Cartagena Old Town Architecture Walking Tour
Discover Cartagena’s rich history and beautiful colonial architecture on a guided walking tour of the city’s traditional old center.
The castillo is the greatest and strongest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. The original fort was...
Offers a PADI-certification course (COP$790,000).
For adventurous souls only, Cartagena's labyrinthine central market is both dirty and enthralling, an all-out assault on your senses....
On a 150m-high hill, the highest point in the city, about 2km beyond Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas is this convent . Its name literally means the Convent of the Stern, after the hill's apparent similarity to a ship's back end. Founded by the Augustine fathers in 1607, its official name is actually Convento de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria. Initially it was just a small wooden chapel, which was replaced by a stouter construction when the hill was fortified two centuries later, just before Pablo Morillo's siege.
A beautiful image of La Virgen de la Candelaria, the patroness of the city, is in the convent's chapel, and there's a charming flower-filled patio. There is also a chilling statue of a speared Padre Alonso García de Paredes, a priest who was murdered along with five Spanish soldiers for trying to spread the good word. The views from here are outstanding and stretch all over the city. The patron saint's day is February 2.
There is a zigzagging access road leading up to the convent (no public transportation) and paths cutting the bends of the road. It takes 30 minutes to walk to the top, but it's not recommended for safety and climatic reasons – walking up would be equivalent to a trek in the desert! Take a cab and expect to pay up to COP$45,000. Haggle politely but insistently and you might get it for half that.