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My Travels: Cartagena de Indias - The Walled City

The old city with the clock tower in the background

It took me some time to edit and upload the pictures for this blog post, but I'm so happy I finally got to do it because Cartagena is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to.

I visited Cartagena a month ago during one of my vacation trips throughout Colombia. As soon as I set foot here, my oh my, I totally fell in love!

The following pictures are a small sample of the beauty and history packed into this place, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

My previous travel post was about the Rosario Islands, which you can read about right HERE. As I mentioned, Cartagena is a port city on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Before I go into detail, let me tell you about Cartagena's history. 


Cartagena's strategic location between two big rivers in Colombia made it a major port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire, giving it extraordinary importance in the 1540s. 

However, as a port for exporting Peruvian silver and many goods to Spain, the city was constantly the target of pirates, who ransacked it many times.

After many attacks, a defensive tower was built, but of course, the defensive tower was not enough to keep the city safe, so years later, Spain commissioned a master plan for a walled city.
map of Cartagena
Via: Tierra Magna

The above picture shows the historic city with its almost 7-mile defensive wall. Forts were added along the coast, making Cartagena an impenetrable city.

Casa Marques del Pedregal
Casa Marques del Pedregal - Holiday Home

I also want to share this: the hotel we stayed in is a small and very pretty B&B that I recommend.

The hosts were terrific and made us feel like we were home!

a part of the wall surrounding the old city

Okay, here's a small portion of the wall. 

You can tour the wall; it takes about two hours to walk its length. We didn't do it, but I would love to someday.


This is how it looks inside this fort, looking at the sea.

Cristina Garay at fort

I'm here posing at the very edge. The new city peeking through.

architecture - fort

on the wall around Cartagena

My son was also here, on top of the wall.
street shot with building with gorgeous balconies

Soon after, we headed to the historic city, and I just wanted to get out of the car and start taking pictures of all I was witnessing!

The old city with its charming houses

Getting in there is like stepping back in history.

Charming yellow home with double balcony

The bright-colored houses, the flowered balconies, and all those little details.

Charming blue house

It all gives you that sense of living in another era. 

You can almost feel the stories those little streets have witnessed.

old city stores

The exterior colonial architecture has been protected, but the inside of most of these houses has been modified to host high-end boutiques and shops.

gorgeous wooden door

Beautiful corner home with lots of balconies

Big door with embellishments

I couldn't concentrate on only one thing...

The lights.
The wonderful balconies.
Those magnificent doors with the most gorgeous details.

Ahh, look at that!

lovely wooden door

wooden door details

So many treasures!

beautiful wooden door with metal screen

Really, my eyes were wide open, taking everything in.


white door

big white door with black dots

Wooden door

Yellow house with white door

Cristina Garay

Colonial architecture - street with houses

wooden balcony

white houses

plaza mayor

After lots of walking, we needed a break.

plaza mayor

plaza mayor church

We stopped here, right in front of Santo Domingo church.

cumbia dancing in the park

Later on, we enjoyed watching this group perform a Cumbia dance in a nearby park.

Cristina Garay - Evening in Cartagena

As the day turned into night, I was tired but happy to be in that gorgeous place.

Cartagena architecture with lots of balconies

Well, let me invite you to visit Cartagena de Indias, the walled city. It is a truly incredible city with absolutely stunning architecture, great restaurants and shops, and lots of day and night activities for everyone!


Enjoy what you read today?



  1. Awesome pics, magnificent architecture! I also LOVE doors so have enjoyed seeing your images. What is the info for the B&B you stayed at?

    1. Thanks Gil! I'm so glad you liked the pictures, I went a bit overboard with them. It was hard to choose just a few, I liked them all! :)
      Below the picture of the B&B, there's a link that takes you to their website. It's a small house with the basics and the host family was the best, so helpful! It's location is another great thing about it, walking distance to the old town and main attractions.

  2. What gorgeous, gorgeous pictures. You add to the beauty of the photos when you are in them. What a wonderful trip/experience. Hope you have a great weekend. xo Diana

    1. Hehe Thanks Diana, you're so sweet! You can see I really enjoyed this trip! :D Have an awesome weekend you too!

  3. Fantastic trip through your keen eye for the beauty, Cristina. Now, which door will you recreate in your next architectural adventure at home, that's what I want to know! hehe, I bet you could.....
    What was the impetus for the trip there? Your travel attire was perfect - so chic!

    1. Hehe I only wish! :D Even though I love those big doors, windows and balconies, I can't accommodate them in my own home decor. But, I'm going to using them as inspiration, adding little bits of it all in my future projects.
      I'm Colombian born, I was visiting my family who lives in the Capital, Bogota. This time, along with one of my sisters, we decided to visit the Caribbean coast, an area I've never visited before.
      Thanks for stopping by, Rita, and for your kind words! <3

  4. I love your pictures and learning about Cartagena! What amazing architecture - and those DOORS! Wow! If you get a chance, I would love for you to share this post at "Take Me Away' - my monthly travel party going on now. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks Shelley! I was drooling all over those doors and balconies. An amazing piece of history!
      I'm on my way to link up at Take Me Away, thanks! ;)

    2. Thanks for joining in! I am sure you will inspire many readers with your gorgeous trip report!

  5. Christina, your photographs are beautiful! If you don't have the Waterlogue app, you should download it and turn some of your photos into watercolors.
    I convert my photos into watercolors with this app, then print them on watercolor paper and they look very nice.
    Sue P.

    1. Sue, I've been eyeing that Waterlogue app since long ago. I love it! I just went to their web site and discovered I have to be an iphone user, which I'm not. :( But hey, it also works with Windows 10 so, I'm getting that one. Thanks!

    2. Right, I have it downloaded on my desktop computer, so I guess I got the Windows 10 version as well. I hope you'll enjoy using it as much as I do! I use many of my "watercolor" photos to make blank greeting cards using Snapfish or Shutterfly web sites. Your travel photos would make beautiful cards.

  6. I can't believe I am seeing this post on Cartagena. I have been exploring the idea of traveling there with a friend in February of next year. You have captured beautiful photos and now I am even more interested in going! Thank you for a fabulous look into Cartagena!

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