Friday, April 20, 2012

7 attractions in Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena Photos
This photo of Cartagena is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 Cartagena is a UNESCO world heritage city and one of Colombia’s most visited cities. It is rated as one of the most beautiful and historic cities to visit when backpacking South America. It has recently seen the limelight due to the secret service scandal that rocked the town recently. 

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When you visit Cartagena, you’ll be able to see museums and art galleries, huge castles, colonial structures, and unique churches, as well as endless parties and nightlife. Situated along the Caribbean Sea on the north coast of Colombia, this city is an ideal destination for honeymoons, wild adventures, and group getaways. There are varieties of activities you can do here, including these seven tourist attractions in Colombia.

 #1 El Convento de La Popa

Photos of Convento La Popa de la Galera, Cartagena
This photo of Convento La Popa de la Galera is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Built in 1607, the elaborate architecture inside the convent will surely leave you in great awe. In the small chapel, you will find several photographs and memorabilia dedicated to the Pope’s visit. The view over Cartagena from the top is simply magnificent. On February 2nd every year the fiesta de la Candelaria de la Popa is celebrated, where followers join a procession from the convent to the center of the city.

#2 Centro Amurallado

Commonly known as the “Old Town”, this place is also a must-see attraction in Cartagena. It features an old walled city which was once a great fortress intended to guard the city and protect it from enemies and wannabe conquerors. Within the walls, you will find colonial streets, buildings, convents, and churches that are admirably well preserved. Head over to Plaza Trinidad to see some of the oldest structures in Cartagena.

#3 Castillo de San Felipe

Pictures of El Morro (Castillo de San Felipe del Morro), San Juan
This photo of El Morro (Castillo de San Felipe del Morro) is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Backpacking South America is incomplete without visiting this beautiful fortress. Designed by a Dutch engineer named Richard Carr in 1657, this huge structure was once intended for protection against pirates when shipping out treasures (specifically gold) to Europe. Experience virtual combat as you can freely stroll through the underground passages and battlefields!

#4 Teatro Heredia

Designed by Luis Felipe Jaspe, this stunning theater is one of most beautiful in the world. It boasts intricate gold-leaf interiors and a notable stage curtain unique to the place, making it unparalleled to today’s modern convention centers globally. If you get the chance, you can catch a local ballet performance to complete your theater experience.

#5 Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca Photos
This photo of Playa Blanca is courtesy of TripAdvisor 

Need to cool off after strolling around the sunny streets of Cartagena all day? Head to Playa Blanca, lay out on the beach, and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. If you want to stay for longer than a few hours, hammocks and cabins are available for tourists at a reasonable price.

#6 Volcan de Totumo

Photos of Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano), Cartagena
This photo of Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano) is courtesy of TripAdvisor Photos of Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano), Cartagena
This photo of Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (Mud Volcano) is courtesy of TripAdvisor 

This mud volcano is one of the most popular Colombia attractions. Tourists can enjoy mud bathing in the crater itself, which is said to have medicinal properties. A nearby lagoon awaits those who want to rinse off. A staircase services tourists when going up and down the volcano. The mound rises to a height of about 15 m (49 ft), making it the world’s tallest mud volcano.

#7 Cathedral de San Pedro Claver

Photos of Cathedral de San Pedro Claver, Cartagena
This photo of Cathedral de San Pedro Claver is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Photos of Cathedral de San Pedro Claver, Cartagena
This photo of Cathedral de San Pedro Claver is courtesy of TripAdvisor 

Built in 1575, this historic church was rebuilt after it was partly destroyed by Sir Francis Drake in 1586. This cathedral was especially commemorated in honor of St. Pedro Claver, a Jesuit priest known to have baptized and ministered thousands of African slaves. The church’s main attraction lies on St. Claver’s actual bones encased in a glass casket beneath the altar, as well as the magnificent stained-glass windows and his collections of paintings that depict his way of life. He was well-known for his compassion with the illiterate, the needy, and the oppressed.


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