Colombia's Cartagena

This former Spanish colonial entrepôt has something for everyone

Michael Graham

In partnership with

The city rose to prominence in the 16th century as the main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire. And the years since have been good to it: the present-day city maintains a prestigious position, championing an energy—fueled by the beat of its vallenato rhythms—found few other places in the Caribbean.

Meet a Local in Cartagena

In this episode of DW Travel, join bookseller Martin Murillo Gomez on a stroll through the colorful streets of his Colombian city. Runtime: 3 min.

Colonial Cartagena de Indias

With its cobblestone streets and ornamented buildings, Cartagena has what is arguably the best-preserved colonial center in the Western Hemisphere. In this short film from Jungles in Paris, locals give their perspective on Colombia's most beautiful city. Runtime: 2 min.

To Read . . .

To Listen . . .

Vallenato, a wildly popular genre of music in Colombia's north, is a mix of Spanish and West African rhythms with expressive lyrics—and it's on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Learn more in this Historias del Corazón de Colombia podcast.

Stories from the Heart of Colombia | Cesar

In this episode, visit the spiritual home of Colombia’s vallenato music, Valledupar, in the northern department of Cesar. This genre is found throughout the north Colombian coast and countryside and features a trio of musicians lead by an accordion player. Runtime: 14 min.

Stories from the Heart of Colombia | Cesar (in Spanish)

Los acordeones que suenan por sus calles guardan en sus fuelles la tradición popular al igual que los mitos y las leyendas alrededor de sus intérpretes. Valledupar es la capital mundial del Vallenato y su festival preserva los valores de una cultura forjada en torno a su folclor. Runtime: 21 min.