Have you found some free time to explore the wonders of South America? Well, now it’s your time to experience the positive vibes of this beautiful continent, and for this purpose, we advise you to be curious and awake. There are so many incredible destinations in this area that you wouldn’t know which one to visit first. So let us help you with this tough decision. If you’re heading to Colombia, then, of course, its capital Bogota is not something to be missed. However, there’s some magic in the smaller cities, which is why we are sending our wandering thoughts to a dazzling city called Cartagena de Indias.
Welcome to Cartagena de Indias in Colombia
Not to be confused with the port city in Spain, Cartagena is situated on the northern coast of Colombia and is known to be the capital of the so-called Bolivar Department. Even though it’s different from the Spanish city that carries the same name, Cartagena is also a port city, touching the waters of the Caribbean Sea. But why on Earth should you travel to this particular place? Roughly said – there’s a great spectrum of things to see and lifestyles to experience. On the other hand, you have Cartagena’s old town, a charming spot with amazingly colorful houses, cobbled streets, colonial stone walls and spacious, romantic plazas, which is known to be a Unesco World Heritage site. While, on the other hand, there’s the outer town – chaotic and crowded, reminding you that there’s an active and dynamic life going on besides all that serene and comfort beauty. Relax or party hard – Cartagena has got it all.
Top attractions of Cartagena
Since for more than 275 years in the past, the city of Cartagena had been under Spanish rule, you can quickly conclude that this town is rich in historical events and sophisticated architecture. The colonial era is of even greater significance, bringing a distinctive taste to the city and its attractions. But what’s there actually to see in Cartagena? Normally, if you’re interested in the culture and the history of this pleasant town, then you would go straight to the walled inner city, which is a part of the old town.
Among the various plazas, churches, monasteries, mansions and palaces, most of which are in the colonial style of architecture, you’ll find peace and delight. The thick walls surrounding the old town are called Las Murallas, built at the end of the 16th century to protect the city against its enemies. If you’re looking for a fantastic view of the city, then head off to San Felipe de Barajas Castle, a spectacular fortress situated on the Hill of San Lazaro. Las Bovedas is yet another attraction of this vibrant city, originally built as dungeons from which top you can have a fantastic view over the Caribbean Sea. Other than all this, the choice of plazas you have in Cartagena is unbelievable. Some of the best places to catch a breath and worship the surrounding is actually at the following squares: Santo Domingo, San Diego, Iglesia de la Trinidad, Bolivar, Plaza de la Aduana, etc.
Chill time at Bocagrande
Take your time to enjoy the presence of the Caribbean Sea and its unusual colors. But where to do this? Well, any beach would do the job, but there’s something about Bocagrande that leaves you speechless. It’s the remarkable skyscrapers that make the landscape so incredible, a sight reminding you of Manhattan. This spot is where the crowd gathers, an area of hotels, shops, nightclubs, art galleries, and similar facilities. Bocagrande, which in translation means “Big Mouth,” has also some stunning beaches, most of which are laying on the northern shore and are made of volcanic sand. Visit this place during the daytime, but also give it a shot at night – the lights of the skyscrapers reflecting into the dark sea will delight you. And don’t forget to take a pleasant walk through the sea walk of Bocagrande, you might bump into a statue of the Virgin Marry, located at the center of the bay.
Beaches and ports
You can stroll around as long as you like, but when the weather gets hot, all you’ll be able to think about is the beach. So what’s the best place to catch some sun in Cartagena? Usually, tourists that are staying longer in the city prefer going to the beach outside of the town in places like the Rosario Islands. But if you don’t have a lot of time and you want to visit the beaches of Cartagena, then we’ll advise you to visit the following: Bocagrande, Castillo Grande, El Laguito, Marbella and La Boquilla. Unfortunately, these beaches will do the job for the day, but won’t make you sigh like the ones on Rosario Islands, Playa Blanca, and San Bernardo Island. Additionally, during the colonial era, the city of Cartagena had been a major trading port. Today, there are several ports, most of which are private.
Festivals in Cartagena
This city offers a lot of fun if you’re a fan of festivals. Almost every month of the year is dedicated to a particular festival that brings thousands of people together in joy and celebration. One such is the “International Film Festival of Cartagena” which has been organized for over 50 years. The “Jazz Festival under the Moon” is yet another great invention of Cartagena and it causes a pleasure for all senses. Of course there are a lot of carnivals, and lately, there have been plenty of music festivals, especially ones praising the electronic music.
Cartagena is a marvelous city, so will this be your next traveling destination?