Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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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.
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.
Top Photo Slice: Cartagena at night (℗ 53375) Photo contributed by © Jennifer Marx
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