Maybe you´re thinking of the song Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean when you read the headline The Queen of the Caribbean? (Or did you think of me dressed up as Ru Paul goes Caribbean?) I have learned that Cartagena De Indias is called the Queen of the Caribbean due to it´s beauty, long history and high status as a port for centuries.
Must admit I knew nearly nothing about this historic and supremely stunning city before I flew here from Bogotá, Colombia. I came with my taxi from the airport and turned into Getsemani quarters, Cartagena. You see Getsemani as a backdrop behind the fountain.
Getseamani is right next to the Old Walled city of Cartagena De Indias that it will be a pleasure to show you. I really love this place and felt that imidiately. Right now the sun is going down and the temperature is 26 degrees celcius and there is a slight humid breeze from the ocean surrounding us.
Relaxed italian café&restaurant Basilica in Getsemani
Getsemani is still not perfected like The walled city center mostly is. This neighborhood of Cartagena still has these colonial buildings that are a bit left behind and dilapitated in that perfectly ”unperfect” state.
Fresh fruit and fruitsallads and fruit juice is found everywhere.
This is where you enter to the walled city of Cartagena.
The Torre del Reloj Público (Public Clock Tower) was the main entrance to the old city. Originally, the clock tower had only the central archway. The other two arches were added in the 18th century, and a new clock in the 19th century.
The yellow tower is still where you enter through the wall to the Old City in Cartagena or Cartagena De Indias which it was called as a Spanish colony. The major port of Cartagena was founded in 1533 but archeologist have found proof that the site where the city is built dates back as a village as far as 4000 BC with notable settlements by indigenous people.
I would like to call the walled city the city of balconies. Not only are there balconies everywhere but they are filled with lucious plants and more bougainville than I have ever seen. Love it!
The colors of the walled city of Cartagena stand out and adds a unique energy to all buildings.
In 1984, Cartagena’s colonial walled city and fortress, which you will see below, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can walk on top of the wall and through it at some places.
I ordered a double espresso with warm milk on the side and this is how it was served. The most luxurious and estheticly pleasing coffey ever, right? Love how a glass of cold water and a piece of chocolate was included. The service level here is very high and there are more boutique hotels than I could explore in a week! I will take you to a couple of hotels that I stayed at in coming posts. Stay in touch for more Cartagena stories.
The flora of this warm and humid seaside burg is truly outstanding if taken care of. Everywhere there are amazing flowers and plants.
Love that you can walk everywhere and easily reach everything within the cute walled city. You can compare it to Stockholm Old city Gamla Stan, or Bairo Alto in Lisbon, but they are all so different that you will need to experience them all. Almost everywhere you go you see the Cathedral and can by it navigate and find your way. The Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria in the historic center of Cartagena, which was begun in 1577 and completed 84 years later is as colorful as the rest of this small gem of a city.
Visible from the walled city is the fortress of Cartagena. Castillo San Felipe de Barajas that was originally built in 1536 is worth a visit done on an afternoon.
You find art museums and galleries of all sorts within the walled city.
This is how amazingly inviting the courtyards of the Walled City of Cartagena can be at night. Click on the video :
Night time at the oasis. The perfect evening temperature is made for eating out on the rooftops or at the outside courtyards of Cartagena.
I walk into every hotel and restaurant to just look and be inspired. Music is played in the streets as well as in the restaurants and bars. So much live music. L O V E L Y !
From the Getsemani neighborhood you see the modern Cartagena and the Boca Grande beaches that I will tell you more about in a later post.
Cartagena, Colombia is a place that I will be sure to come back to. Next time I will visit the small Caribbean islands that you find boats in the harbor to take you to under an hour from the walled city.
Stay in touch