Cartagena, Colombia

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cartagena, Colombia

Region: Bolívar

Geographic Coordinates: 10.400000, -75.500000
Temperature Range: 28.0°C to 32.0°C (82°F to 90°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year, and a rainy season from May to November.
Population: 1036412
Language: Spanish

Cartagena is a lively city situated on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Which is famous for its historical architecture, Stunning beaches, And vibrant nightlife. The city’s historic center, Also known as the walled city or Ciudad Amurallada, Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was erected in the 16th century to protect against pirate attacks. Visitors can explore narrow streets lined with colorful colonial buildings adorned with balconies overflowing with flowers.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Cartagena is Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas – a fortress built by the Spanish in the 17th century to safeguard their gold and silver from pirates and other invaders. Cartagena’s beaches are another major attraction. Bocagrande Beach is one of the most popular due to its proximity to hotels and restaurants. However, Playa Blanca offers a more secluded experience with crystal clear waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling.

In addition to its history and natural beauty, Cartagena has a thriving cultural scene that features several music festivals throughout the year showcasing local musicians playing traditional Colombian music such as cumbia and vallenato. Food lovers will enjoy exploring Cartagena’s culinary scene which boasts an array of fresh seafood dishes such as ceviche made with locally caught fish or shrimp cocktail served in coconut shells. Overall, Whether you’re interested in history, Culture or simply relaxing on beautiful beaches while enjoying delicious food – Cartagena has something for everyone!

Important Landmarks

  1. The Walled City is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the heart of Cartagena, featuring stunning colonial architecture, colorful buildings, and narrow streets.
  2. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a massive fortress built by the Spanish in the 17th century to protect Cartagena from pirates and invaders.
  3. Plaza Santo Domingo is one of Cartagena’s most charming squares, surrounded by restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating.
  4. La Popa Monastery is located on a hill overlooking the city and offers panoramic views of Cartagena; it was built in the 17th century.
  5. Getsemani Neighborhood is known for its street art, trendy bars and restaurants, and lively nightlife scene; it’s a hip neighborhood worth exploring.
  6. Rosario Islands are a group of small islands off the coast of Cartagena that offer beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters for swimming and snorkeling.
  7. Bocagrande Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Cartagena with golden sands perfect for sunbathing or swimming in warm Caribbean waters.
  8. The Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian gold artifacts from Colombia’s indigenous cultures.
  9. Palace of Inquisition (Palacio de la Inquisición) showcases torture devices used during Spain’s Inquisition period as well as other historical exhibits related to Colombia’s colonial history; it now serves as a museum.
  10. San Pedro Claver Church & Convent (Iglesia y Convento de San Pedro Claver) was named after a Spanish Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to helping African slaves brought to Colombia during colonial times; it now serves as a museum about his life work along with religious art displays from various periods throughout Colombian history.

Primary Industries

  1. The tourism industry
  2. The port industry
  3. The oil industry
  4. The manufacturing industry
  5. The construction industry
  6. The banking and financial industry
  7. The retail industry
  8. The agriculture industry

1. The tourism industry: Cartagena is known for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and cultural attractions, which attract visitors from all over the world.

2. The port industry: Cartagena has one of the largest ports in Colombia, which handles a significant amount of cargo.

3. The oil industry: The nearby oil fields provide employment opportunities for many residents of the city.

4. The manufacturing industry: There are various manufacturing companies in Cartagena that produce textiles, clothing, food products, and other goods.

5. The construction industry: With its growing population and tourism industry, there is a constant demand for new construction projects in the city.

6. The banking and financial industry: Cartagena is home to many banks and financial institutions with their headquarters or branches located within the city.

7. The retail industry: There are numerous shopping centers and markets throughout the city that cater to both locals and tourists.

8. The agriculture industry: Agriculture plays an important role in Cartagena’s economy. The surrounding region produces crops such as bananas, coffee beans, cocoa beans, sugar cane, rice, among others, which helps boost the local economy through exports.

Noteable History

  1. The founding of Cartagena in 1533 by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Heredia.
  2. The Battle of Cartagena in 1741, where British forces attempted to capture the city but were defeated by Spanish defenders.
  3. The independence movement led by Simón Bolívar, who liberated the city from Spanish rule in 1815.
  4. The construction of the fortified walls around the city, which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
  5. Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist who lived and worked in Cartagena for many years and set several of his novels there.
  6. Afro-Colombian singer Totó la Momposina, who was born near Cartagena and is known for her traditional music that blends African rhythms with Caribbean sounds.
  7. Colombian painter Enrique Grau, whose artwork often depicted scenes from daily life in Cartagena and other parts of Colombia.
  8. Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped by guerrilla group FARC while campaigning for president near Cartagena in 2002.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a 17th-century fortress that offers stunning views of the city.
  2. Museo del Oro Zenú is a museum dedicated to the indigenous Zenú people and their goldsmithing traditions.
  3. Palacio de la Inquisición is a museum housed in an 18th-century building that explores the history of the Spanish Inquisition in Colombia.
  4. Cartagena Cathedral is a beautiful church with impressive architecture and artwork.
  5. Plaza de Bolívar is a historic square surrounded by colonial buildings, including the Palace of the Inquisition and City Hall.
  6. Museo Naval del Caribe showcases Colombia’s naval history, with exhibits on pirates, submarines, and more.
  7. Teatro Adolfo Mejía is an elegant theater built in 1911 that hosts cultural events throughout the year.
  8. Las Bóvedas are former dungeons converted into artisanal shops selling local crafts and souvenirs.
  9. Iglesia y Convento de San Pedro Claver was built in honor of St Peter Claver who was known for his work with slaves.
  10. Puerta del Reloj or The clock tower which is one of Cartagena’s most iconic landmarks.

Sports Teams

  • Cartagena, Colombia doesn’t have any professional sports teams.
  • However, the city has a strong tradition of amateur soccer and baseball leagues.
  • There are also several gyms and fitness centers that offer various sports activities such as basketball, volleyball, and tennis.
  • Additionally, Cartagena hosts several sporting events throughout the year such as marathons and triathlons.

  • Cultural Events

    1. Cartagena International Music Festival is a classical music festival that features world-renowned musicians and is held annually in January.
    2. Hay Festival Cartagena is a literary festival that brings together writers, artists, and thinkers from around the world and is held annually in January or February.
    3. Independence Day Celebrations are celebrated on November 11th with parades, fireworks, and cultural events throughout the city.
    4. Carnival of Barranquilla is one of Colombia’s most famous festivals featuring colorful parades, music, dancing, and costumes. It is held annually in February or March.
    5. Festival de la Candelaria is a religious festival honoring the Virgin Mary that takes place every February with processions and traditional dances.
    6. International Film Festival of Cartagena de Indias (FICCI) showcases international films from Latin America and beyond every March.
    7. Semana Santa (Holy Week) includes religious processions throughout the city during Easter week in April.
    8. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) takes place on November 1st & 2nd where families gather to remember their loved ones who have passed away by visiting cemeteries decorated with flowers and candles.


    • Arepas are a popular street food made of cornmeal dough filled with various ingredients such as cheese, meat, or vegetables.
    • Ceviche is a dish made of raw fish marinated in lime juice and mixed with onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and other seasonings.
    • Empanadas are pastries that can be fried or baked and filled with meat, cheese or vegetables.
    • Bandeja Paisa is a traditional Colombian platter featuring beans, rice, fried plantains, chorizo sausage slices along with grilled meats like steak or pork.
    • La Mulata is famous for its seafood dishes such as ceviche de camarones (shrimp ceviche) and arroz con coco y langostinos (coconut rice with prawns).
    • La Cevicheria is well-known for its fresh seafood-based ceviche dishes caught that day.
    • El Boliche Cebicheria Bar is another favorite spot among seafood lovers offering different types of ceviches along with grilled fish dishes.
    • Carmen Cartagena offers modern interpretations of traditional Colombian cuisine including unique dishes like octopus carpaccio and pork belly confit in fine dining style.
    • Restaurante Don Juan serves fusion cuisine blending Caribbean flavors with French techniques resulting in unique dishes like lobster risotto or coconut crusted shrimp.
    • La Vitrola is an iconic restaurant serving classic Cuban-inspired cuisine such as ropa vieja (shredded beef stew) and mojitos at their lively bar area.

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Parque del Centenario is a large park featuring playgrounds, fountains, and a monument dedicated to the city’s independence.
      2. Castillo Grande Beach is one of Cartagena’s most popular beaches, known for its white sand and clear water.
      3. San Felipe de Barajas Castle is an impressive 17th-century fortress built to protect Cartagena from pirates and invaders.
      4. La Popa Monastery is a historic monastery located atop a hill overlooking the city with stunning views of Cartagena Bay.
      5. Bocagrande Beach is another popular beach in Cartagena that features numerous restaurants and bars nearby.
      6. Rosario Islands National Park comprises multiple islands off the coast of Cartagena that offer exceptional snorkeling, diving, and other water sports activities.
      7. Plaza de la Trinidad is a lively square situated in Getsemani neighborhood that hosts street performers and live music events at night.
      8. Ciudad Amurallada (Walled City) refers to an old town area enclosed by walls constructed during colonial times which houses many historic buildings such as churches, museums, plazas among others.


      Experience The Extraordinary.

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