Walled City, Bocagrande, Getsemani, tourist attractions, pictures, maps, tours
Cartagena, once a Spanish coastal outpost founded in 1533, is a fascinating mix of an ancient walled city built against pirate attacks, traditional colonial architecture, Afro-Caribbean music, tropical weather and friendly cheerful people.
The Jewel of the southern Caribbean was originally a shipping point for gold and silver bound for Spain and a destination for slaves forced to come all the way from Africa. Silver and gold made it an attractive target for pirates. In 1586 the Spanish colonists decided to change this outpost into an impenetrable fortress building the huge walls which still exist today. It is now an international destination for holidays and business events with over one million tourists a year.
Enjoy the unique atmosphere inside the ancient town full of restored colonial mansions, boutique hotels, restaurants and shops. Take a salsa tour at night along plenty of salsa bars and discos, or go for a sailing trip by sunset with exquisite seafood and a chilled bottle of white wine. A romantic trip at night on a horse-drawn carriage through colonial streets surrounded by typical wood balconies will transport you back in time to former centuries. The pictures and maps on this page will give you a great overview of this marvelous tourism destination.
To the side of Bocagrande you will find a strongly contrasting, modern area full of modern buildings, luxurious hotels, boutiques and Spa hotels. From this neighborhood you can visit the islands nearby full of great diving spots. Visit the San Felipe castle, the gold museum, luxurious emerald shops, the inquisition palace, the casino and the Popa convent up the hill overseeing the entire environment. Taste each day different food during your holidays in Cartagena varying from local Caribbean food to delicacies from all over the world.
This famous destination destination in Colombia is known for many international events and festivals such as the International Film Festival, the International Literary Encounter, or the yearly beauty contest and also as an excellent destination for business meetings with top class convention center facilities and world class hotels.
The historic Walled City
This part of town is a marvelous historic neighborhood experiencing a full restoration during the past two decades. A visit to the historic center is a fascinating trip back in time to the glory period of the Spanish Empire and to many adventurous tales of pirates and shipwrecks full of gold. This neighborhood is regaining its past glory as many colonial mansions have been restored showing once again a vivid blend of tropical colors when walking through the historic streets.
The improved security situation in the country has encouraged many wealthy investors to buy ancient mansions and to restore them to luxurious hotels, designer shops and gourmet restaurants.
The renovated historic center is surrounded by impressive walls, bastions and fortresses. The Jewel of the southern Caribbean has plenty of tourist attractions: The Gold Museum, the Museum of Modern Arts, the Museum of History and Inquisition, many impressive churches, parks and the Adolfo Mejia Theater. Taking one of the available tours will provide you with a very interesting insight into the past of this historic place. This rebirth has led the Unesco to declare Cartagena Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Map of the historic center
Bocagrande, the Laguito and Castillogrande
These areas are the more modern, Miami-style, part of Cartagena, also undergoing a strong renovation, with many hotels, high-rises, boutiques, restaurants, casinos and coffee shops along the Caribbean beach. Enjoy riding a bike or a stroll at sunset along the beaches.
You can visit all tourist attractions during the day or at night with the Hop on Hop off bus visiting the historic center, the San Felipe Castle, the Pie de la Popa Convent and the modern areas. Get to know the fascinating history of Cartagena in your own language when visiting each historic site.
These neighborhoods are very close to the historic center making it possible to enjoy the sun and the sea during the day and easily reaching all historical attractions at any moment of the day.
Map of Bocagrande
This is one of the neighborhoods that has been developing most rapidly. Once a place where slaves used to live right outside of the historic center, this neighborhood is now becoming increasingly popular with lots of salsa bars and traditional bars, new affordable hotels and great restaurants.
Getsemani, located next to the Cartagena Convention Center has a cheerful, friendly atmosphere attracting an increasing number of visitors from all over the world.