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The New York Times says travelers are calling Cartagena “Latin America’s hippest secret.” National Geographic Traveler reports that Cartagena’s amenities are “colonial chic,” with new boutique hotels transforming the Old City, the romantic setting that inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ “Love in the Time of Cholera.” No wonder this hot destination booked as many meetings as New York City in 2009.
The New York Times says travelers are calling Cartagena “Latin America’s hippest secret.
Founded in 1533, Cartagena now has a population of 1 million. The city is one of the only urban areas around the world that is still surrounded by its original thick walls, once intended to keep pirates from this key port South American port. Today, Cartagena opens her arms to global meetings and conventions, cruise ship stops and leisure travelers. Disney Cruises, Princess, Holland and Celebrity all call on Cartagena’s port, and major luxury hotels, such as Sofitel, Hilton and Sonesta, have properties in the city, which offers more than 2,300 luxury rooms and 1,200 deluxe rooms.
So far in 2010, the Convention Center in Cartagena has welcomed more than 400 global leaders for The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Latin America as well as 55 delegates for the Intel Latin America President’s Club Event. Boasting a UNESCO Historical and Cultural World Heritage Site bordering the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is home to a 6,000-person modern convention center, one of the largest in Colombia, which successfully hosted the WEF delegates there to discuss the economic opportunities and challenges for the continent. Intel pursued the Cartagena de Indias location due to the cost-efficient venues offered by the country and close proximity to the United States and Latin America.
Cartagena’s additional 63 meeting rooms can accommodate smaller break-out groups of up to 500 guests. The convention center capacity is 5,000 people (full capacity), 1,800 in the main auditorium and 2,000 in the main meeting room. The Hilton Cartagena Convention Center can accommodate an additional 1,500, while the Las Americas Beach Resort Convention Center has a capacity of 800.