"Cartagena De Indias" was founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, and was formerly the Caribbean gateway port used by the Spanish. Here they would store the riches plundered from the interior before transporting them to Spain. It is not surprising therefore that the city was a draw for buccaneers and pirates who attempted on many occasions to take the city, most notably by Sir Francis Drake in 1586 who "mercifully" agreed not to level the city in return for 10 million pesos that he carted back to England. It was after the attack by Drake that plans were made to fortify the city and work on the defensive walls began.
These walls still stand today and mark the boundary between the old and new parts of the city. The walls and fort took a total of 200 years to build. The Spanish completed the walls just 25 years before the country gained its independence.
Cartagena ultimately won its Independence in 1821; a full 3 years after Bogotá had been liberated. Cartagena's fascinating history, abundant energy and diverse culture absorb countless visitors each day as they are given a hint into the past and a chance to relax in its magnificent surroundings. This vibrantly diverse and passionate city hosts some of the best-preserved colonial architecture in South America. You will be amazed by the character that Cartagena projects, mixing the colonial Spanish grandeur with pulsating African rhythms and traditional indigenous influences. Simply put you will love what Cartagena has to offer!
Quick Links: Colombia
Day 2 - Bogotá
Day 3 - Villa de Leyva
Day 9 - Medellín