Travel

Cartagena, Colombia.

Pedro de Heredia founded the fifth largest city of Colombia, Cartagena, located on the Atlantic Ocean on June 1533.

Archaeological digs confirm that the region was inhabited since 7000 B.C an umbrella Indian tribe called Puerta Hormigo.

Until the arrival of Spanish conquistadors, several tribes (Karib, Malibu and Arawaks) had settled in Cartagena Bay area.

Cartagena grew rich soon after tis foundation due to trade, and attracted the attention of French, English and Dutch corsairs, who sacked the city and plundered its riches.

In 1586 Sir Francis Drake took Cartagena from Pedro de Busto, the governor, and released it after a ransom of 107 000 Spanish Reales was paid. This amount would correspond to $ 200 million today.

Carthgena, a city of approximately 900 000 inhabitants offers a varied architecture in its downtown, mainly colonial style buildings and some Italian-inspired ornate houses.

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajes (the fortress built by Spanish) in 1639 – 1657 is approximately 20 minute walk from downtown ad well worth a visit. It is solid, was expanded in 1762, and was never conquered due to its location and masterful architecture.

Like in every South American city, churches, cathedrals and squares abound, Cartagena offers visitors opportunities to admire San Pedro Claver Square, the Church of San Pedro and the Museum of Modern Art.

Plaza de Bolivar and Palace of Inquisition on a park are interesting, but adjacent colonial buildings are more captivating.

The Gold Museum should not be missed.

Cartagena offers daily excursions to nearby islands and recreational facilities.

The climate is tropical-wet and dry with average highs in low 24 – 25 degrees and highs of 30 plus in Centigrade.

The international airport is served by several airlines, but intercontinental tourists generally land in Bogota and fly to Cartagena.

There are many hotels from five-start luxury (Hilton, Sofitel, Cartagnea Plaza, El Dorado, El Marques boutique hotel) all the way to bed ad breakfast.

Cartagena has a lovely nigh life with many discos and bars.

If you happen to visit any of the Caribbean countries and are interested in South American cities, Cartagena is definitely a worthwhile destination.

Hrayr
Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?

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