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Bolivar - Colombia
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About Location

Cartagena is a large Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of Bolívar Department. The city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census, making it the fifth-largest city in Colombia and giving the Cartagena urban area the status of fifth-largest urban area in Colombia. Cartagena is a centre of economic activity in the Caribbean, as well a popular tourist destination.

Activity and development of the Cartagena region is dated back to 4000 B.C. around Cartagena Bay by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. The Spanish colonial city was founded on June 1, 1533 and named after Cartagena, Spain. Cartagena served a key role in the development of the region during the Spanish eras; it was a center of political and economic activity due to the presence of royalty and wealthy viceroys. In 1984, Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Puerto Hormiga Culture, found in the Caribbean coast region, particularly in the area from the Sinú River Delta to the Cartagena de Indias Bay, appears to be the first documented human community in what is now Colombia. Archaeologists estimate that around 7000 BC, the formative culture was located near the boundary between the present-day departments of Bolivar and Sucre. In this area, archaeologists have found the most ancient ceramic objects of the Americas, dating from around 4000 BC.The primary reason for the proliferation of primitive societies in this area is thought to have been the relative mildness of climate and the abundance of wildlife, which allowed the hunting inhabitants a comfortable life.In today's villages of Maria La Baja, Sincerin, El Viso, and Mahates and Rotinet, excavations have uncovered the remains of maloka-type buildings, directly related to the early Puerto Hormiga settlements.

Cartagena boasted "modern" urban development in recent years, with the construction of new skyscrapers. As of October 2007, there were 42 high-rises under construction, including an effort to create Colombia's tallest, the Torre de la Escollera, expected to be completed in early 2007, planned to stand at 206 m and having 58 floors. However, real development of the project, assisted by the strong Caribbean winds, led to its dismantling. A new, twenty-story building has been planned instead.

How to Reach

By Air

The Rafael Nuriez International Airport, is the busiest airport in the caribbean region and the fourth in passenger traffic in the country. The code of the airport is CTG, having flights to almost all domestic airports and many connections to Eldorado International Airport in Bogota. Excessive operational costs and easier connections and better prices had been shifting the gross international connection passengers to the nearer Tocumen International Airport in Panama and Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba while also more companies prefer to serve the Colombian market from Cartagena de Indias, due to better geographical and atmospherical conditions.Because of this growing general air traffic shift fIt is thought may be finished by 2020, the project favored by many in the region the interior to these coastal airports, studies had been made to build a bigger new airport in the area of Barbacoas Bay in the southern city limits. This airport, if approved, could be seen as a challenge to Bogota Airport and it is plausible to think on some people pressurizing for a standstill.

By Train

The city used to have a railroad station near today's "La Matuna" neighborhood, but in the late 50s there was a general trend toward dismantling the railroad system and replacing it with paved roads.

By Road

The city is linked to the northern part of the Caribbean Region through roads 90 and 90A, more commonly called Central Caribbean Road. This Road passes through Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Riohacha ending in Paraguachón, Venezuela and continues with Venezuelan numeration all the way to Caracas.

Key places to visit
Islas del Rosario, India Catalina, Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, Walled city of Cartagena, Cartagena Gold Museum, Las Bovedas, Playa Blanca


Places to Visit

Islas del Rosario

Is one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia, created in order to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Colombian Caribbean coast.The park has an extension of 120.000 ha, from the line of the highest tide to the beryl of the 50 meters of depth, it extends from the underwater platform and the coral reefs west from the Island of Baru, the reefs of the archipelagos of Nuestra Señora del Rosario and San Bernardo and the underwater platform in between, as well as the Tesoro, Rosario, Mucura and Maravilla islands.

India Catalina

India Catalina was an indigenous woman (almost certainly Calamari) from the Colombian Atlantic coast, who accompanied Pedro de Heredia and played a role in the Spanish conquest of Colombia, acting as interpreter and intermediary. In Colombia today, India Catalina remains as an icon of the extermination of the Precolumbian inhabitants.Catalina was abducted in 1509 by Spanish conqueror Diego de Nicuesa from an indigenous settlement known as Zamba o Galerazamba, where she was the daughter of the local chief. She was sent to Santo Domingo, where she learned the Spanish language and adopted the Catholic religion. As a requirement of Pedro de Heredia, she served as an interpreter to the Native Americans and after that she married Alonso Montanez, Pedro de Heredia's nephew.

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a fortress in the city of Cartagena, Colombia. The castle is located on the Hill of San Lazaro in a strategic location, dominating approaches to the city by land or sea. It was built by the Spanish during the colonial era. Construction began in the year 1536, and it was originally known as the Castillo de San Lazaro, It was expanded in 1657.The fortress was begun in 1536. It was significantly expanded in 1657. It was built in a triangular shape on top of the hill, with eight guns and a garrison of 20 soldiers and 4 gunners. It was named was given in honour of Philip IV of Spain.Another expansion was made to the fortress in 1763 by Antonio de Arevalo.

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