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Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena, Colombia
Author: Norma Gòmez (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Cartagena is a medieval city in Colombia. It is located in a bay facing the Caribbean Sea, in the Bolívar Department. The city has a population of over one million people.

What makes Cartagena a major tourist destination in Colombia is its old city walls and fortifications, which are the most extensive in South America. The old city is divided into three zones. San Pedro has the cathedral and many Andalusian-style palaces. San Diego is the old commercial precinct, where merchants, traders and the middle-class lived. Gethsemani is the living quarters of the working class.

Cartagena was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 8th session of the World Heritage Committee in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 29 October to 2 November, 1984.

Photos of Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena

Old town of Cartagena
Old town of Cartagena
Author: Martin St-Amant (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Cartagena old town
Cartagena old town
Author: Einer Rivera (public domain)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 10 25 W 75 32
Inscription Year: 1984
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: IV, VI

Tourist Sights and Attractions in Cartagena

  • Walled City of Cartagena Explore the Old City and admire the beautiful old houses, with balconies, verandahs and potted plants. 500-year-old fortifications that have been remarkably preserved.
  • Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas Old fort designed by Dutch engineer Richard Carr and built by the Spanish in 1657 to protect against pirates.
  • Palace of the Inquisition Visit the building where the Spanish tortured men whom they accuse of crimes against their religion.
  • Steps of La Popa Mount 150-meter high hill with splendid views of Cartagena and the harbor area. Visit the Santa Cruz monastery, with its charming courtyard.
  • Las Boóvedas
  • Playa Blanca, Bar&uacture; Beautiful beach on the island of Baru. Can be reached by ferry or by car across the bridge.
  • Islas del Rosario You can visit these islands through an excursion, available with many local travel agencies.

Location Map of Port, Fortresses and Group of Monuments, Cartagena

View Cartegena, Colombia in a larger map

Exchange Rate

Exchange rate as of 1 March 2010: US$1.00 = 1939 Colombian Peso.

Visiting Cartagena

Arriving in Cartagena

Cartagena's Rafael Nuñez International Airport (CTG) receives flights from Caracas, Bogotá, Miami (2.5 hours) and New York City (5.5 hours), among others.

Exploring the Old City of Cartagena

You can go there by bus. The bus terminal is just 6 km to the east of the Old City. The ticket price is COP$1700. The Old City can be easily explored on foot. To go to destinations farther away, such as the Castillo de San Felipe, take the bus.

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