Cartagena's Independence Day Festivities - one of Colombia's oldest and craziest celebrations - kicks off in the month before the city celebrates throwing off Spanish rule on 11 November.
It’s also the month of the Miss Colombia beauty pageant, with celebrations merging into a very typical Cartagena Carnival.
Date: 11 Nov, 2019
Price : Varies
Another month, another great reason to have an epic party in Cartagena. And perhaps it’s one of the most important reasons to hit the streets and celebrate, as 11 November is the day that this beautiful Caribbean port city led the way and threw off the country's Spanish rulers.
The streets erupt in a vibrant collage of colourful costumes, fireworks, music and dancing, with vendors keeping your hunger at bay with some great food throughout the festival. Park yourself on the ancient walls of Old Town to watch the carnival procession move past, or get closer to the action and dance the day away.
Cartagena heats up even more a few days later for Señorita Colombia, an antiquated battle for the coveted crown of Colombia's most beautiful woman. It's a crazy clash of cultures with raucous boat battles in the bay that make a mockery of health and safety, great live music, champagne and a touch of glamour.
Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city.
Centro has lost none of its importance thanks to the universal lure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area.
Cartagena's finest hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century.
The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze and first whiff of pirates. Today only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list can afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.
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