The Port City of Cartagena de Indias; Warm and VividBy Emily T
Step inside Cartagena and find yourself soaked in the salty breeze, warm sunshine, and a tropical ambiance. Cartagena de Indias is a port city in Colombia that was built to strengthen the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Sprawling alongside the sandy coasts of the Caribbean, the city is known for its sun-drenched beaches dotted with swaying palm trees, amazing dive spots and coral reef flourishing with unique marine wildlife, stunning colonial architecture manifesting legends and history, a narrow maze cobblestoned streets where you can lose yourself in, vividly colored centuries-old houses saturated in sunlight, and an impressive range of stone walls that enclose the Old City, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Wander through Cartagena’s old city and you will feel as if you have traveled back in time. Explore the historical centers of El Centro and San Diego, observe the beauty of hundreds of years old colonial architecture in shapes of churches, verdant plazas, and fine-looking palaces with their billowing terraces. Don’t forget to savor the local street food as you leisurely stroll through quaint streets. Some of the notable items that you must try out include cheese arepas, Colombian Patacones, ceviche, empanadas, and Bollos. Have a glass of fresh juice to quench the thirst.
Visit the Palace of Inquisition which is now a museum housing a plethora of interesting artifacts and exhibits. Splurge on some souvenirs at Las Bóvedas, an 18th-century dungeon that is now a successful gift shop. Be it a honeymoon, a family vacation or an adventure for watersport enthusiasts, Cartagena is the picture-perfect destination.