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Declared an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984, Cartagena combines the charm of Spanish colonial architecture with exotic scenery and beautiful Caribbean waters. Founded in 1533 by Spanish commander Pedro de Heredia, Colombia’s fifth largest city is one of the prettiest and most well preserved colonial towns in South America and wandering through its colourful streets is like taking a step back in time.

Once an important fortress town to the Spanish empire, Cartagena fended off regular attacks from hordes of European and Caribbean pirates during the Colonial period. In 1586, naval commander Sir Francis Drake, arrived with a powerful fleet and quickly took the city. During Drake’ brief hold of Cartagena one-quarter of the city was destroyed. Many of Cartagena’s key defensive features, such as the San Felipe Fort, one of the oldest buildings in Colombia, are still standing today and are incredibly well preserved. Due to its location overlooking the Caribbean Coast, Cartagena enjoys a tropical climate and a relaxed pace of life. Known for its bright and colourful buildings and friendly bustling atmosphere, Cartagena is a perfect place to get to know the best of Colombia. Cartagena is also just a short boat ride away from the beautiful island beaches of Islas Rosario.