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LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Cartagena’s Old Town

  • Appearing as if out of a fairytale, Cartagena’s photogenic Old Town is a treat to wander around; brightly colored buildings and wonderful colonial architecture are everywhere you look.

  • The heart of the city is surrounded by sturdy walls that once protected it from pirate attacks, most notably by Sir Francis Drake. A plethora of lively bars and restaurants can be found here as well as picturesque plazas and historic monuments.

  • Its winding cobbled streets are very charming and atmospheric to amble around. Taking the time to explore the scenic Old Town is a must when visiting Cartagena.

 

 

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

  • Looking out over the city, this huge castle is a must-see when in Cartagena: it is the city’s most recognizable and important landmark.

  • Built in 1536, its strategic location atop San Lazaro hill meant that it could protect the city from any attackers. Wandering around the castle’s battlements and underground passages make for an entertaining and educational day out, as display panels tell you all about its history.

  • Offering a delightful view of Cartagena down below, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is particularly fantastic to visit at sunset for the glorious, sun-drenched views of the city.

 

Plaza Santo Domingo

  • A lively place to visit, Plaza Santo Domingo has loads of fantastic restaurants; this makes it a popular spot with locals and tourists alike, who come to enjoy the delicious cuisine on offer.

  • The center of the square is crowded with tables, and wonderful street performers play music for the diners’ entertainment while street vendors set up stands selling souvenirs.

  • As well as the ambiance of the square itself, Plaza Santo Domingo is also home to a number of historic sites, including Iglesia de Santo Domingo and the delightful Reclining Woman sculpture by Fernando Botero – a famous Colombian artist.

Caribe Jewelry and Emerald Museum

  • Famous around the world for its beautiful emeralds, for lovers of shiny things, no trip to Cartagena is complete without stopping by the Caribe Jewelry and Emerald Museum.

  • The museum is fascinating to visit and looks at some of the myths and legends that swirl around gold and emeralds. You’ll also learn a fair bit about how ancient civilizations set gems and what value they placed on them.

  • As well as the beautiful gemstones on display, the El Dorado Chamber is well worth checking out; it looks at pre-Columbian rituals and ceremonies that involved the precious stones

Convento de la Popa

  • Built in 1607, the Convento de la Popa is perched atop a mount overlooking Cartagena; the views from up high are simply stunning.

  • Once constructed from wood, over the centuries, solid and imposing walls were erected to protect it against pirates. Later, Simon Bolivar would use it as a barracks when he came to liberate Cartagena from Spanish rule.

  • While the fantastic views are certainly its main attraction, the historic and religious site’s picturesque patio is wonderful to behold, as is La Virgen de la Candelaria – a delightful image located in the convent’s chapel

Museo Naval Del Caribe 

  • Opened in 1992 to commemorate 500 years since Columbus arrived in the Americas, the Museo Naval Del Caribe takes you on a whirlwind journey through Colombia’s maritime history.

  • With models of ships and various Colombian cities on show, it is an interesting place to walk around; you’ll certainly come away with a greater understanding of the fortresses and ships that defended the cities from pirates.

  • Located in a wonderful colonial-era building, the museum will open your eyes to how, over the centuries, the country was influenced by the goings on in the Caribbean.

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