Podcast: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

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Click on the play button above to listen to the Podcast we made from Cartagena in Colombia – our favourite city in Latin America so far. In this podcast we discuss finding accommodation in Cartagena, we record the sounds of the old town at night, and finish off with a discussion sitting on top of Castillo San Filipe – the largest Spanish fort built in the Americas.

Cartagena, Colombia

Founded by the Spanish in 1533, Cartagena is Colombia’s and possibly Latin America’s finest Colonial city, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shortly after it was founded it became the main Spanish port on the Caribbean coast, and was used to store gold and other treasure plundered from the Indians before it was transported back to Spain.

Due to the riches stored within its walls, Cartagena quickly became a target, and was on the receiving end of countless pirate attacks and five full scale sieges in the 16th century alone. The most famous siege (although not the largest) was led by Sir Francis Drake in 1586.

After a while, fed up with all the attacks, the Spanish decided enough was enough, and made Cartagena virtually impregnable by building huge 12 km-long walls around the centre, and a series of forts & castles at strategic positions around the city.

Cartagena old town is a living museum of 16th and 17th century Spanish architecture, and it would easily be possible to spend a week or two here exploring the streets, admiring the beautiful colonial buildings, and soaking in the street life created by buskers, acrobats, dancers and artisans selling their wares. Not to mention the pristine Caribbean beaches, islands & national parks within a day’s reach of Cartagena.

Cartagena is easily my favourite city in 3 months’ travel through Central America, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone heading to South America. Forget the security worries associated with Colombia, ironically Colombia is the country I have felt safest so far on my travels through Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them below as comments.


Mompos, Colombia

4 thoughts on “Podcast: Cartagena de Indias, Colombia”

  1. part of being our vicarious travel representatives is that you’re supposed to try to have a good time. leading with a terrible “anecdote” of how you had nowhere to stay by your own damn fault isn’t helpful. a simple “if you come in high season, book in advance” would have been honesty enough.

    why do people like you even bother traveling? stay home and bitch about life. give your ticket to someone who cares

  2. Hi Ashwin Sodhi, you might be a contributing writer “making it stick” for Flavorpill (a “Vibrant urban entertainment publication”), but still that doesn’t make it very kind to trawl the web looking for other people to put down. I’m not a psychologist, but that smacks of a) jealousy, b) an inferiority complex or c) someone rather bored with their life.

    We don’t pretend to be BBC correspondents, we just tell the truth and when we arrived in Cartagena and paid 500% more for a room than we were used to in Central America, it struck us as extremely expensive :-). Any surprises there?

  3. this was great. it sure did help me on my school assigenments. thanks. i never knew of a podcast untill i was lead to this site. its great. ima listen to everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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