When the name Cartagena de Indias strikes our ears, the heart of more than one beats faster. This is the city that everyone wants to see at least once in a lifetime, while others nourish the dream of visiting it over and over again. It is a hard task to escape from its magic.
This piece of Colombian land, which was once fortified by the Spaniards to defend it from the pirates and corsairs, who kept harassing the Caribbean, has become the country’s exporting window in terms of international relationships and events.
UNESCO also discovered its magic and declared it Cultural and Historical Patrimony of Mankind, and Colombians defend and care for the city as their most valuable treasure.
Islands, such as Aruba, Curacao and Jamaica, and beaches such as Cancun, envy Cartagena. They are far from offering, on the famous Caribbean, a city that combines the purity of a style, its colonial roots and its marine vocation.
When flying over the city, before the plane lands, the city shows itself as a defenseless place, allowing the water to come through every one of its pores. Once in Cartagena, it only takes riding from the airport Rafael Nuñez, along the row of walls of La Tenaza, to start discovering its evident and unquestionable military role during the Spanish colonization, which started in the XVI century, until it courageously became the first province to obtain its independence from the Spanish oppressive power on November 11, 1811.
Cartagena was not only played a valuable role during the War of Independence, it also went through moments of famine and epidemic diseases, Inquisition, slavery, and all this because of its strategic geographic position on the Caribbean and the protection of its beautiful bay. Given this, it became the center of galleons’ routes and one of the most important fortified places of America.
Spaniards built many forts that can be admired today, such as the magnificent Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, bastions and even the underground breakwater, which was built to avoid the maritime access to the city. They also built a wonderful colonial city, which was named “Corralito de Piedra” by the poet, writer, composer and businessman of Cartagena, Daniel Lemaitre Tono.
In those narrows streets, its colonial past is more alive than ever, thanks to the effort of hundreds of people who have decided to return the splendor to the big old houses and to the State entities, which have restored many other buildings, for the enjoyment of locals and foreigners.
With the arrival of two important hotels that opened their doors in the cloisters of Santa Clara and Santa Teresa, many changes were experienced. First, the habits changed in both cloisters, which had a past of confined nuns, in one, and of less strict nuns in the other, and secondly, the walled city added to its daily activities, an exciting nightlife in the hotel’s squares. The night at the walled city was no longer a space reserved to solitary rides in horse pulled carriage taking couples that were more interested in stealing a night kiss, than in admiring an endless row of dark large doors.
Unlike the past, today the walled town is alive, and one ride is not enough to admire the real dimension of its architectural assets. Therefore, the ideal thing is to combine the ride with a pleasant walk around its narrow streets.
The tourist can walk from one square to the next, passing by coffee shops, bars and restaurants, located around the squares of Santa Teresa, San Pedro, Santo Domingo and on its adjacent streets, offering a wide variety of specialties.
The gastronomic present of Cartagena has its roots in the past. We can’t separate its marine and port traditions, the arrival of the Syrian and Lebanese cultures at the onset of the last century and the internationalization of the Chinese and Italian cuisine from its eating habits, therefore its menus cover every budget and the most sophisticated tastes.
On The North side of Cartagena, just 5 minute away from the Old city, and near the Beaches of "La Boquilla" you will find an incredible hotel where you will have an unforgettable experience.