We visited Cartagena as a port of call for a few hours. What an enchanting city! The Colombians we met were extremely friendly and welcoming, and we cannot wait to return to this vibrant country to experience life here in depth. Our future travel plans include several weeks in Colombia as part of a South America overland trip.

View of Teatro Colon, the first building we see in the historic district of Cartagena Boats anchored in the Bahia de la Animas Massive bronze horse statues, known as "Muelle de los Pegasos" greet us as we wander towards the old city of Cartagena, an infamous slave port Archway view of Plaza de los Coches The Clock Tower (Torre del Reloj) is the main entrance into Old Cartagena Soldiers casually strolling through picturesque Plaza de los Coches The statue of the city's founder, Pedro de Heredia, stands in the middle of Plaza de los Coches, which was once used as the main market area for slaves in Cartagena Another view of the most central plaza in Cartagena A government building adjacent to Plaza de Bolivar The relatively empty streets of Cartagena (in an hour, this place will be bustling!) A "Palenquera" heads into Cartagena for a busy day posing for tourists "Come play with me" Charming wooden balconies overlooking the streets of Cartagena are a common sight An early morning discussion between two "Palenqueras", iconic Afro-Colombian fruit vendors Statue of Simon Bolivar on horseback at the shady and pleasant Plaza de Bolivar Traditional red mailbox in Cartagena Entrance to the infamous "Palacio de la Inquisicion", where hundreds of non-Catholics were tortured, judged and convicted by the Spanish Inquisition Cartagena's Cathedral Tower as seen down one of the city's many narrow streets Cartagena and Colombia flags adorn an old colonial building; Plaza de Bolivar Old Cartagena is full of interesting door knockers. They were a sign of status for the city's rich inhabitants Statue of Christopher Columbus; Plaza de la Aduana The largest and oldest square in Cartagena was once used as a parade ground; Plaza de la Aduana A shoe polisher gossips with his first customer of the day Final view of Plaza da la Aduana Beautiful architecture abounds in lovely Cartagena View of the 18th Century Iglesia de San Pedro Claver Chess players deep in contemplation; Square outside Iglesia de San Pedro Claver Robby and the shoe polisher Blue balconies stand out against a white washed building Emerald store catering to cruise ship tourists Cartagena's Naval Museum View of the picturesque Iglesia de San Pedro Claver 16th Century canons perched upon the city walls; Cartagena Fish eye view of Cartagena Exploring the walled colonial section of Old Cartagena is a delight...get there early to beat the crowds A unique intersection in Cartagena Beautiful entrances of old Cartagena Ornate fish door knocker A narrow street for one way traffic; Cartagena We loved the architecture of old Cartagena Robby planting a kiss on Botero's La Gorda Gertrudis (or reclining lady) in Plaza de Santo Domingo Snapshot of the buildings surrounding Plaza de Santo Domingo Get lost in the quaint alleyways of Cartagena...its an amazing city to explore on foot Vendors get ready for a long day at Plaza de Santo Domingo Another one of Cartagena's unique door knockers (use the beard to enter this residence) View of the Teatro Heredia (if you can view it from the inside, do so...the interior is gorgeous) Gorgeous wooden balconies provide Cartagena's residents with a fine view of their lovely city Colonial street within the walled city A man and his pushcart weave their way through old Cartagena An old city street view of La Catedral's ornate dome A detailed lizard door knocker A fruit vendor conducting brisk business The buildings within the historic old town of Cartagena are kept in immaculate condition The scenic side streets of the walled city of Cartagena Locals purchasing fresh fruit for the day Tourists enjoying a horse & carriage ride through old Cartagena Cartagena's city walls Colorful bougainvillea make an already quaint street scene even more photogenic White, blue and pink. The bold colors of Cartagena are mesmerizing A Cuban bar/restaurant; Cartagena Cartagena is full of colorful side streets...we spent hours exploring most of them A sea horse door knocker Typical corner building; old Cartagena Souvenirs for sale; Plaza de San Diego Hats for sale in Plaza de San Diego Horse carriages are a popular "lazy man's" method of exploring old Cartagena A horse carriage's driver plies the streets looking for new passengers Colorful houses capture our attention during our city stroll of Cartagena The appropriately named "Blue House"; Cartagena A weary Palenquera (traditionally dressed fruit vendor) rests her tired feet Pastel hued street of Cartagena "Day of the Dead" tile plastered on the side of a house Fish eye view of Las Bovedas, a bustling marketplace for Colombian goods, handicrafts, artwork and clothes Tourists on a shopping frenzy at Las Bovedas Souvenirs for sale at Las Bovedas shopping arcade The iconic Palenquera (fruit basket lady) Figurines of "Las Negritas"; Las Bovedas Colombia is football crazy! Robby and a friendly Palenquera pose for a photo Street sign for Las Bovedas, one of Cartagena's most popular shopping destinations It took nearly two centuries for the 16th Century city walls (Las Murallas) of Cartagena to be built. Prior to the attack by pirate Frances Drake, the city of Cartagena was virtually unprotected View of the old city walls of Cartagena View of Cartagena's city walls with the fortress of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas visible in the background Built in the 18th Century, Las Bovedas houses 23 vaults (fronted by 47 arches) that were once used as storerooms for tools and military provisions. Later it was converted to a prison and today it is a tourist marketplace Casa de Rafael Nunez (wooden mansion of the former president who penned Colombia's National Anthem) Colombia horse carriage license Bronze busts on display at Apolo Park (near the home of President Rafael Núñez) Ermita del Cabrero Church (holds the ashes of Colombia's former President Rafael Núñez) This architecturally interesting pink corner building caught our attention in old Cartagena An owl door knocker Getting lost in the pastel hued labyrinth streets of Cartagena is a joy

Cartagena license plate A wide variety of hats for sale in sunny Cartagena Visiting the excellent gold museum (free entrance) in Cartagena is a must. There are dozens of fine specimens on display A fine example of the ornate gold figurines on display at the Zenú museum Detail of a crocodile figurine; Zenú gold museum Clay facial masks; Gold Museum in Cartagena Our parting view of Cartagena as we head towards the Clock Tower in search of a taxi back to port This shy critter kept avoiding eye contact with us A hungry toucan feeds on papaya foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

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