Cartagena, Colombia: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Forget your candy and chocolate, for me a real treat is exploring somewhere new. And if that somewhere happens to be a far-flung UNESCO World Heritage Site, then so much the better!

After a fantastic treat in the form of a dugout canoe ride through mangrove swamps, we returned to the historic centre of Cartagena for a wonderful walking tour.

View of Cartagena’s historic centre from Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

View of Cartagena’s historic centre from Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

The majority of visitors flock to El Centro, the historic heart of the Old Town, and we were no different.

City wall along Playa de la Artilleria, El Centro

City wall along Playa de la Artilleria, El Centro

Teatro Heredia

Teatro Heredia

Calle de Don Sancho, with Cartagena Cathedral in the distance

Calle de Don Sancho, with Cartagena Cathedral in the distance

Bookstore on the corner of Calle de la Mantilla (we did a geocache inside it!)

Bookstore on the corner of Calle de la Mantilla (we did a geocache inside it!)

El Centro is where most of the upper class folk lived during colonial times. Walking along picture-postcard streets, between beautifully renovated buildings, it was easy to imagine yourself back then. And our guide José from Cartagena Tour Guide seemed to know the history of every last stone.

Plaza de Santo Domingo

Plaza de Santo Domingo

Iglesia de Santo Domingo, built in 1552, is believed to be the oldest church in the city

Iglesia de Santo Domingo, built in 1552, is believed to be the oldest church in the city

Contrasting architecture in El Centro

Contrasting architecture in El Centro

The leafy Plaza de Bolívar

The leafy Plaza de Bolívar

Cartagena Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría)

Cartagena Cathedral (Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandría)

Inside Cartagena Cathedral

Inside Cartagena Cathedral

Clock Tower Gate in the city walls – construction of the tower began in 1601 and took 30 years to complete

Clock Tower Gate in the city walls – construction of the tower began in 1601 and took 30 years to complete

Plaza de la Aduana

Plaza de la Aduana

Cartagena’s UNESCO seal

Cartagena’s UNESCO seal

Plaza de San Pedro Claver

Plaza de San Pedro Claver

Calle de San Pedro Claver, looking back towards the cathedral

Calle de San Pedro Claver, looking back towards the cathedral

We took a brief stop at the shops of Las Bóvedas in the San Diego district, although more to avoid a brief rain shower than to do any serious shopping. In fact, it was the architecture of these former barracks, built within the 50-foot thick city walls in the 1790s, that grabbed my attention.

Las Bóvedas

Las Bóvedas

IMG_3786The working class neighbourhood of Getsemaní is located in the southeast part of the World Heritage area. Here we got a feeling for what old Cartagena felt like before and after the gentrification that has swept through El Centro.

Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad, constructed in 1643

Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad, constructed in 1643

Fruit cart in front of Calle del Guerrero, looking from Plazuela del la Santisima Trinidad

Fruit cart in front of Calle del Guerrero, looking from Plazuela del la Santisima Trinidad

Calle de Carretero

Calle de Carretero

Callejón Angosto

Callejón Angosto

Another fruit seller, in one of Getsemaní’s yet to be renovated alleys

Another fruit seller, in one of Getsemaní’s yet to be renovated alleys

This shack is a shop on the corner of Calle de las Palmas

This shack is a shop on the corner of Calle de las Palmas

The historic walls and streets of colonial Cartagena couldn’t be more different from how most of the world imagines Colombia. Thanks very much to Martin of Cartagena Tour Guide for setting us up with such a knowledgeable guide in José to introduce to this captivating city!

José beside a well in Plazuela del Pozo

José (left) beside a well in Plazuela del Pozo

This post was inspired by this week’s photo challenges of Treat from Jen of The Daily Post and Jo’s Monday Walk.

The city walls surrounding El Centro

The city walls surrounding El Centro

If you’re the sort of person who loves delving into history on your travels, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

Cut through the immense city walls near the San Francisco Bastion

Cut through the immense city walls near the San Francisco Bastion

And if that’s not enough for you, the first three Jaspa’s Journey novels will soon be available to enjoy, both as ebooks and in paperback! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Caribbean, History, South America, Travel, UNESCO World Heritage Site and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Cartagena, Colombia: UNESCO World Heritage Site

  1. Miss Rajput says:

    Love all of the imagery!

  2. It looks beautiful. I love the colors – so bright and cheery. This is a very nice treat viewing your photos:)

  3. mukul chand says:

    interesting write up and lovely pics.

  4. arlene says:

    Thank you for sharing these lovely photos, I enjoyed looking at them and reading your beautiful post.

  5. restlessjo says:

    Plaza de la Aduana looks magnificent, Jaspa. I love the combination of balconies and arcades. Many thanks for sharing. Hope nobody tricks you tonight. Happy Halloween! 🙂

  6. Gorgeous photos. I want to go there. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Following mountain goats! | restlessjo

  8. Jackie says:

    Looks much as I remember it. We were there in 1988!!!

  9. Linda Dooley says:

    Enjoy the pictures of your travels.

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