Destination guide: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

Located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Cartagena de Indias is famous for the beauty of its beaches and its walled city, full of history and location for many important events. In its center, you can still see the colonial influence, especially in the architecture.

In Cartagena de Indias, tourists can also stroll through the San Felipe and Bocagrande castles, visit the walled city, the Botanic Gardens and the Totumo volcano, as well as beginning a trip down the Dique Canal to the islands of Rosario, Baru and Palma.

Fly to Cartagena de Indias and discover one of the most well-preserved destinations in South America.

  • Cartagena de Indias

    Cartagena de Indias is a tale of three cities, all dancing hand in hand in a ménage à trois of Latin juxtaposition. There is the fairy-tale city of romance, legends and sheer beauty, immaculately preserved within the impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stonewalls. Here in Cartagena’s old town, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where a maze of cobbled alleys slither below enormous balconies shrouded in bougainvillea and massive churches cast their shadows across plazas, it’s difficult not to get lost in its charms.

    The outer town is here where the Cartagena of broken dreams lives on, a workhouse South American city like any other. To the south, the peninsula of Bocagrande is where fashionable cartageneros sip coffee in trendy cafes, dine in glossy restaurants and live in upscale luxury condos that line the area like guardians to a New World. All three are worth taking in, but none of them could be more different from the other.

    Cartagena is a place to drop all sightseeing routines. Instead, just stroll through the old town day and night. Soak up the sensual atmosphere, pausing to ward off the brutal heat and humidity in one of the city’s many open-air cafes that sit, not unlike Venice, in enchanting colonial plazas hidden around one corner or another. Holding its own against Brazil’s Ouro Preto and Peru’s Cuzco for the continent’s most enthralling and righteously preserved colonial destinations, it’s hard to walk away from Cartagena – it seizes you in its aged clutches and refuses to let go.

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