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Cartagena Travel Guide


Cartagena Introduction


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This Caribbean port city boasts some of the finest Spanish colonial buildings in the world and has morphed into a cosmopolitan it destination, with the requisite top-notch restaurants, hip hotels and sometimes sky-high prices to match.   Click here to see the full Cartagena travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cartagena Geography


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Cartagena is located in Colombia's northernmost region: the coast on the Caribbean Sea. The inhabitants of this region consider themselves costenos (coastlanders), regardless of their distance from the seashore. The walled city is nearly surrounded by water: the Caribbean Sea to the west and north, Cartagena Bay to the south and the lagoons of El Cabrero, Chambacu and San Lazaro to the east. The most important historic landmarks are located in the neighborhoods El Centro (north) and San Diego (south), which comprise the heart of the old walled city.   Click here to see the full Cartagena travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cartagena History


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Long before its location on the Caribbean Sea made it an important trading city, the area was inhabited by several indigenous tribes. The Spanish explorers who began arriving in the early 1500s were drawn by the superb harbor. Cartagena was established in 1533 as the storehouse for gold and jewels before they were convoyed to Havana, Cuba, and thence to Spain. The city thus became the primary port of call in South America for the annual treasure fleets. It also served as a major slave-trading port.  Click here to see the full Cartagena travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cartagena Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Even if you're not an early riser, make an exception when you're in Cartagena. The sunlight at daybreak casts an enchanting spell over this sprawling city. The contrast between the imposing Fortress of San Felipe and the glass-and-steel high-rise hotels along the Bocagrande Peninsula presents a striking vision of the city.   Click here to see the full Cartagena travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cartagena Nightlife


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After dark, have a quiet, relaxing evening, or carouse until dawn. Be prepared for the night spots to not really get going until midnight. You can also take a ride through the narrow streets of the Old City in a horse-drawn carriage. Empty carriages ply the streets and also await customers in Plaza de los Coches.   Click here to see the full Cartagena travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cartagena Restaurants & Dining


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Food is a Cartagena calling card. The town's proximity to the ocean makes it a seafood haven, with innovative mango- and coconut-infused variations on ceviche populating almost every menu.   Click here to see the full Cartagena travel guide on Travel42 »

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