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Tourism

Hotel Cartagena Royal Inn

Discover the city and its environment

Cartagena de Indias is the capital of the Bolívar Department, in the north of Colombia. Its historic center and its fortresses were declared as Historic World Heritage Sites by Unesco in 1984.

Between the XVI and XIX century it was one of the most important harbors in South America, from where it took most of its artistic and cultural heritage. The ports brought not only richness, but pirates and corsairs that forced to build a wall around the city that became the strongest fortress in Latin America.

Nowadays, Cartagena has experienced an urban development but it has maintained its history and its harbor that is still one of the most important in the country.

Historic center

The quarter within the walls of Cartagena is considered the city soul. Its cobbled streets and its centuries of history served as an inspiration to Gabriel García Márquez. At the historical center doors you will find the Clock Tower, also known as the Bridge’s Mouth because it was the entrance to the city after crossing the drawbridge that protected it.

The Coachmen’s Plaza, where the palenqueras live (women in typical dresses and transporting fruit baskets on the head to sell), is the first thing you will see after crossing the wall gate. The Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria is one of the oldest churches in South America, built in the XVI century, another interesting point of the city.

San Felipe de Barajas Castle

Located in San Lázaro hill, outside the city walls, was also declared a Historic World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984. It was built through a whole century, between XVI and XVII, as a defense from the English and French pirates. All the way through its history, it suffered countless attacks but it remained untouched thanks to its almost impenetrable walls.

The castle has inclined walls so the canons of the enemy do not destroy them. It reached the amount of 63 cannons aiming to the bay to avoid the invasions by water. Inside the walls, it has a tunnel system so the troops could move without being seen and to ambush anyone who managed to get in. Nowadays the whole castle can be visit.

Tierra Bomba Island

It is a small island opposite Cartagena bay, which can be considered as a blue water and fine sand paradise because it is not full of tourists. It is the perfect place to rest and relax, but if you also want to do some activities, you can have fun trying some of the nautical sports around.

We also recommend you to visit Bocachica, in the other side of the island and explore the Battery of San Rafael in the top of the Horno Hill, or the Fort of San Fernando de Bocachica, where you can take a boat to explore the surroundings. When planning your journey bear in mind if you want to visit the island in one day or if you want to stay because the return trip is normally at 15:30 h.