Thinking about going to Cartagena this summer? Colombia is hands down a fascinating country. Rich in history, with many colorful colonial style buildings, places to see and things to do. Cartagena de India is the perfect destination for backpackers, especially because it is a budget-friendly destination.
Firstly, we suggest you to spend here at least 4-5 days, as there is so much to see that 2/3 days won't be enough.
As you can imagine, Cartagena de India was born after the Spanish Conquer. The territories owned by the local population of Calamarì were occupied by the conquerors and became the ideal base to fund a new city, the current Cartagena.
What to see in Cartagena de Indias? Here are the main places of interest.
1. The city walls
Some years after the conquest, the city was surrounded by a wall, which can still be seen today. The historical city center, called Ciudad Amurallwda (walled city) is also the most touristic part and, nevertheless, it has not lost its past colonial charm.
This area is well served by bars and restaurant. To enter the city wall you should pass through the famous Reloj Publico, a clock.
2. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
This is a fortress right in city center, a castle built in mid 16th century and further developed in the following century. Since 1984 it's part of the Unesco Heritage Fund and it is used for social and cultural events.
3. The convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa
Cartagena de Indias 's highest point is occupied by a convent, called the convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa (it recalls, in fact, a stern). From this vantage point, you can enjoy a wonderful view over the city.
4. Iglesia de San Pedro Claver
This church is located in the San Pedro Claver Square; the architectonic style is severe inside but in contrast with the Baroque style used by the Jesuits (banish afterward).
There is also a nearby museum dedicated to Pedro Claver, a Spanish missionary who lived in Cartagena for 44 years, welcoming and educating Afro-American slaves arriving in Colombia.
5. The Palace of the Inquisition
This palace was the commercial center and commercial route between the Carribean and the Spanish centers in South and West America. Today, it hosts the History Museum where are showcased coins, weapons, bells and also torture instruments.
Where to sleep in Cartagena de Indias
Pachamama Hostel Cartagena: the hostel is located in a colonial house and provides 5 rooms with 8 and 9 beds. The hostel is situated in a tranquil area, within the fortified historical center. Rates start from 11 euro a night, but with our Membership Card, you can enjoy a 10% discount when staying for at least 3 nights.
Hostal Casa Escalon: more expensive than the prior one (15 euro a night), it provides access to the swimming pool.
This hostel is situated withing the historical center too, in a tranquil and safe area.
If you are a Membership Card holder, you can have a 10% discount when staying for at least 3 nights.