en.infoglobe.cz » Colombia: Cartagena - a city by the Caribbean Sea

Colombia: Cartagena - a city by the Caribbean Sea

Published: 26.5.2023
It has been a UNESCO area since 1984 Its historical center with paved sidewalks, flowers on balcons, colonial, republican or modern buildings - this all is hidden behind 11 kilometers of preserved ramparts built by the Spaniards.

Spring Reading Is Brought to You By:

spoločnosť V-spoj s.r.o.


Cartagena is the largest port and the most important industrial hub in Colombia. It is a large city with vast suburbs and home to over million people. This is a large city founded by Pedro de Heredia in 1533. After that, it became the main Spanish port in the Caribbean Sea. Treasures taken from the natives were stored there so it became a place sought after by pirates. And it was even under siege for five times in the 16th century. Therefore, the Spaniards created an unconquerable port of Cartagena and built thick ramparts. No wonder than that the largest fortress the Spaniards had ever built in their colonies is right here, in Cartagena.

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

Its name is Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. It is a complex system of communications and escape routes. The fortress was built in 1536 and expanded as needed until 1657. After about two hours, we leave it and go for a walk through the historic center. There is always something to photograph while walking the cobbled streets. The main gate to the inner city used to stand at the site of today's Puerta del Reloj. The clock on it comes from Switzerland.

Puerta del Reloj

Behind the gate is the Plaza de los Coches square with a statue of the city's founder - Pedro de Heredia. This square used to serve as a marketplace for the slave trade. The largest square in Cartagena is called Plaza de la Aduana and was used for parades, in honor of which there is a statue of Christopher Columbus. Administrative buildings were built around the square during the Spanish rule. There is also a building where the founder of the city lived.

Plaza de la Aduana

The church and the cloister of San Pedro Claver were both built in the early-17th century by the Jsuits. Its name honors missionary San Pedro Clavero who fought against slavery. His bodily remains rest in an urn inside the main altar. Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría is the residence of the archbishop of Cartagena.

Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría

Its construction began in 1575. However, the tower was partly damaged by the pirate Francis Drake in 1586. The renovation works took place between the years 1598 and 1612. A dome and marble facade were added. The entire old town is surrounded by thick ramparts - Las Murallas - to protect this part of the city. Their construction began in the late-16th. century and ended two centuries later.

Iglesia de San Pedro Claver

To fully enjoy atmosphere of this colonial city, we don't need to visit museums. It is enough to simply walk in historic center and enjoy all the colorful streets, historical buildings and their balcons decorated with flower beds. On Plaza de Bolivar there are dance groups which entertain passers-by. Everything comes alive at night here. As there are so many tourists, stores, and restaurants, worry not about taking a walk in dark. Some buildings are lit with amazing illumination. Also, we think we should try some street food so we buy an arepa. It is a round type of meal fried or baked. It can also be sweetened. Aperas are prepared differently in different regions. Our first one we ever tasted was in Cartagena and it was cheesy. Well, we were not impressed.

night city

Cartagena at night is very noisy. Horse-drawn carriages ride in the city centre all night and operate as taxi for tourists. And everyone seems to be shouting. Well, the center of Cartagena is not a place to have a good-night sleep. Add mosquitos biting you all night long and you get idea of how nights look like there. At five in the morning we are having high hopes of noise getting calmer. But local vendors start to opening their sstands and they shout at each other across the street. 

Plaza de los Coches

Cartagena is a beautiful city but it is quite noisy for our taste. Two days and two nights are just enough to move on again. Now we travel north to the resort of Santa Marta.


GPS: 10°25'32.2"N 75°32'51.6"W

Text and photos: Tomáš Novák

Discussion at the article (0)

Related Articles

Colombia, Medellin - the city of spring and Escobar
Published: 12.5.2023
Medellin could have wished for tourists to come there in the early 1990s. It was the cocain capital and the murder capital of the world.

Colombia: ancient Santa Marta
Published: 2.6.2023
We reach Santa Marta on a bus. We enjoy the scenery around us. There are many poor houses and villages. and interesting coastline. It is quite strange that you then reach a beautiful colonial city, a popular sea resort of the Colombians.

Panama, Ciudad de Panamá – The City and the Panama Canal
Published: 3.7.2021
Panama is a relatively bland country that lies in the shadow of Costa Rica's increasingly touristy tourist destination, with the infamous Colombia on its other side. Nevertheless, a large number of flights to Central America are conducted through Tocumen International Airport, which is located 24 kilometers from the capital city of Panama. And because there are good land and air links between Central American states, there are more to visit in one trip. They accept classic US dollars everywhere (although with a worse exchange rate), so there is no need to exchange money and the Panamanian Balboa has the same exchange rate.

Colombia: Cali
Published: 3.4.2017
Over seven thousand professional salsa dancers, many dance schools, bars, and salsa clubs - this all is Cali, or Santiago de Cali as it full name sounds. It is the city of salsa. Salsa is not just entertainment here. It is the way of life of the Caleños, the local dwellers.

Colombia: Salento
Published: 27.3.2017
A city in the mountains, palm trees, coffee plantations, well-preserved houses and their colorful balconies and flowers - this is Salento. A paradise frozen in time.

Colombia: Bogota
Published: 20.3.2017
Bogota is the capital and Colombia's largest city. The country is diverse, multicultural, and one can even say that you will experience sort of time travel there. The latter happens when you leave the district of high skyscrapers and walk into La Candelaria district with its colonial architecture.

Colombia: Tunja, and Villa de Leyva
Published: 13.3.2017
Tunja is a well preserved colonnial town founded by Gonzales Suárez Rendón in 1539. We were surprised how cold it was there. Well, no wonder. We are at 2820 meters above sea level!

Colombia: San Gil and Barichara
Published: 6.3.2017
The town of San Gil was founded in 1705. It is one of the most important places for sports in Colombia. There are many agencies focusing on adrenaline activities, however, you can have more tranquil of a stay in this town.

Colombia: San Juan de Girón
Published: 27.2.2017
San Juan de Girón was founded by Francisco Mantilla in 1631. The historic center was declared a cultural landmark which helped it to be preserved. Therefore we can admire beautiful paved streets and houses with lime facade.

Colombia: from Medellin to Cartagena across Santa Fe
Published: 19.5.2023
Beautiful and preserved colonial town. Temperatures are nice - around 25 °C. This makes this area great for walks in paved streets lined with white houses with their colorful window shutters and doors.

Related Photogallery

Colombia: A Drug Land Turned Tourist Paradise
Increasing number of travelers aim for Latin America. Today, we visit Colombia, a country of rela...


Czech republic


We were awarded the certificate even thanks to you!

Dôveryhodná firma 2017



Important Information:

Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.

Mobile application:

aplikácia Infoglobe

stiahnuť zadarmo pre Androidstiahnuť zadarmo pre iPhone



Today:thursday 8. 6. 2023
thursday 8.6.
15 °C
friday 9.6.
17 °C

TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.


TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.