Safe Traveling to Cartagena or What to See in This Colorful City
Cartagena is considered one of the most interesting and charming cities in Colombia. This port city was founded by Spanish colonists back in 1533. But it managed to preserve the unique cultural atmosphere and priceless historical heritage centuries later.
From Cartagena, many people sail to North America every day, travelers from the countries of the northern continent come here for the flavor and beauty of the Spanish colonial city. In 1980, the historical monuments of Cartagena, located in the area of the old town.
Lovers of excursions and walks may be delighted with the variety of historical and cultural monuments, and fans of shopping would appreciate the huge selection of beautiful and colorful markets. The town has excellent conditions for a beach holiday; the coast may be appreciated by fans of diving. Today we will tell you if traveling to Cartagena is safe and what is worth your attention here.
What Is Cartagena?
Cartagena in Colombia is a major port on the Caribbean coast, the fifth-largest city in Colombia, and one of the most popular destinations in the country among tourists. According to historians, this important city was forced to become a fortress. During its existence, it was attacked and sieged from 14 to 18 times! Now Cartagena, according to statistics, is the safest city in Colombia and attracts tens of thousands of tourists annually. The historic city center is closed to cars, allowing you to enjoy its beauty fully.
Cartagena is located on the northern coast of Colombia and overlooks the Caribbean Sea. Despite the abundance of districts and the fact that the city is home to almost 1 million people, tourists mostly rest here in two places. They are Bocagrande, a coastal area with a string of modern hotels and well-developed infrastructure, and the medieval town behind the fortress walls of Ciudad Amurallada, where most of the attractions are concentrated. There is also a few boutique hotels and restaurants. The area of luxury housing Castillogrande is interesting for well-groomed areas for walks in the fresh air and secluded beaches.
How to Get to Cartagena
You can arrive in Cartagena with an international flight with a connection to the cities of the USA and Canada, as well as from Madrid, Paris, and Helsinki. If you intend to come to Cartagena from another city in Colombia, the same plane, bus or ferry is at your service.
Cartagena Tourism during to Pandemic
To get to Colombia, you need a negative PCR test for COVID-19, which was done 96 hours before departure. If you fail this pre-flight test, you would be able to do it upon arrival, but in this case, isolation until you get negative results, can not be avoided.
During a pandemic, of course, do not forget about the necessary preventive measures. Wherever you go, you will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distance. As the situation with COVID-19 is not yet stable, be sure to check Colombia’s official tourism website for the most recent and up-to-date information.
Cartagena Travel Guide
It is worth taking the time to explore the local historical sites. The city is full of beautiful buildings and structures that have survived colonial times. The starting point for many excursions is Plaza de San Pedro Claver, next to which is the splendid Cathedral. Its building began in 1575 and lasted over 25 years. Here you may find many works of art and various religious artifacts.
Walking a little forward, you come across the picturesque square. Its main decoration is a statue of the first president of Colombia. If you like to visit museums, then Cartagena would pleasantly surprise you. There are many different museums here, and the archaeology museum is the most visited of them. You can also find some of the archaeological areas of the town as part of a guided tour. Recently, this is a fairly popular pastime among tourists. Archaeological researches are regularly carried out in the vicinities of the city, during which some valuable artifacts were found.
Another museum that we sincerely advise you to visit is the Historical Museum. It is located in an old building dating from the late 16th century. This is a former nunnery, where many interesting historical showpieces are exhibited today.
An unusual place for recreation is the Caza Teatro theater; it would appeal to tourists dreaming of getting to know the peculiarities of the national culture. The performances that are held here are dedicated to the life of the indigenous population; the miniature theater with a relaxed atmosphere is very popular with tourists.
A pleasant surprise awaits fans of spa treatments, they would have the opportunity to make a trip to the extinct volcano Lodo El Totumo. The volcano has a low height; you can climb to its crater using a specially equipped staircase. A real wonder awaits visitors here at the top – a healing mud deposit that has been converted into a real open-air wellness center. Visitors can take healing mud baths in an atmosphere of complete comfort and at the same time admire the panorama opening from the top of the volcano.
One of the most picturesque places in the historic district of Cartagena is the Plaza de la Aduana, the oldest square in the city. Next to it, you can see the picturesque building of the old Town Hall, as well as a symbolic monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus. Tourists are also attracted by the charming Plaza de Los Coches, next to which the best pastry shops in the city are located.
As for the outstanding architectural monuments, the Casa del Marqués de Valdehoyos is worth noting among them. It is a classic example of Spanish colonial architecture and has retained its original appearance over the centuries. Not inferior to it in beauty the Palace of the Inquisition, which was built in the second half of the 18th century. The gates of the palace are made in the best traditions of the Baroque style, and graceful balconies are the main decoration of its magnificent facade.
Fans of elite sports would be impressed by the Karibana Beach Golf Condominium. It is flawless literally in everything, and the level of infrastructure development, and the beauty of the design, and in the level of customer service. Vacationers can enjoy the game surrounded by fabulously beautiful landscapes, in addition, beautiful verandas for relaxation are equipped on the territory of the center. There is also an excellent restaurant and an upscale sports store.
If your Cartagena trip takes place with children, then Vivarium del Caribe is a great place for the whole family. Here you can see turtles and crocodiles being fed, view colorful South American fish, and even touch an iguana. And the vivarium caretaker would gladly tell you some interesting facts about its inhabitants. It is also highly recommended that you visit Oceanario. Here you can watch sea turtles, dolphins and even sharks. Several times a day, trained dolphins perform and do various tricks. And your child can even swim with tame mammals.
Do you like water and extreme or just want a good refreshment on a hot, sultry day? How about the Sede Recreacional Takurika water park, a favorite among tourists and locals alike. In addition to large steep slides for every taste and table tennis, there is a shallow pool with attractions and a play area for kids. What’s more, you can even rent a catamaran and swim in the lake.
Hotels for every taste and budget can be found in the coastal area of Bocagrande. In general, quality four-star service is offered for 110-130 USD per night. There are several old charm hotels in the Old Town outside the fortress walls, rebuilt from medieval monasteries. The range of services in them, however, is luxurious, and the price is appropriate – but here you can feel the real spirit of Cartagena. Budget travelers may be interested in similar options: colonial houses confined to hostels or modest apartments.
Is It Safe to Travel to Cartagena, Colombia?
The trip to Cartagena is pretty safe today. It is one of the safest places in Colombia. Most of the Cartagena tourists spend their time here without any problems, as the crime rate decreases and the general safety increases. The streets are full of police officers who keep order and stop crime in the city.
When visiting Cartagena keep in mind that you are still in a Colombian city. The crime rate in this country remains relatively high, so it is not worth wandering around the town as if it were some kind of holiday camp. Undoubtedly, this primarily depends on the area in which you decide to stay. Keep in mind that robberies and assaults take place here almost daily, and tourists are at risk of becoming the main target.
So it’s safe to travel to Cartagena if you choose the right areas. Discerning travelers would surely be pleased with the developed tourist infrastructure of the city, there are many high-class hotels, shopping, and entertainment centers. So feel free to pack your bags and go for an unforgettable adventure!
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