Founded on 1533 by the Spaniard Don Pedro de Heredia, Cartagena de Indias became the beginning and the end of the route of the galleons between Spain and the new world. To protect the city an important set of walls and forts, 21 bulwarks, 7 miles of walls, 7 forts, 13 artillery batteries and 3 breakwaters, were built around the city. The colonial village was built between the 14th and 19th centuries with a rich architecture containing civilian, military, religious and governmental buildings.
The city possesses beautiful squares with majestic churches, coffee shops, restaurants and lots of history represented in Museums like The palace of the Inquisition, (Palacio de la Inquisición) which is considered the best example of architecture of the 18th century; the Cano Gallery (Galeria Cano) and the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) which showcase gorgeous pre-columbine jewelry.
The picturesque streets are ideal for walks or horse drawn carriage rides that will take you through a journey to the past while you contemplate the beautiful colonial and republican balconies.
The stores are filled with handmade crafts and curiosities; in the small jewelry stores you will find the world´s best emeralds, also specialty stores where you will find fine leather accessories and boutiques from renowned Colombian fashion designers. The city corners and bulwarks have an exciting night life.
Small Hotels and Boutique Hotels.
Big houses and monasteries in the old city have become Hotels and Hostels filled with history and colonial enchantment. The spectacular Spanish architecture of the 16th to the 18th centuries, with indoor patios, wood balconies and ample spaces are combined with today´s comfort giving as a result unique places to enjoy the city an excellent choice for those who wish to live closely the history, walk the narrow streets and discover the corners and squares of the old quarter.