Cartagena is Colombia’s most visited location. Its magnificent walled city, built in the 15th century to withstand the attentions of pirates and privateers, is superb. There are 8 miles of fortified walls and inside you can explore one of the best-preserved and most beautiful colonial towns in South America. It is deservedly a World Heritage Site, with cobbled alleys, balconies and bougainvillea, huge churches - and a climate ideal for outdoor dining and a vibrant nightlife. This is a dance-crazy town and a great place to indulge in some lessons in Salsa, Merengue, Rumba or Bachata!
Located on the northern Caribbean coast it is named after its Spanish namesake, with a complex history as a port for gold, silver and African slaves. The area of Cartagena was settled in 4000 BCE and is the first known human settlement in Colombia. The city itself was founded in 1533. The stunning Castillo San Filipe de Barajas, begun in 1536 with its massive entrance and maze of tunnels, is another highlight. The castle is fully restored and provides formidable evidence of colonial Spanish military might and architecture.
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