Cartagena, formerly Cartagena de Indias, is a major port city that is found in the north coast of Colombia, in the Caribbean Coast Region. Cartagena is the capital city of the Bolivar Department, and it is one of the largest urban areas in Colombia. Established on the 1st of June, 1533, Cartagena has been a leading trade port through history because of its strategic location between the Magdalena and Sinu Rivers. It was historically the administrative hub of the region and was vital in expanding the Spanish empire. Historically, Cartagena is a famous political and economic hub, and its walled city and fortress have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Several islands around Cartagena are accessible by boat, and their white sands, beautiful blue waters, and rows of palm trees have made Cartagena a key tourism hub in Colombia. Visitors also visit the Old Town for a recap of the history of the city, and several museums in downtown where more history and culture has been preserved. The city can be viewed from several sightseeing spots like from atop the San Felipe de Barajas Castillo, where the best and most scenic views can be experienced. Take in the stunning cityscape from above, and experience the magical outskirts of Cartagena, complete with a lively day life and an even more vibrant nightlife. Visitors love to watch the indigenous salsa shows and the ever-intriguing arquardiente themes.
Cartagena has a beautiful location overlooking the Caribbean Sea to its western side and the vibrant Cartagena Bay to the south. The city experiences a humid tropical wet and dry climate which has been classified as Aw in the Köppen climatic classification. The climate is essentially defined with warm to hot weather throughout the year, with minimal variations within the temperature extremes. Two distinct seasons are experienced in Cartagena - the wet and the dry season. The wet season begins in May and ends in November, and is characterized by high rainfall that collects no less than 110mm (4.3") on the least rainy month. The rainiest month is October when the rain gauge collects up to 238.9mm (9.4") in precipitation across approximately sixteen days of rain. The season may experience light flooding and periodic cases of lightning and thunderstorms, especially in the afternoons. Visitors remain warned accordingly. From December through April, Cartagena experiences the dry season. The season is typical of very minimal or no rainfall at all, with the rain gauge collecting no more than 2.1mm (0.1") in precipitation. Cartagena has highs of 31.2°C (88.2°F) and lows of 25.2°C (77.4°F) across the year, with the humidity averaging 81% per month. Most months will, however, receive up to seven hours of sunshine per day regardless of the season. Cartagena is an all-year-round travel destination. The moderately dry season, between December and April, is the best time to visit Cartagena, as the weather is not only lovely, but there are numerous festivities and events to be attended too. The famous Carnaval de Cartagena in November fills the city with parties and celebrations amid colorful decors, parades, and beauty shows. Another popular event is the Cartagena International Music Festival in January, where the people come together to enjoy and appreciate the classical music, and folk music shows held inside the iconic Old Town.