You are here:

Cartagena de Indias: always colorful, beautiful, and romantic

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Cartagena de Indias

Cartagena de Indias

The inhabitants of Cartagena do not say it. Neither do the Colombians. The world and Frommer, one of the most important US tourists guides say it. Frommer recommends Cartagena de Indias as one of the top 12 world destinations to visit in 2009. It is the only location in Latin America on the recent list issued by this influential publication, which international tourists take into account when it comes to planning their vacation.

All those who know this city of the Colombian Caribbean are aware of the reasons for coming. With all the international recognition and tourism prestige of this destination, recommendations and good references on Cartagena abound; on each trip there will be something new and enough reasons to return to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Frommers tourist guide recommends Cartagena as one of the 12 destinations to visit in 2009

Throughout the years, world personalities have visited Cartagena and marveled at its historical, cultural, architectural, trade, and nature values. Bill Gates, Pope John Paul II, the King and Queen of Spain, Mel Gibson, Bill Clinton, Christopher Lambert, and Miguel Bosé, among many others, have vibrated with the city’s magic, which captivates even the most unprepared traveler.

Other famous personalities, not satisfied with enjoying the “Heroic City” only during their visits, decided to have a place of their own in the “little stone corral”. Gabriel García Márquez, Juanes, Shakira, John Leguízamo, and Julio Iglesias are fortunate to have a house there, a space reserved for arriving whenever they want to and letting themselves go into the fascination of this walled destination.

Teatro Colón de Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias

There are so many reasons to visit and get to know Cartagena that the tourist authorities decided to classify them by colors to make it easy for travelers to make a complete tour of all the attractions. Cartagena is brown, blue, green, fuchsia, violet, orange, white, yellow, and red.

It is brown for its historical center, walls and fortresses; blue for brilliant skies and the sea that kisses its beaches; green for the surrounding ecological reserves and the splendor of Rosario Islands and Barú; and fuchsia for the multitude of events that take place in the course of the year – the Classical Music Festival, the Hay Festival, La Popa and Virgen de La Candelaria Feasts, the bolero and jazz festivals, the International Film Festival, and the Independence Feasts in November, when the city is filled with the most beautiful women in Colombia.

Cartagena is violet because it is an ideal destination for shopping for designer clothes, handicrafts, and jewelry at the Bocagrande shopping sector or at Las Bóvedas, in the historical center. This multi-colored panorama continues with the orange of its tasty cuisine that combines seafood with the sweetness of tropical fruits and the flavors from various parts of the world. Black and white stand for the festiveness that arises in the evenings in various rumba locations, in its 16 plazas, on the old walls, and inside the chivas, the tourist buses that tour the streets.

Calle colonial de Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias

Yellow represents the Convention Center and the large infrastructure provided by the hotels that make the city the seat of events, congresses and encounters of businesspeople, chiefs of state, and intellectuals, who do not skimp on words of praise for this Caribbean pearl that hosts the Macondo world recreated by our Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez. And the city is red for the passion that flourishes in lovers who ratify their bond in churches and within the frame of its old walls or who they choose Cartagena for their honeymoon.

Cartagena expects the arrival of 272,000 visitors aboard 143 cruise ships in the course of 2009

Thousands of tourists and sailors who disembark from the cruise ships that arrive in the city for an average duration of 8-hours at the wharfs of the Sociedad Portuaria are able to enjoy a good part of Cartagena’s attractions. During the 2008 season, the arrival of large tourist ships increased by 80% when compared to 2007 - from 76 to 137 boats. For the 2009 season, 143 ships carrying over 272,000 passengers and close to 114,000 crew members are expected.

Thousands of people disembark from international cruise ships, yet movement at the land transportation terminal and the Rafael Núñez International Airport is also permanent. Year round, thousands of people want to get to know even the details of the first port of the wonderful world of Macondo called Colombia.

Main activities for the true enjoyment of Cartagena:

  • Cross under the Clock Tower and enter the historical center.
  • Visit the 16 plazas.
  • Enter the San Felipe de Barajas Fortress.
  • Ascend La Popa Monastery.
  • Visita Barú and Islas del Rosario.
  • Take a carriage tour.
  • Eat fried food specialties like arepa de huevo and carimañolas.
  • Visit churches, especially the Cathedral and the Santo Domingo and San Pedro Claver Churches, and listen to their history.
  • Get to know the Palace of the Inquisition.
  • Go partying on the Calle del Arsenal.
  • Visit the Gold, the Fortifications, and the Emerald Museums, and the house of Rafael Núñez.
  • Go shopping at Las Bóvedas.
Castillo de San Felipe en Cartagena

San Felipe de Barajas Fortress

Cartagena de Indias is a charming city. Learn more about it in the following articles:

  • Cartagena de Indias: Elegance in the Colombian Caribbean
  • Bay of Cartagena among the most beautiful in the world
  • The Independence of Cartagena and the National Beauty Pageant
  • Cartagena Hay Festival: Culture within the reach of all
  • International Film Festival of Cartagena: The oldest in Latin America

Enjoy the attractions of Cartagena through images:

  • Video of Cartagena
  • Cartagena Photo Gallery
  • Cartagena: photos of tourists like you
  • Isla del Pirata, one of the Islas del Rosario - 360º panoramic photo


Calle 28A Nº 13A-15 Piso 36

Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Fondo de Promoción Turistica PROCOLOMBIA

Other Proexport websities