Cartagena

Within the confines of Cartagena’s sun-and-salt-bleached walls, cobblestoned streets are alive with color, rhythm, and romance that radiate from the historic center, past the 300-year-old buildings, and out to the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Cartagena

Getting Ashore

Ships dock on a small island connected to mainland Cartagena by a bridge. From there, it’s a short taxi ride into Old City.

Fast Fact

In 1811, Cartagena became the first Spanish territory to gain independence from the crown.

Port Shopping

Pierino Gallo Shopping Plaza on the Bocagrande Peninsula is a mecca for shoppers looking for Colombian emeralds.

1

Plaza Santo Domingo

Home to Botero’s famous Gordita statue and the 16th-century Santo Domingo Church.

2

Inquisition Palace

The site of the Punishment Tribunal during the New World’s Spanish Inquisition is now a fascinating history museum.

3

La Torre del Reloj

The Clock Tower Gate is the entrance to Old City and one of Cartagena’s most famous landmarks.

4

Bocagrande Peninsula

This fashionable neighborhood is an upscale luxury enclave that’s been described as the Miami Beach of Colombia.

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Ruins of an old Spanish fort in the Cartagena harbor
Featured Story

Upon Arrival: Cartagena

Approaching the Port of Cartagena, cruise ship guests are greeted with splendid views of the mighty forts of San José and San Fernando. Constructed in the 18th century, these great white-st...
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Things to do in Cartagena
Street market in Cartagena

Shopping in Cartagena

For shopping, head to Las Bóvedas artisan center. These old arcades with 46 arches and 23 dungeons or vaults were once part of military quarters used...

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astillo San Felipe de Barajas in Cartagena

Cartagena’s Best Views

No trip to Cartagena is complete without a visit to Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. The massive concrete and brick structure at the top of San Láz...

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The clock tower gate is the main entrance into the old city of Cartagena

Touring Old City

Begin a tour at La Puerta del Reloj (the Clock Gate), the walled city’s main entrance. When it was built entrance to Old City. When the gate was bui...

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Visit the San Felipe Fortress and other key points of historical interest in Cartagena. Witness the infamous dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition and tour 17th-century masterpieces of Spanish architecture and engineering.

Ramble down cobblestoned streets under flowering balconies and bask in the warm glow of colonial and Spanish architecture. Explore Old City on your own after the relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride.


Souvenirs shopping, Antigua

Shopping in the Ports of Call

Shop with confidence. It’s guaranteed.

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7 Ways to Stay Fit on Vacation

7 Ways to Stay Fit on Vacation

(Without doing things you hate.)

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Beach lunch

Top 5 Culinary Tours

The pleasure of a vacation is not just about the tan you acquire on the outside, it’s also about the delicious delicacies that fill you up on th...

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Where
Pierino Gallo Shopping Plaza on the Bocagrande Peninsula, a short drive from Old City.

What
Emerald jewelry and Colombian coffee, as well as designer watches.

Currency
Officially the Colombian peso, but US dollars are readily accepted.

Did You Know?

The port, fortresses, and group of monuments within Cartagena’s historic Old City are a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.