Cartagena was founded in1533 by the Spanish commander, Pedro de Heredia. The town was named after Cartagena, Spain, where most of Heredia’s sailors had resided. The city first was settled by 200 Spanish immigrants, and during the remainder of the 16th century had rapid population growth. Colombia refers to a difference between the Spanish city and it’s sister in the Caribbean. Thus, Cartagena de Indias it what the locals call this city. Cartagena de Indias has a long and fierce history and is too long to do it justice to in this post. If you are interested in a detailed discussion, please click on this link:
Cartagena has two sections, the modern tourist and business district on the peninsula of Bodagrande is an upscale glass and chrome version of their Miami Beach. A couple of miles away is the ancient walled fortress that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The city is a maze of cobbled streets, tiny shops, hidden restaurants, and huge churches. Traffic is limited in the walled city and you can get lost in the labyrinth of streets and alleys. The people are wonderful, the shops are filled with unique colorful products, and the food is fabulous. We stayed four nights within the walled city and walked everywhere. We spent New Year’s Eve in the city with our hotel room looking out on the main city square. The music and party lasted until 4:00 AM every night.
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View from the pool at our hotel towards the main square.
Colombian Navy’s training ship was in port for the holidays.
Graffiti around town.
Lights in the city square by our hotel.
Caribbean ladies everywhere.
From our hotel – old city in the foreground, business district a few miles away.
Streets of Cartagena.