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Listed under Colonial Towns in Cartagena, Colombia.

  • Photo of Cartagena
  • Photo of Cartagena
  • Photo of Cartagena
  • The Old Walled City, Cartagena, Columbia
  • The Old Walled City, Cartagena, Columbia
  • The Old Walled City, Cartagena, Columbia
  • The Old Walled City, Cartagena, Columbia
  • Castillo San Felipe De Barajas, Cartagena, Columbia
Photo of Cartagena
Photo by flickr user *L*u*z*a* AWAY
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Cartagena de Indias was once a rich port on the silver and gold trade route with a hoard of treasure protected from pirates by the city’s extensive fortifications, supposedly the best in South America. Despite these efforts the city was still attacked and overrun repeatedly, Francis Drake was one of the harshest invaders, burning large portions of the city. Rebuilt and further fortified over the years the defences are now what the city is best known for.

The fortifications are part off set by the scenic bay the city was built on. The city itself is divided into three zones, San Pedro where the cathedral and municipal buildings were built, San Diego where the middle class residences were built and Getsemani where the rest of the people lived.

The walled old town is one of the local highlights, looking everything the Spanish colonial port settlement, as is The Inquisition Palace, deserted in 1811 when the city declared independence but retaining al its colonial features.

The best of the forts are the Castillo de San Felipe of Barajas, the Battery of San Ángel in Tierrabomba, the Castillo Fuerte of San Fernando and the Battery of San José in Bocachica which were all major artillery sites as well, set up to return fire. San Diego is also worth visiting for the beautifully restored colonial houses. As well as the architecture people come here for the ocean, beaches and lagoons and it has a intellectual, cultured vibe.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I went to the old walled city in Cartagena, Columbia in August 2009. This was one of the best places I've visited. The people were warm, friendly and very kind. The architecture was really remarkable, the city was bustling with people, the restaurants and bars were great! There was no crime, contrary to reports I read before the trip. I felt very safe and walked all over the old city with my 83 year old mother and had a blast. We went to Cartagena for a wedding and really got to know some of the local people. It was really a fascinating place and fun as well. I never ventured out of the old walled city and stayed for 6 days. If you get a chance to go, don't miss it!

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