Cartagena is a city steeped in rich history as shown by its architecture and remnants from colonial times. One of these hard-to-miss remnants is Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, built by the Spaniards during the colonial era. If you’re planning a trip to Cartagena, a visit to the fortress should be on your itinerary.
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is the greatest fortress the Spaniards ever built in any of their colonies. It’s easy to see why. The fortress strategically covers the San Lázaro hill, an ideal location to defend against attacks by land and sea. Today, the fortress is an iconic part of Cartagena and dominates the cityscape. Plus, who doesn’t want to pretend they’re on the set of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie?
When you arrive at the fortress, you’ll pay an entrance fee and climb the various walkways to the top. Along the way, explore the labyrinth of tunnels that are open to the public – it’s an eerie walk not to be missed. The views from the top of the fortress are panoramic and stunning. Like many places in Cartagena, however, exhibits in English are minimal. You can purchase an audio guide at the entrance for an additional charge. For more tips and ideas on what to see and do in Cartagena, be sure to check out this travel guide here.
Know Before You Go
Address: Avenida Arevalo, Pie de la Popa, Cartagena, Colombia
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday from 8am-6pm
Food: Take water with you to stay hydrated as you make your way through the fortress. There is a small store at the top selling souvenirs and snacks, like cold popsicles.