The sea breeze and the sunset that transform the colors of 400-year-old houses enchant visitors in Cartagena de Indias. A World Heritage Site, this city was founded by Pedro de Heredia in 1533; the colonial architecture of its buildings is protected by the most complete set of fortifications in South America.
Cartagena, Colombia is the sum of its incredible parts; its colonial, republican and modern architecture, the temptation of its vibrant nightlife, its cultural festivals, exuberant landscapes, magnificent beaches, outstanding gastronomic offerings and its important hotel and tourism infrastructure. It is a fantastic city that guards the secrets of its history in its walls and balconies, its buildings and its narrow, cobbled streets.
Framed by its beautiful bay, Cartagena de Indias is one of the best preserved and most enchanting cities in the Americas.
What to do in Cartagena de Indias
The historic center enclosed by the walls of Cartagena is the soul of the city that inspired Gabriel García Márquez, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. In addition to taking in the history of centuries-old cobblestone streets, you can explore the Castle of San Felipe, experience the wonder of the city’s many churches, and even enjoy a leisurely swim in a nearby mud volcano.
It’s a pleasure to stroll through the streets of Cartagena and observe its colonial treasures, such as the Palace of the Inquisition and the Clock Tower, and enjoy the warm and gentle breeze that wanders through its parks and squares.
Gastronomy in Colombia and specially in Cartagena is an important part of the city's spirit. The range of cuisines and choices are multiplying by the day as travelers seek new and exotic flavors in both local and international cuisine.
There is a wide range of accommodation options. Visitors can choose between traditional colonial hotels and exclusive boutiques, all of which offer a unique experience thanks to their personalized service and attention to detail.
Cartagena de Indias exhibits all the charm of its history and the legacy of its ancestors, ensuring its greatness and turning it into one of the country’s most important tourism destinations.
If you’re a sea and beach lover then learn more about Santa Marta, the city that’s home to the crashing waves of Tayrona Park, an unforgettable nature reserve, and the pretty beaches of Rodadero.
Known for the 6.8 miles of walls built around it by the Spanish, Cartagena has a historic center that should be explored slowly and without a care in the world. A number of festivals devoted to film and classical music are held here. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, Cartagena is ideal for honeymoons, scuba diving, and cruises, among other activities.
Cartagena’s mythology and its historic legacy invite tourists to explore a radiant and generous city, where they will find the space to interact with nature and learn the culture, customs, memories and stories of a people who carry the flavor of the Caribbean in their folklore.
Well-known for its imposing 11km wall, built by the Spaniards, Cartagena has a historical center designed to be wandered without hurry, where its colonial treasures can be enjoyed in peace. In this city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, there are festivals dedicated to cinema and to classical music. Cartagena, Colombia is the ideal place to spend a honeymoon, dive and arrive on a cruise ship, among others.
The city is an open-air museum, filled with colonial treasures, but it has a lot more to offer than history and culture. Cartagena is a sunshine and beach destination too with watersports and traditional handicrafts among the many draws for visitors.
The magic of Cartagena, Colombia lies in the foundations of its fortifications, the warmth of its inhabitants, the richness of its architecture and the infinite cultural expressions of its brave and resilient people.
This city overflows with romanticism and the corners of its cobbled streets and squares resound with anecdotes while its defiant walls await the sunset to evoke the struggles of its past.
On sunny days, Cartagena de Indias vibrates like the colors of its façades and the sea breeze refreshes a long stroll through the winding alleys of its old city.
Its monuments rise solemnly to the skies and the ancient cloisters, churches, bastions and vestiges of bloody battles are all testament to the invincible men and women who won freedom for their “heroic city”.
As night falls, Cartagena is warm and bathes in its own light, coming alive and being transformed. A unique atmosphere is evoked that enchants its guests and transports them to forgotten times on a horse-drawn carriage.
From its walls, with a heavenly view out to sea, the euphoria grows and an inexhaustible party awaits the first rays of the sun, which takes with it the mystery of the night.
That’s Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. A city that remembers its past is filled with fascinating stories and is always reborn anew.
Close to the walled city lies the modern tourism sector of Bocagrande, with beaches, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
Cartagena’s best beaches are found on the islands of Rosario, Barú and San Bernardo.