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Cartagena is almost too good to be true. Step through the gates of the old walled city and you've entered the finest Spanish colonial town on the continent. Cobblestone alleys twist their way past beautiful homes with wooden balconies overflowing with flowers. Without cars, the loudest disturbance is the hourly church bells that resonate across the small parks where locals sip coffee and take refuge from the intense heat of the day. Climb up on the city walls for spectacular sea views and when the sightseeing gets too much you can march out to the white sand beaches and work on your tan or swim in the Caribbean. Cartagena's most visible ...

Cartagena is almost too good to be true. Step through the gates of the old walled city and you've entered the finest Spanish colonial town on the continent. Cobblestone alleys twist their way past beautiful homes with wooden balconies overflowing with flowers. Without cars, the loudest disturbance is the hourly church bells that resonate across the small parks where locals sip coffee and take refuge from the intense heat of the day. Climb up on the city walls for spectacular sea views and when the sightseeing gets too much you can march out to the white sand beaches and work on your tan or swim in the Caribbean. Cartagena's most visible residents, macho guys with gold chains and impossibly beautiful women in every variety of halter top, seem placed here as if characters on a movie set. And as if Cartagena were not romantic enough, it also offers sumptuous accommodations in restored mansions and candlelit dinners in intimate restaurants. Long days continue well after dark as Cartagena's nightlife throbs with salsa music and dancing. It's an addictive place and Colombia's best attraction.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Northern coast of Colombia
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Colombian peso
  • Research: wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December to April