestants parade in swimsuits around the pool of Cartagena’s Hilton Hotel. This part of the contest is transmitted live on TV.

Social Objective of the National Beauty Contest

The purpose of this event is to help the needy. This is why the key point of the event is the parade by the name of Belleza con un propósito (beauty with a purpose) that has been taking place since 1979. The money collected during the parade benefits institutions that work for the elderly, children, and disaster victims to satisfy their basic needs, health and education.


If you enjoyed the Independence of Cartagena, you will also enjoy:


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