Fort San Felipe de Barajas
Visit Cartagena – Fortress of San Felipe
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas – The fortress was built in the 1600s as protection against invasion by English captains like Sir Francis Drake. In 1741, the English Commander, Edward Vernon attacked Cartagena. His 186 ships and 25,000 men were unable to take the city in a three month siege. The great height of the fortress prevented English canons from reaching it, while the Spanish used the height advantage to sink 70 ships and kill 10,000 English.
Cartagena, Colombia, Tracie
The fortress also has narrow entry passages making it easy to defend it from intruders. Workers made the wall from any available material. You can even see broken china embedded in the walls. The Monument of the Old Shoes is on the side opposite the entrance. It is a monument to Luis Carlos Lopez, a poet from Cartagena (1863-1950).
Bocagrande, Cartagena, Colombia
Visit Cartagena – La Popa Convent
La Popa Convent – includes great views of the city from Popa Hill. This was previously a native religious site. Today there are stations of the cross on the way up. See the convent, cloister and chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de la Popa.
La Gordita, Fat Lady, Plaza de Santo Domingo
Visit Cartagena – See More Sights
- India Catalina – monument along the harbor front between the Castillo and the Old Town. India Catalina was an indigenous woman. The Spanish abducted her in the 1500s. She later became a translator who assisted in the conquest of Colombia.
- El Totumo Mud Volcano – about an hour from Cartagena is a 65-foot-tall mud volcano that you can bathe in.
- Baru & Playa Blanca – excellent beach near Cartagena, located in the island of Baru and accessible by regular ferries from the port.
- Islas del Rosario – a small series of islands located about an hour by boat from Cartagena. It is popular for its beaches and for diving.
- Watch the Cabalgata in early February when locals display their horses.
Old Town from Harbor
Get to Cartagena
Rafael Nunez International Airport (CTG) is the way to get to Cartagena. Many connecting flights come through Panama City and the United States. You will find the airport about 10 minutes from the Old Town. Arrange for a cab at a set price in the airport. The cruise terminal is a short distance from the Old Walled Town. Cabs and taxi vans line up at the port to take last minute passengers on tour.
Weather Graph for Cartagena
Cartagena weather is consistently hot and humid year round, with highs of about 30C (90F) and lows rarely below 25C (75F). Rainfall can be heavy in October, while January – March are extremely dry. Weather can also be very windy from November to February. The city has become a popular tourist area in the winter due to its climate and its location on the Caribbean. It is also a standard port of call for cruise ships that transit the Panama Canal.