Four Fantastic Spots To See When Stopping In Historic Cartagena
Since you’ll often be limited in time during a stunning stopover like Cartagena, you certainly don’t want to waste time searching for the perfect places to spend a couple of hours in this gem of the Caribbean without a little guidance and history. Commonly called the “walled city,” due to it’s many centuries old fortresses, monasteries and other fortifications, it can be difficult to decide your ultimate destinations and venues given a small time period.
Depending upon what you want to see or the things you’re looking to experience, think about these four choices when it comes to experiencing the Columbian lifestyle:
#1 - A Fortress With Cocktails
If you want a killer view of the Cartagena skyline, atop an old, historic fortress, along with food and drink, you can wrap all of this up in one gorgeous, pretty little package at the Cafe Del Mar. Most folks, tourists and locals alike, stop here in the late afternoon to experience a glorious sunset.
You’ll likely need to get back to our ship before then, but you can still hit this hot spot in the off-hours, avoiding the crowds and still enjoy an appetizer, cocktail and a spectacular view of the Cartagena Bay. You’ll need to go through the fort and perhaps spend some time exploring this historic venue on your short journey up to the rooftop.
#2 - Beach Blanket Bocagrande
When a quick trip to the beach is in order, you’ll get almost everything that Cartagena has to offer on the sands of Bocagrande, just underneath the towering hotel suites on the shoreline. Some call it Colombian version of South Beach Florida venues, but instead you’ll see plenty of Cartagena locals offering their wares while wandering the beach here.
You can sit back and relax in the white sands and vendors will offer you everything from a massage to fresh seafood. While some scattered reviewers on Trip Advisor call it a tourist trap, others highly recommend this as a must-stop destination during your time in Cartagena.
#3 - The Saviour of Cartagena
If you must visit at least one historic landmark in Cartagena, you need to see the statue of the “Savior of Cartagena,” one General Basco de Lezo, whose bronze recreation stands in front of the San Felipe de Barajas fortress which he defended when he was outnumbered ten to one.
While these odds were undeniably unsurmountable, the man himself is to be well-respected and admired beyond belief. When I first heard this story as a child, here stood a man who had lost an arm, his eye and a leg in a previous battle, but he still stood on his one good leg, looking through one eye, drew his sword with his remaining arm and led his ill-trained troops into a victory over those that would take independence away from his country. He is my ultimate hero!