Cartagena de Indias is a marvelous place that can take you in a time travel to the #spanish colonial period, time of galleons of gold and trade from the new world to Europe, time of Pirates of the Caribbean, when Old World Empires struggle to keep their colonies or help colonies to get freedom from their direct enemies.
A must do for the first day of your visit is to do a #free #walking #tour around the old city of Cartagena (a.k.a. Ciudad Amurallada) and one of the best options is thru the service that Edgar and Jairo provides to all world visitors twice a day from the Santa Teresa square – look for the orange umbrella or the yellow t-shirt. Take some bottle of water with you or enjoy a refreshing orange juice while you walk around the city. It’s ideal to do this the first day so you can go back to the building or museum you enjoyed the most later with more time (the tour doesn’t go into any building or museum, just around the street).
The city “centro” is quite small so you can walk for an hour and a half and get a very good coverage of most important sites, squares and buildings of this #UNESCO World Heritage, who describes it: “The components that make up the Port, Fortifications and Group of Monuments, Cartagena, are authentic in terms of location and setting, forms and designs, and materials and substance. The property constitutes an exceptional example of Spanish military architecture of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and the existing fortification works remain authentic examples of some of the most important military engineers of this period, including Juan Bautista (Giovanni Battista) Antonelli, Juan de Herrera y Sotomayor, Antonio de Arévalo, Ignacio Sala and Juan Bautista MacEvan.”
Walking Tour would take you thru this key points…
- Plaza de Santo Domingo
- Plaza Simón Bolivar
- Plaza La Proclamación
- Plaza de los Coches
- Plaza San Pedro Claver
- Plaza de la Aduana
- Panorámico por los museos de la Inquisición y del Oro
- La Catedral
- Caminata por la muralla y baluarte
- Terminando en las Bóvedas (Shopping Gallery)
Stopping there for a couple of minutes and sharing history and legends about each place, like that touching one about the catalonian jesuit priest Pedro Claver, who defended slaves and black people in a time when slaves commerce was common place and a very profitable business. Taking the tour is very valuable to understand the city and enjoy it deeply. This is, you may see all the same places on your own, but would be missing the history behind each of them. The service is #free but is funded by the good will of the visitors at the end of the tour, so, take some cash with you and.. if you like it (I’m sure you will!!), be generous with them!
Easter Egg: Las Bovedas is a very touristic spot and shopping there is not recommended at all, as souvenirs and hand crafts are way more expensive than in other places around the city. Just avoid buying there, besides the tour will probably end on that place. FOR MORE INFO – You can check their official page or their Facebook Fans Page.
Disclamer: The Fort San Felipe on the picture above is not included on the tour, but also a recommended visit for Day 2.