7 Things To Do In Cartagena, Colombia
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. 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 7 tourist attractions in Colombia.
1. El Convento de La Popa
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 that 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
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 the 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
Need to cool off after strolling around the sunny streets of Cartagena all day? Head to Playa Blanca, layout 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
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
Built-in 1575, this historic church was rebuilt after it was partly destroyed by Sir Francis Drake in 1586. This cathedral was specially commemorated in honor of St. Pedro Claver, a Jesuit priest known to have baptized and ministered to 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 for the illiterate, the needy, and the oppressed.