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Cartagena Highlights

Cartagena is doable in a day, but best experienced over the course of at least a few. The first day should be spent meandering El Centro, visiting the colonial churches (namely San Pedro, Santo Domingo, and La Catedral) and the plazas (Coches, Aduana, Santo Domingo, and BolĂ­var).

Stroll the narrow streets, taking time to admire the colorful buildings with wooden balconies wrapped with bougainvillea. The museums (Gold, the Inquisition, and Naval) offer helpful glimpses into the past, displaying the treasures and riches of Cartagena’s interesting history. Some great shopping (handicrafts, emeralds, and apparel) are all worth a look, but might leave a big dent in your pocketbook. At sun down, walk along the wall from Plaza Santa Teresa to Plaza San Diego.

As the city unwinds, so do the people, and couples flock to enjoy a sunset embrace or kiss on Las Murallas, Cartagena’s powerful, protective wall. A gaggle of nice dinner restaurants are found in San Diego and also along Calle Santo Domingo. Spend the rest of the evening into the wee hours at one of the many bars and clubs along Avenida Arsenal in Getsemaní, beginning the night at Casa de la Cerveza and ending up at trendy La Carbonera or crazy Mister Babilla. A horse drawn carriage ride back to your hotel will make your time in Cartagena complete. But don’t worry, it won’t turn back into a pumpkin when the clock strikes midnight.

Cartagena is famous for its picture perfect colonial buildings and streets in El Centro.  A walk around this part of the city shouldn’t be missed.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Cartagena: Safety, Pirates and the Sacking of Cartagena and When To Go.

By Brenda Yun
I am a creative writer / surfer chick in need of adventure all the time. The only thing that keeps me grounded is my non-traveling, non-surfing pug...
14 Apr 2008

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