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Cartagena

Cartagena is one of the finest historic cities in the entire western hemisphere, and it dominates Colombia's tourism industry. Founded in the 16th century, Cartagena sends tourists home raving about their experiences, especially those who saw fit to splurge on the city's glamorous accommodation.

This is a favorite honeymoon destination in Colombia, and a quick survey of the hotels near Cartagena reveals fine luxury options. In the ciudad amurallada (colonial city) a few renovated heritage homes and monasteries have been converted into sublime luxury options. A greater selection covering all budgets is in the near center district of Bocagrande. This district is outside the compact colonial quarter and hosts high-rise hotels on a narrow, sandy peninsula.

Old-world colonial charm lingers over the plazas and cobblestone alleys of Cartagena. Stroll through the walled historic quarter for an overview of what this city has to offer. Tourists quickly realize that this city is best discovered spontaneously, taking time to stop by a cozy restaurant in Getsemaní between visits to the Palace of Inquisition or the Church of Santa Domingo. For many, a highly ordered itinerary would be a disservice to the fresh, invigorating atmosphere here.

The beach at Cartagena would undoubtedly receive more attention if not for the enchanting colonial quarter. Beaches like Playa Blanca are ready to receive tourists wanting to swim or just relax in a hammock. Beach accommodation in Cartagena offers good value for money due to the popularity of staying it the ciudad amurrallada.

Cartagena – Rafael Nunez Airport isn't far from the city center but still warrants a quick taxi ride. In the inner and outer walled cities, tourists typically get around on foot, though a taxi is needed to visit San Felipe fort.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Cartagena, click on the interactive Cartagena map on the left-hand side of the page.