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Exploring Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias is an old Spanish colonial city located on the Caribbean coast. Known for its beautiful Colonial architecture, the thick walls and fortresses of the old city, and the beaches and sparkling clear water of the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is a major cruise ship destination and resort area for Colombians as well as international visitors. Cartagena still serves as a major shipping port as it has since its early days.

Cartagena was founded in 1533 by the conqueror Pedro de Heredia on the site of a Calamarí Indian village. Its position on the coast and access to the riches of Colombia were the reasons for numerous sieges of the area. Over time, the thick walls and fortresses were built to protect the city from attack. Many of these fortifications still are in place around the old city.

The main tourist areas are the beaches of Laguito and BocaGrande. Luxury hotels offer accommodations near the beaches. Other visitors prefer to stay in the old city, with its easy walking, access to restaurants and shops, and centuries-old architecture. Several excellent hotels there also have pools and have access to private islands off the coast, with their own secluded beaches. The Rosario Islands are 23 islands, keys, and isles off the coast of Cartagena that are part of a Colombian Natural National Park.

Cartagena’s climate is typically Caribbean with hot days, cool evening breezes, and strong sunshine. October and November tend to be the wettest months. The temperature averages a warm 83 degrees F. For more information visit: