Best Things to Do in Cartagena, Colombia
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Best Things to Do in Cartagena, ColombiaPosted on May 28. 2015
The pastel plazas and scratched stone of Cartagena, Colombia help this town exude a colorful and faded charm like nowhere else in the Caribbean. Since Cartagena is known for hot days and even hotter nights, you will definitely want to pencil in some time for simply cooling off at the pool or the nearby beach while you are there. Other pursuits abound in this town, however, and in between all the hard work cooling off, here are the best things to do in Cartagena, Colombia.
Visit the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
This fort built completely out of coral from the nearby Caribbean Sea is arguably the most impressive military fort in the history of the New World. The town of Cartagena was subject to numerous raids, but that all ended when this beauty was built, and it still stands as a test to the strength of Cartagena. A visit here and a walk along its ramparts and hidden tunnels gives a true insight of this unique city. Tip: Its beauty is best appreciated during the early morning or around sunset to avoid the strongest sun.
Admire The Golden View At La Popa Monastery
Atop the steepest hill in town, La Popa Monastery is Cartagena’s highest point and is home to stunning views of the city and azure sea below. The onsite chapel is home to a solid gold altar and if you time your trip up the hill to coincide with sunset you are in for a spectacular treat.
Soak In The Nightlife
Cartagena really comes to life in the evening as the sea breezes swoop in to cool things down and the cold drinks start flowing all over town. A trip here wouldn’t be complete without a night of stepping out on the stones of the old town, and to many, Cafe Havana is the hub of all Cartagena nightlife. This world famous Latin Jazz joint rocks every night and the bartenders are heavy handed in their pouring of Aguardiente, the Colombian national liquor.
Get Inquisitive at The Inquisition Palace
Known for being home to ghastly deeds during its heyday, the gorgeous palace off Bolivar Square stands as arguably the prettiest building in the entire Old Town of Cartagena. Even if you just enjoy it from the outside before you have a coffee on the plaza, seeing it is a feast for the eyes. Inside, the grand palatial walls and beautiful baroque facades have waited for centuries to tell their tales of the Spanish Inquisition, and listening about this sordid chapter in the city’s history is one of the best things to do in Cartagena.
Feast on Seafood
Being right on the coast, Cartagena is home to plenty of plates of fresh and zesty seafood, and trying your fair share is a sure way to fully please your palate. Snapper accompanied with coconut rice and either tart or creamy ceviche are very popular staples in Cartagena. Keep an eye out for sancocho on menus – this typically meat-strewn stew, popular throughout Latin America, is made with fresh fish here.
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