"Cartagena" Cartagena by IrishFem
Cartagena Travel Guide: 56 reviews and 163 photos
Cartagena is a beautiful town, both for its history and people. Full of Spanish architecture. It is listed on Unesco's world heritage site. The climate is caribbean, temperatures around 30oC sunny throughout the year, with a nice breeze blowing in, in the evening. It can get very humid especially after rain and the mossies come out in thousands.
Cartagena was founded in 1553 by Pedro de Heredia, Spanish conqueror, founder of the city Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia.
Noble from birth, for being involved in many brawls he was forced to leave Spain. He established himself in La Española. Later on, he accepted the job of lieutenant offered by the governor of Santa Marta, Pedro Vadillo. He became very rich by entering the Valledupar where he acquired lots of gold, and returned to Spain. Years later, he got hold of the position of governor of New Andalucia (currently the departments of Antioquia, Tolima and Chocó) and the authorization to conquer territories. He journeyed accompanied by 150 men and reached the bay of Cartagena, where he fought against the natives until they were defeated. He established there and founded the city in June 1, 1533. (Courtesy of Wikipedia).
Cartagena is the main port on the Caribbean Coast and therefore was targeted by pirates. The Spaniards decided to build a fort to surround the town for protection. Cartagena got its independence from the Spanish in 1821 and has grown to a population of one million. Most of the old town is preserved, however if you go to Bocagrande which is the trendy part of town where you will find newly built hotels and bars, restaurants and cafe's to sit in and watch the world go by. It truly is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the sunshine if you don't mind the vendors annoying the hell out of you every way you turn.
I am here again in Cartagena after 19 years and to say that the place has changed is an understatement. Many tourists now visit this beautiful city. You can take a Chiva ( bus without windows) in Bogagrande. The tour last's around 4 hours and they visit all the popular sites. You can also walk around the town and explore however beware of the many touts which can be annoying because they corner you at every moment, its best to say "no gracias" or ignore them and they usually leave you alone.
Salsa music plays a big part of the South America way of life. Almost everywhere you go you will find Salsa bands in restaurants, bars, parties. If there is no band you'll hear it on the radio and it is quiet difficult to dance to for the first time but you get better with practice. Personally l enjoy watching the locals dance, some of them are really fantastic.
- Pros:The weather is beautiful
- Cons:Be careful of the money changers.
- In a nutshell:Need at least a week to explore
Inquisition Palace was built around 1770 for the Inquisition Tribunal. You can take a tour with a guide or you can walk... more travel advice
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