CARTAGENA CITY OF FUN:
Cartagena is a paradise in itself, with beautiful
beaches, shining sun, sea breezes and history everywhere.
This city has recreation and diversions for every
age and taste. There are places to drink coffee
with friends, to take a chance in casinos, to visit
museums and cultural spots, places for animated
conversation and places to spend time with the family.
CITY OF PLAZAS AND CAFES:
Cafes are in fashion in Cartagena these days, especially
those cafes around the center and those that are
outdoors. And it is hardly surprising that these
places attract so many visitors as there is nothing
like drinking a delicious cocktail or a Colombian
coffee in good company while watching the dusk or
enjoying the moonlight reflected off walls and balconies
in this city full of history.
A famous square visited by celebrities, tourists
and people from all over the world, Santo Domingo
is located in front of the Iglesia de Santo Domingo.
The famous Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando
Botero gave his sculpture Mujer reclinada to Cartagena
on condition that it be placed in this square. Cafés
here, such as Café Santo Domingo, Café
de la Plaza and San Bernabé, offer excellent
service, views and food.
NIGHTS OF FUN AND GAMES:
Nights in Cartagena invite excesses and satisfaction
of the senses. Find this explosive combination in
the casinos of this provocative city. Blackjack,
roulette, poker, slot machines and many other games
fill these places where luck is the guest of honor.
Most of the casinos are in the hotel and tourist
areas of Bocagrande and El Laguito. Three of the
biggest and most important casinos are Casino Royale,
one of the oldest, located in the traditional Hotel
Caribe; the popular Casino del Caribe, which has
excellent facilities; and Casino El Dorado Bocagrande,
conveniently located on Avenida San Martín.
The temptations of gaming together with the beautiful
settings and excellent service make these places
perfect for nights out in the best Las Vegas style.
In Cartagena there is also room for arts and culture.
In the center, you will find the renowned Museo
del Oro, which displays gold pieces made by the
original natives. The Museo de Arte Moderno has
works by contemporary artists, and the large Museo
Naval exhibits objects related to nautical affairs.
On the other hand, there are schools specializing
in music, painting, sculpture and photography. The
most prominent among these is undoubtedly the Escuela
de Bellas Artes, located on Plaza de San Diego.
The beautiful coast around Cartagena features a
handful of impressive Spanish forts, including the
17th-century Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas,
undoubtedly the greatest and strongest fortress
ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies. The
Islas del Rosario, 35km (22mi) offshore southwest
of Cartegena, have magnificent coral reefs and abundant
marine life, making them popular with snorkellers
and scuba divers. The L-shaped peninsula south of
the old town contains the upmarket holiday resorts
of Bocagrande and El Laguito. Most budget travellers
stay in Getsemaní there are mid-range options
in the old town.
FASCINATING CITY AND WORLD HERITAGE:
Cartagena de Indias is legendary both for its history
and its beauty. It has been immortalised on countless
canvases, glorified in hundreds of books and had
its every detail photographed a zillion times -
and, as Colombia's most fascinating city and a World
Heritage Site, it deserves every one of these tributes.
The walled old town of this fortified Spanish colonial
port is a gem. It's packed with churches, monasteries,
plazas, palaces and noble mansions with overhanging
balconies and shady patios. It pays just to wander
through the old town, but some of the highlights
are the Palacio de la Inquisición; the informative
Museo del Oro Arqueología; and Muelle de
los Pegasos, the lovely old port of Cartagena on
the Bahía de las Ánimas.