Cartagena de Indias

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Cartagena de Indias
Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias, is a city on the north coast of Colombia and capital of the Bolivar department, being the fifth largest city in Colombia and the second largest region, after Barranquilla. The urban area of ​​Cartagena is also the fifth largest urban area of ​​the country.
Economic activities include maritime activities and the petrochemical industry, as well as tourism.
The city was founded on June 1, 1533, in honor of Cartagena, Spain.
However, settlement in the region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous peoples dates back to 4000 BC. During the colonial period, Cartagena played a key role in the administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political and economic activity due to the presence of viceroys of Spanish royalty and wealthy.
Cartagena is still the city most associated with pirates of the Caribbean, and the world.
Its historical center, known as the Walled City, was declared National Heritage of Colombia in 1959, and being a city full of history, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. In 2007, its military architecture was declared as the fourth Wonder of Colombia.
Cartagena is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea being the beaches within walking distance of the old walls of the historic center, locally known as El Centro.
Lush landscapes, picturesque places, vast beaches and beautiful islands extend around the peninsula of Bocagrande and Laguito.
Less than 25 minutes from the historic center, there is another popular tourist beach called La Boquilla.
The beaches are suitable for a variety of water sports such as fishing, snorkeling, windsurfing and skiing because the settings are adequate, charming and safe allowing your practice to be peaceful.
White sand beaches can be found in Playa Blanca, on the island of Baru, in the southern part of the city or on the Rosario Islands located in the archipelagos near Cartagena. These beaches have a wide variety of flora and fauna plus a variety of good hotels and restaurants, where there is also a marine aquarium for those who love to enjoy the marine nature.
The streets, houses and balconies are evidence of the architecture of a Spanish village from colonial and baroque colonial times. The watchtowers, cannons, fortifications, ramparts and batteries remain intact, making part of the invaluable patrimony that makes the visitors have an eternal experience in their stay, because in this magical and beautiful city, the history of the past, the present and the future meet.
In the formation of the typical food of Cartagena intervened mainly the three races: Indians, Spaniards and blacks, that contributed for the formation of the city in all the aspects. When the conquerors and settlers arrived, they found all sorts of luxuriant vegetation of unknown plants and fruits in the Old World and are now a part of many universal gastronomy dishes.
The Indian cuisine was very primitive, on three stones they baked and boiled their food without seasoning or the splendor of the Aztecs or Incas, where they presented royal banquets to Montezuma.

The most important in the gastronomy of Cartagena had the Spanish influence penetrating in all the fields, and in the kitchen giving place to many dishes as for example, alfajor, alboronía, almojabana, bienmesabe, cake, Bun, donut, caspiroleta, empanada, empanada, jalea , mazamorra, suckling pig, lechona, torrão, pot, cauldron, stew, soup, revoltillo, torta, sancocho.
Of indigenous origin, cassava, potato, arepa, corn, cassava, Budare, and the African continent, afunchado, bitute, Candia, Guando, guineo.
There are still some dishes such as arepa, casabe or cazabi, cakes or rolls, bitivity (a dish made from fermented corn), cocoa, chocolate flour made from corn and cacao that would have cassava, graviola, apricot, graviola, caimito, anon, maize, sweet potato, pineapple, melon, tomato, sweet peppers, urucum, Bijao or Vixa and coconuts that appear to have floated from Polynesia.
In animals, there are turkey, guartinaja, five species of rabbits, turtles, crabs, crabs, hicoteas and various fish.
Typical dishes also include the so-called "sancocho" made of fish or meat with large pieces of banana, potato, cassava and other vegetables.
You can also find the traditional "arepa de huevo" (egg filled arepa) or a "carimañolas" best described as a Fiter Yuca with meat inside.
Cartagena also boasts a wide variety of exotic fruits including coconut, mango, pineapple, papaya, guava, among others, which are sold by palenqueras, iconic fruit vendors who walk the streets or beaches carrying a bowl of fruit as artistically in their heads.
The town has several good restaurants inside and outside the walled city. Arabic, Cuban, Italian and traditional Colombian restaurants can be found in modern and historic areas that represent the diversity and flavors brought by immigrants and locals.
Cartagena de Indias has a typically tropical hot climate in all seasons with minimal seasonal changes in temperature.
Seasonal differences exist only about the amount of rain that falls, not the temperature.
Based on the rains we can distinguish two seasons. The hot dry period between December and April, when it hardly ever rains. In these five months the rainy days are only 6. While between May and November we have the hot and humid rainy season. During these months rainy days are 90. The wettest month is October.
The amount of annual rainfall is just over 1,000 mm for a total of 96 rainy days and over 2,600 hours of sunshine a year.
The maximum temperatures of the whole year are 30 ° C / 31 ° C, while the minimum temperatures vary between 23 ° C and 25 ° C. Humidity is always high and is stable at around 80% all year round. The winds blow especially late afternoon thus bringing relief.
The temperature of the sea water varies between 27 ° C and 29 ° C.
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