Why a Cruise to Cartagena, Colombia Should Be on Your Bucket List
Beautiful Cartagena is one of the most photogenic cities in all of the Americas. Colombia cruises take you to this amazing city of cobbled streets, colorful mansion, fascinating museums, squares, and plazas. It was founded in 1533 as a major Spanish port and a vital trade link between the Spanish Empire and the coastal Caribbean region. The Old Town of Cartagena de Indias is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sits behind the tall stone fortress walls built to protect it. There is so much history to absorb and fall in love within Cartagena, the Fortress City. Choose from several Colombia cruises that stop in this historic city on their journey. You’ll enjoy art, music, and theater as well as the sandy beach and beautiful blue sea. Cartagena’s charm and beauty draw visitors back time-and-time again.
- Plaza San Pedro Claver – This popular gathering spot for locals features a large church named after San Pedro Claver, the Patron Saint of slaves. Many street activities take place here. Be sure to photograph the beautiful sculptures that honor city life and activities.
- Plaza de La Aduana – This charming plaza area is bordered by fortress walls on one side and has one of the city’s largest open spaces. The old colonial customs house (former home of Cartagena founder Don Pedro de Heredia) overlooks the pretty square.
- Plaza de Bolivar – Cartagena honors Simón Bolivar in this lovely and tree-filled plaza. A statue of “The Liberato” on horseback overlooks the plaza. Enjoy watching champeta dance performances and music while relaxing on one of the many plaza benches.
- Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas – This huge castle overlooking the city is the crowing landmark. Construction began in 1639 and was completed 150 years later. Visitors are free to navigate through the battlements and underground passages to observe the amazing architecture.
- Enjoy a Mud Volcano Bath – It’s fun to wallow in mud, and it’s great for your skin. Just outside the city is El Totumo, a small volcano full of thick bubbly mud to bathe in. You can float in the mud, have your picture taken with your camera or cell phone (be sure to tip the guy who takes it), get a massage if you like, and even get one of the local women to wash the mud off you in the lake. Everyone expects a tip since there is no fee. It’s great fun and helps the local people earn some money.
- Museo de Oro – Be amazed at the exceptional collection of Zenú gold art and pottery. The Zenús (also known as Sinú} people inhabited the areas of Bolivar, Córdoba, Sucre, and northern Antioquia prior to the Spanish conquest. They often hold special exhibitions. Guided tours are available in English and Spanish.
Palace of the Inquisition – Housed in one of Cartagena’s beautiful colonial buildings, this fascinating museum documents a dark time in the country’s history. During the Spanish Inquisition, representatives were sent to punish “heretics” for the crimes of magic, witchcraft, and blasphemy which were considered threats to the authority of the Catholic Church.
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