Cartagena de Indias, officially the Tourist and Cultural District of Cartagena de Indias, abbreviated Cartagena de Indias, D. T. and C., is a Colombian city and capital of the Department of Bolívar. It was founded on June 1, 1533 by Pedro de Heredia.8 Since 1991, Cartagena is a Tourist and Cultural District. The city is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea.
From its foundation in the sixteenth century and throughout the Spanish colonial era, Cartagena de Indias was one of the most important ports in America. From this period comes most of its artistic and cultural heritage. On November 1811, Cartagena declared itself independent of Spain. This day is a national holiday in Colombia and in the city it is celebrated for four days known as the “Fiestas de Independencia”.
Cartagena has been a city mainly associated with pirate history, because it was there that there were numerous attacks by pirates from Europe, who found in the city a suitable place to plunder in the colonial era, which made it in its moment, become the most reinforced city in South America and the Caribbean. At present its colonial architecture is maintained.
With the passage of time, Cartagena has developed its urban area, conserving the historic center and becoming one of the most important ports in Colombia, the Caribbean and the world as well as a famous tourist destination. Currently the total population of its head is 1,001.755 inhabitants, being the fifth (5) most populated in the country and its metropolitan area of 1,388,49014 inhabitants with the municipalities of Turbaco, Arjona, Turbana, Santa Rosa, Santa Catalina , Clemencia, María La Baja, Mahates, San Estanislao and Villanueva. Its historic center, the “Walled City”, was declared National Heritage of Colombia in 1959 and by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1984.15 In 2007 its military architecture was awarded as the fourth wonder of Colombia.
It is connected by road with the main cities of the country: Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla, Ibagué, Bucaramanga and the Eje Cafetero region.