Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Cartagena, Columbia

Cartagena, Columbia

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Repositioning Itineraries

Whether the name Cartagena conjures images of “Romancing the Stone” with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, marauding pirates chasing Spanish gold, or less romantic images of drug cartel-related crime, Cartagena’s popular image does not match the port city’s reality. Upscale beach resorts, a glittering, high-rise skyline, and a beautifully preserved old city that has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status will be more than enough to fill your eight hours ashore.

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

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CARTAGENA AMBIENCE

This is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with deep colonial roots and an optimistic future, as well as Colombia’s number one tourist destination. Cartagena has a large harbor protected by barrier islands; a well-preserved Spanish Colonial old city; ancient fortresses; glamorous, densely packed beachfront high-rises; and glitzy shopping districts, yet pristine beaches and nature areas are a short drive (or sail) away.

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CARTAGENA HISTORY & CULTURE

When the Spanish Conquistadors plundered Peru and Colombia of its gold, it was hoarded and then loaded onto galleons in Cartagena. This appealing fact was not lost on privateers like Francis Drake, and even military forces from France and England. For years the marauders came and fortifications rose to defend the thriving port. Certainly, Walt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean could have been inspired by Cartagena. Alas, the locals don’t forgive or forget the actions of the British and French, or the American politicians who managed to wrest Panama from Colombia so the canal could be built without local involvement. Warfare has dominated recent Colombian history, although Cartagena was affected less than many other areas. Former President Alvaro Uribe receives credit for reducing violence and spurring the growth of the local economy, leading to Cartagena’s return to the ranks of popular tourist destinations.

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CARTAGENA FACTS

Size: 235 sq. mi./609 sq. km.
Climate: Tropical Temperatures: 87°F (30°C) to 90°F (32°C)
Population: 895,000 Busy Season: November to March
Language: Spanish Money: Colombian Peso (2,9316 Pesos = $1 U.S.)
Time Zone: Eastern (DST observed) Transportation: Walking, taxis, buses
Phones: Dial 112 for police, 132 for Red Cross, 113 for tourist info
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Top Photo Slice: Cartagena at night (℗ 53375) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx



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