This historic walled enclosure, with its cobblestone streets, colorful balconies and inspiring gardens, is surely one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A sphere of magic realism that invites you to explore its charming streets with your partner by foot or, if you prefer, in a traditional horse and carriage. Rife with restaurants, cafés, terraces and a reeshing sea breeze that spreads the romance through the air.
With more than 480 years of history to share, Cartagena’s city walls are the silent witnesses to the relentless battle between pirates who made the city their own in the colonial era. Delight in nostalgia as you wander the town’s forts, feel the magic of the majestic San Felipe Castle or marvel as you meander through the museums that hold the best kept secrets of this World Heritage site.
Food makes up an important part of the city’s personality – varied, unique and delicious. Street food abounds beneath the archways of El Portal de los Dulces, with the beautiful backdrop of the clock tower, from ‘arepa de huevo’ and shrimp cocktails to slushies, ‘carimañolas’ and Colombian fritters. Alternatively, head to one of the plethora of local and international restaurants which boast mouth- watering menus.
CARTAGENA AS A HOST
Home of the local November 11th independence celebrations, Cartagena also hosts plentiful New Year’s Eve parties, from mass concerts to stunning reworks displays over the bay. The city is also the proud host of January’s International Music Festival, as well as the International Film Festival and the literary feast that is the Hay Festival. Troughout the year, the jewel of the Caribbean receives international visitors for classical music seasons, philharmonic concerts, folkloric music, congresses and forums.
Lose yourself in the city’s party atmosphere and let your body choose the rhythm you follow. Whether it’s champeta, salsa, mapalé, cumbia, vallenato, or rock, there are bars and clubs for every taste. Enjoy crazy moments, places to delight in the party that is life, or stunning terraces on which to sip on colorful cocktails infused with tropical avors.
Cartagena is home to luxurious hotels in a number of styles, including large chains, quaint boutique hotels, hostels, condos and apartments for rent. What’s more, a short boat ride will allow you to explore the idyllic sands of the Caribbean, with its turquoise waters and exotic vegetation at the Islas del Rosario, Barú, Tierra Bomba and many others.