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Cartagena Sights and Landmarks Guide, Colombia

Cartagena Gems

Cartagena is a favorite tourist destination for many, for a variety of reasons.  Because of its rare beauty, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and many visitors become so enamored by the city that they return again and again.

It is also a city thriving with life - from the Chivas (wooden “party” buses that offer drinks, music and entertainment as they tour you around the city) to its famous salsa dancing, there is always plenty to do in Cartagena. 

Many beautifully restored residences and buildings add to the area’s charm.   Historic plazas abound and the beachfront lining the fortress that is Cartagena is breathtaking.   

Here are some must-sees:

·   Islas Rosarios (beautiful, beautiful, beautiful - just be sure to take bug spray)

·   El Corralito de Piedro (historical zone)

·   Puerta del Reloj (the Clock Gate)

·   The Fort of San Felipe (many movies including “Romancing the Stone” were filmed there)

Now that you know where you should go, here are some tips for when you get there:

·   If your goal is to get somewhere, take a taxi - do not walk.  (If you have time to kill and just feel like being driven around and entertained, take a Chiva.)  Be aware that the first price quoted to you will be inflated.  If you look Caucasian it may be extra inflated.  Negotiation is expected.

·   Know that if you take one of the “business cards” offered to you in the street, you will actually be charged a fee - do not be suckered in. 

·   Keep your passport in your room safe - carry only a copy.

·   Don’t flaunt your money.

·   The “free tours” are not really free - you will be asked for a “tip” at the end, but they are actually worth it.

Most importantly, take a moment and look around you.  Experience the wonder that is Cartagena.  You will never forget it.

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