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Cartagena has been described as a fairy-tale city of romance; tropical sea breezes whistle through the cracks of massive fortifications as travelers and street musicians alike stroll through a maze of cobblestone alleys. Spanish built city walls protect a World Heritage listed old town, where a parade of horse drawn carriages, spectacular cathedrals, and lush greenery cascading from balconies over leafy plazas reveals a faded colonial grandeur.

Fashionable locals dine in the city’s many open air cafes, white sand beaches with crystal clear waters lie just beyond the city’s colourful colonial architecture, and once the sun goes down, the city pulsates with an intense night-life full of salsa, live music, and “soulful Colombian culture”.

While there are so many great reasons to visit Cartagena, here are our top 5…and, after you’re inspired, scroll to the bottom of this post to find out how you can win a trip for two to this amazing Caribbean hot spot!

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The city pulsates with an intense nightlife!

 

#1 The Monuments & History

 

Cartagena boasts monuments & fortified buildings at every turn – enough to satisfy the cravings of even the most extreme history buffs. A short stroll through the city’s historic walled district leads to sober, ancient monasteries, colonial churches, magnificent cathedrals, and towering fortifications. The historical city center dates back to 1533 and is easily walkable. With beautifully restored colonial architecture, squares, monuments & plazas, the old city is more of a captivating open-air museum.

Leaving the old city, travelers will find the massive Castillo de San Felipe; 17th & 18th century Spanish fortress which features a maze of hidden tunnels that you can explore with or without a guide, and climb to the top for stunning views of the sea.

Castillo de San Felipe

Castillo de San Felipe

 

# 2 The Romance

 

Long walks along the white sand of tropical Caribbean beaches. Strolls along cobblestone alleyways as street musicians serenade you while exploring lovingly restored medieval streets. Horse drawn taxi’s passing by colourful, charming colonial buildings and magnificent cathedrals. Sunset cocktails and sexy salsa. Cartagena absolutely reeks of romance!!

Plan to visit one of the city’s stunning cathedrals at sunset; not only are the photo opportunities amazing, you may even be able to crash a wedding!

A charming city

A charming city which reeks of romance!

 

#3 The Food

 

Eating out in Cartagena is a reason to visit Colombia in it’s own right! Open air cafes and trendy restaurants are spotted all over the city, blending new and extoic flavors and ingredients from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and even Asia. Scrumptious street food is available at almost every hour of the day, and from breakfast to dessert, the streets are full of carreta’s selling everything from strong Colombian coffee to sweet sesame snacks and exotic fruit.

A city mostly surrounded by water, Cartagena’s freshly caught seafood & mouthwatering shrimp is something you will write home about, and the Ceviche is to die for.  

#4 The Islands & Beach

 

Tropical Caribbean islands await! Relax in hammocks with a delicious cocktail in one hand and book in the other, soaking up the warm Caribbean sun while relaxing on one of Colombia’s finest white sand beaches.

Islas des Rosario is a beautiful archipelago of 27 tiny islands – a mid-morning scuba dive or snorkel session followed by freshly caught seafood and a browse through colorful jewelry might be just what the travel doctor ordered. 

Plan for a few day trips to explore this whole area!

Tropical Caribbean Islands await.

Tropical Caribbean Islands await.

#5 It Could be FREE!

 

LAN Airlines is currently offering US Residents the opportunity to win a trip for two people to Cartagena! Both you and a guest will be flown from any city in the US to Cartagena, where you’ll explore this charming, colonial city. Includes a three-night stay at Casa San Agustin, a small, charming hotel lovingly restored and located within Cartagena’s walled Old Town.

Winner receives:

• Round-trip tickets on LAN Airlines

• Four days/three nights in Cartagena with breakfast included.

• Accommodations at Casa San Agustin

Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 pm (EDT), September 4 2014, so hurry up and ENTER HERE!

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 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

This post is proudly sponsored by LAN Airlines. 

    8 Comments

  1. Amazing pictures, Cartagena seems to be a great place :)
    Too bad that trip to Cartagena is only for US citizens… We wish it could be also for Europeans ;)

    • We’ll have to petition LAN :D!

    • Still worth it. A direct flight from Europe to Miami is relatively cheap these days and have the LAN Airline from Miami (or New York).

    • Very true – thanks Martha!

  2. Megan,

    Cartagena looks bloody fantastic! I’m curious about the flavours of food they have over there. It sounds exotic and interesting!

    Thanks for joining the tribe, too! Will keep in touch.

    Ken

    • It’s pretty damn amazing!! Good luck with the competition~!

  3. We’ve been to Cartagena but didn’t spend nearly enough time there. It is such a beautiful place, well kept, and full of history and character.

    • Sounds like a great excuse for another trip! Best of luck in the competition!

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