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Cartagena Port in Colombia – Some Quick Facts

A Quick Look at The Cartagena Port in Colombia

Cartagena Port, Colombia, is located on the northern shores of Cartagena Bay, on the northern Caribbean shores of Colombia in South America. It lies 640 kilometers northwest of Bogota, the country’s capital. There are over 900 000 people living in the Port of Cartagena, and over a million people called the urban area their home.

The Port’s History

Cartagena Port Colombia
Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Click image for link.

This area’s history dates back to almost 6000 years! The oldest ceramics discovered in the Americas were discovered in the Port of Cartagena, dating back to 4000 BC. Artificial mounds from 3200 to 1000 BC show that the port was a centre for organized societies. Later on, the Port of Cartagena became a major port for Europeans moving to the New World with all their possessions. The port was not only a port for trade of precious metals, but also for slaves, who were taken to work as cane cutters, build roads and buildings and work in the mines. As shipping changed over the years, the Port of Cartagena had been upgraded to accommodate these changes.

The City

Cartagena, including the port, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and interesting cities. The main attraction of Cartagena is its old city, particularly the inner walled town consisting of the districts of El Centro and San Diego. The city also has some gorgeous architecture and is packed with beautiful churches, plazas, monasteries, palaces and mansions.

The Port Today

Today, the Port of Cartagena, the busiest on the Caribbean Sea,  is home to tobacco and sugar processors, and also to manufacturers of fertilizers, cosmetics, leather goods and textiles. The Port’s main exports are petroleum, manufactured goods, coffee and coal, and it is ranked 99thamongst ports of the world.

Tourism is growing in Cartagena and more and more cruise ships are visiting the port too. Port Oasis is a sustainable zoo located on the Cartagena cruise port grounds and is free to enter. Port Oasis is a government initiative and encourages arriving passengers to discover a variety of the country’s natural resources. It is also a reminder of Colombia’s desire for a sustainable environment and their efforts to protect certain animal species. The Port Oasis initiative has won the Organization of American States’ (OAS) First America’s Maritime Award in the category of Sustainable Tourist Destination Port.

Cartagena Port Colombia
Sunset over Cartagena Harbour