Identity card

  • Population: inhabitants
  • Surface :
  • Region :
  • Country: Colombia
  • Contact: (link to member area)

Architectural and landscape typologies

The city of Cartagena de Indias, located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, boasts a wealth of architecture and landscapes that reflect its multicultural history. Its old town, a World Heritage Site, is a fusion of Spanish Colonial and Republican styles. Here you’ll find a variety of architectural compositions, including churches such as the Santa Catalina Cathedral and the imposing San Felipe Castle.

The historic center also boasts narrow streets and tree-lined squares, creating a charming atmosphere. Along the wall, panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and unique defensive military architecture are waiting to be discovered.

In contrast, the modern zone features skyscrapers and contemporary development. The city is also enriched by its crystal-clear islands and mangroves, which add to its distinctive coastal landscape. Cartagena de Indias is a treasure trove that combines colonial heritage with modern life.

Tourism supply and demand typology

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, is a world-renowned tourist destination. Its old town, a World Heritage Site, attracts visitors with its colonial architecture, charming squares and vibrant culture. What’s more, its islands, surrounded by warm, crystal-clear waters, are a magnet for sun worshippers.

The tourist offer includes a wide range of accommodation, from charming hotels to luxury resorts, and a diverse gastronomic scene that combines tradition and modernity. Tourists can discover its history through guided tours and museums, learn about culture through experiences, explore neighborhood life, indulge in wellness activities and enjoy the variety of leisure and entertainment on offer.

Tourist demand is constantly growing, thanks to international promotion. Visitors come mainly from the United States, South America and Europe, seeking to discover Cartagena’s rich cultural and natural heritage.

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Heritage and tourism issues :

  • The constant growth of tourism in Cartagena de Indias represents a major challenge for the conservation of its tangible, intangible and natural heritage. In addition, phenomena such as gentrification and the misuse of heritage elements and resources are part of today’s challenges.
  • Sustainable tourism management has become crucial to balancing heritage preservation and economic development through tourism activity. Visitor control measures and the regulation of new construction are necessary to protect the city’s identity, particularly in historic and heritage contexts. In addition to the above, there are the challenges of waste management in tourism and standards of conduct at the destination.

Pilot project

  •  The “Territoire de tourisme culturel durable” pilot project aims to diversify the tourist offer by promoting the city’s cultural and artistic offerings. One of the challenges for the growth of tourism in the city is the preservation of tangible and intangible heritage contexts. Tourism is proposed as a special mechanism for safeguarding heritage, for which it is necessary to strengthen the skills and qualifications of tourism service providers in order to increase its value. Activities include knowledge transfer for heritage enhancement, conservation and maintenance. Diversification of the tourism offering, creation of themed tours, etc.  Meetings are also planned to gain a better understanding of models for the sustainable development and management of old town centers.