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The must-see corners of Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia is a country with a wide range of destinations that are likely to surprise you with their unique characteristics and attractions. Colombia has beaches, small towns, historic architecture and much more.

Cartagen is one of the most important cities in the country. The center of Cartagena, also known as "the walled city," was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Here are some essential things to know if you plan to visit Cartagena, whose official name is Cartagena de Indias.

The city is located on the shores of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, and it is the most frequented destination in Colombia but also home to more than 1 million people.

Its history is rich. During the time of colonial domination of America, the area was a key port for the crown of Spain. It was besieged at times by pirates and ships of other maritime powers.

The economic stability of Cartagena is based on its industrial sectors, especially its port and, of course, on tourism. Here are four destinations that you should consider visiting in and around this awe-inspiring city.

Baru Island

What characterizes Baru Island is its austerity. The place is not infested with hotel chains, luxurious restaurants or shopping malls. On the contrary, the island is small and somewhat simple; what makes it attractive are its pristine beaches.

If you visit this destination, the Hotel Playa Manglares Isla Baru will offer you a room for two people for approximately $150.

Another option is the Hotel Isla del Encanto, where you can enjoy a room for $280 for two.

Getsemaní neighborhood

The history of this neighborhood is based on a series of movements of proposal and revolution. In the beginning it was an island on the outskirts of Cartagena, and in colonial times it was a place where slaves from Africa were brought to Colombia.

With time, the neighborhood has been transforming by leaps and bounds due to the investment of foreign tourists to build hostels, hotels and entertainment venues. The place stands out for its warmth, its cultural richness, its nightlife, and its beauty and colors.

If you are a backpacker, the Life is Good Cartagena Hostel will offer you a room with a bunk bed for $45, breakfast included.

At the GHL Hotel Armería Real, you can find a room for two at $125, with breakfast included, minibar and a flat screen TV.

Cathedral of Santa Catalina de Alejandría

This striking building in Colombia is considered one of the oldest cathedrals in the Americas, beginning as a chapel made of wood and straw and growing into a large structure.

Today, the officially named Cathedral Basilica Metropolitana de Santa Catalina de Alejandría is a Catholic church. The building is located in the historic center of Cartagena, which is one of the most important Episcopal seats of the city.

To stay near the cathedral, the Hotel Santa Catalina offers a room for two people for approximately $165, breakfast included.

While at the Casa India Catalina Hotel you can find a room for approximately $60 with breakfast included.

Bocagrande Beach

Don't forget to visit this beautiful beach that will have you falling in love with its golden sand and beautiful waters. It's popular with tourists, as are its luxurious hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping malls.

It is an excellent destination if you are looking for a beach city atmosphere along with some windsurfing.

The Cartagena Plaza Hotel offers a room for approximately $85 with breakfast included, minibar, air conditioning and much more.

If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, stay at the Hotel InterContinental Cartagena, an IHG Hotel you can rent for two for around $160, with a view of the city, minibar, coffee maker and more.

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©2023 Northstar Travel Media, LLC. Visit at travelpulse.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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This story was originally published January 23, 2023, 5:00 AM.

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