Plaza de la Aduana, Cartagena

4.4
The largest and oldest square in the old town, Plaza de la Aduana--named after the old royal customs house, which today serves as the city hall--remains best known as a center for slave auctions in colonial times. Notice the low round stones on the edges of the square, once used for chaining slaves. A statue of Christopher Columbus dominates its surroundings from the center of the square. The plaza brims with activity, and at night colorful lights illuminate the area and add a festive spirit. Sit under the old clock and watch the tourists and locals passing by, street musicians performing, and artisans selling handmade goods. Spend a little time exploring the area, home to stores, cafes, and restaurants. To visit Plaza de la Aduana on your trip to Cartagena, use our Cartagena day trip website .
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Plaza de la Aduana Reviews
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4.6
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  • The visit us at night as the stop of the car rides on horseback, is very busy and picturesque
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  • Mandatory passage to various tours in Cartagena. Shows the location where they arrived and leave goods in colonial times. Historic buildings.
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  • Worth losing 15 minutes to go. The most interesting is to take a photo with their colorful clothes with Colombian ladies (of course you pay them for the photo)
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  • Beautiful Wide Open Plaza This is a large area that houses everything from the Old Customs House to the Hard Rock Cafe. There is a bit of an unsettling aspect to the plaza in that here is where much of the slave trade took place. There is evidence of that in the large circular balls around the plaza, to which the slaves were chained. Highly recommend that you take a walking tour of this plaza and so many of the other plazas in the walled city. We used Cartagena Connections and were extremely pleased with our guide, Jon.
  • Beautiful square with colonial architecture. City hall building occupies one of the sides, also banks and small stores where tourists can find any sort of things. It is also close to San Pedro square and the iconic Clock Tower. It is a must if you are visiting the city.
  • Nice plaza. Small stalls selling all sorts. Bank and tours available.
  • Historic colonial time custom offices. Actually holding the offices of the mayor of Cartagena. Beautiful.
  • Nice square. Several beautiful buildings, cafes and restaurants around it.

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Where to stay in Cartagena

Despite its status as a major tourist hub, Cartagena offers a good choice of affordable places to stay. If you're looking to splurge, consider staying at one of the town's restored colonial-era buildings, which now house boutique hotels packed with modern amenities. Alternatively, several old monasteries in Cartagena's walled colonial district offer outstanding facilities at very high prices. Budget-conscious travelers can explore the many mid-range hotels and low-cost hostels clustered in Getsemani, an up-and-coming neighborhood and center of the backpacker scene.
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17 days in Cartagena BY A USER FROM CANADA March, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM CANADA September, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA March, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Cartagena BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM NORWAY February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Colombia & Ecuador BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 28 days in Ecuador & Colombia BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in Cartagena BY A USER FROM PANAMA February, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Cartagena BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC February, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: February, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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