ColombiaFri, 18 Dec 2015, 17:14

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Cartagena de Indias is an open, legendary treasure that preserves the mysteries of past times in the Caribbean. Cartagena de Indias is the fifth largest city in Colombia and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Colombia:  Located in the northwestern region of South America, Colombia is the main port of entry to the continent and shares borders with five nations: Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Panama. It is the 26th largest nation in the world and the fourth-largest country in South America after Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

Colombia´s geostrategic position in the middle of the American continent facilitates travel from visitors coming from around the world. With more than 611 international weekly frequencies, 5.000 national weekly frequencies and six international airports, Colombia is definitely a modern and well-connected country.

Due to its privileged location on the continent, Colombia counts with different altitude levels, climates and natural elements making it the second most biodiverse country in the world. Covering just around 1% of the earth´s surface, it possesses around 10% of all flora and fauna of the world. In Colombia, you can find three mountain ranges, access to the Amazon River, an extensive coastline over two oceans, the Amazon jungle, countless high plains, immense valleys, deserts and a great wealth of water resources.


Colombia in the world is:
1st Orchids, birds, butterfly, emeralds, carnations and palm
2nd Plants, fish, fresh water, roses
3rd Coffee, reptiles, bananas
4th Carbon, mammals, ferro-nickel

One of the most beautiful cities in Colombia, Cartagena de Indias, is an ideal location to host congresses, conventions and meetings. Its excellent geographic location, made the city shelter for many treasures of the Spanish Crown. In order to defend the city from pirate attacks and invasions, an 11 km fortress was built. Due to Cartagena´s historical heritage, the UNESCO declared the city a “World Heritage Site” in 1984.

•    Population: 1,030,149 inhabitants
•    Climate: Tropical, humid
•    Temperature: 20ºC to 30ºC. Relative humidity: 90%
•    Access: Air, Maritime, River and Land
•    Location: 10x  to 20’ Latitude North.  – 73c 33’ Latitude West
•    Altitude: 2 meters (6.5 feet) above sea level
•    Extension: 609.1 square kilometers
•    Currency: Colombian Peso 1 USD = $2,000 Colombian Pesos
•    Economic activity: Tourist services, Commercial, Industrial and Logistic



Cartagena features a rich fusion cuisine, combining ingredients from its African, Spanish and Indigenous roots as well as the food brought by Arabic and Spanish immigrants.  Its local cuisine is mainly composed by seafood dishes, like fish and shellfish and accompanied with coconut rice, fried plantain and salad.

Typical dishes also include the so-called "sancocho" made of fish or meats with large pieces of plantain, potato, yucca and other vegetables. You can also find the traditional “arepa de huevo” (egg filled arepa) or a “carimañolas” best described as a Yuca Fiter with meat inside.

Cartagena also boasts a wide range of exotic fruits including sweet coconut, mango, pineapple, papaya, guava among others which are sold by the palenqueras, the iconic fruit vendors that walk around the streets or beaches carrying a bowl of fruits so artistically in their heads.

The city has numerous good restaurants inside and outside the walled city.  Arabic, Cuban, Italian and traditional Colombian restaurants can be found in the modern and historic areas representing the diversity and the flavors brought about by immigrants and inhabitants of the city.


Cartagena offers multiple bars, cafes, casinos and discotheques around the city. When walking through the walled city you will find salsa night clubs, lively restaurants in the different historical plazas and bars/cafes on top of bulwarks and fortresses.

At night, you may enjoying a horse drawn coach ride or take a long walk through the Old City admiring the splendid view lit up by romantic colonial street lights. For something more intense, you may jump in a“chiva” or bright colored-painted buses that tour around the city with a live music band aboard and an open bar.


Chiva Rumbera


In Cartagena you can walk trough the historical San Felipe’s Fortress, buy handmade souvenirs at Las Bovedas, visit La Popa’s Convent and have a beautiful sight of the city, learn about the Inquisition period at its museum palace, enjoy the Caribbean beauty of Rosario’s Islands, have a walk trough the Walled City or take for a ride in chiva or carriage and finally, have a romantic dinner at any of the city’s old plazas.  You can also enjoy the sun at the beach, day-light walk trough its streets, romantic sunsets as well as clubbing nights that mix modern and antique stages.

Touring the Walled City in a horse-drawn coach and observing the colorful colonial houses is a true pleasure. Every single street in Cartagena has a history of its own. It is impossible not to visit magnificent sites like the Palace of the Inquisition, the Clock Tower, and the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas.

Chiva Tour: Tour the city in the unique "Chivas Rumberas" by day or night where visitors can enjoy the live music and national drinks offered by the open bar on board the chiva. The Chiva Rumbera gives a tour around the fortifications of the city, including the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas and the walled city as well as the modern area of the city.

Rosario Island:

One of the many options is a trip to the Rosario Islands, a small and charming coral archipelago located just 45 minutes by boat from Cartagena. Its white beaches and transparent waters invite sun and beach lovers to become immersed in a marvelous landscape.


La Popa Convent:

The hill of La Popa is a good site to appreciate the Heroic City from a distance, with a beautiful view that includes the Caribbean, the Island of Tierrabomba, the tourist area, the walled downtown, La Boquilla, the northern zone and the city in general.

Fort San Felipe de Barajas:

It is the biggest Spanish fort in the New World.

The Walled City:

Enjoy a walk in the picturesque colonial streets of Cartagena, discover the remains of history on every wall and fort built at the time of the Spanish conquest.

Totumo Volcano:

Enjoy a swim in the medicinal and therapeutic mud of the Totumo Volcano, just 20 minutes from the city.

Horse drawn Carriage:

Boarding a horse drawn carriage through the walled city transports you to colonial times and gives a touch of magic to your trip.


Walking Historical Tour: Walking through the main historical attractions within the walled city you will find museums, plazas, theaters, cathedrals among other historical attractions:


Cartagena is the perfect place to conduct social gatherings of any kind. Cartagena’s walled city and fortifications allow for unique venues unlike any other in the world. Each site provides a touch of elegance and romance, fit for galas, social events and corporate meeting inaugural and closing events. Some sites that are recommended for this purpose are:

ϖ    Aduana Plaza: It is the largest square in the city where the Customs House was located and where all the trade was controlled. Currently, the building adjacent to the plaza houses the District Municipality. Seating Capacity for the event: 2000 PAX

ϖ    San Ignacio and San Francisco Bulwarks:

Were built around 1630, their mission was to discourage any attempt against the dock and to cooperate with the defense of Bocagrande.

San Ignacio-Seating Capacity for events: 500 PAX, San Francisco Bulwark- Seating Capacity for events: 350 PAX

ϖ    “La Proclamación” Plaza: It was given the name of Proclamation Plaza on November 11, 1811 when the city congregated on the plaza to support the signing of the Independence Act. Seating Capacity for events: 150 (300 cocktail) PAX

ϖ    San Felipe de Barajas Castle: San Felipe Castle is the largest Colonial Spanish forte in Colombia and an outstanding example of military engineering from the Colonial Period.  It was originally built between 1639 and 1657 and later enlarged in 1762.   Seating capacity for events: 1000 PAX

Additional Resources:

Cartagena Convention Bureau
Skype ID:

Tourist office of Cartagena