San Felipe de Barajas Castle, Cartagena

(8,500+ reviews on the web)
Castle Tourist Spot
Wander the mighty fortifications of San Felipe de Barajas Castle, which played a crucial role in protecting gold shipped back to Spain by conquistadors in the New World. Originally completed in 1536 and expanded twice in the 17th and 18th centuries, the complex system of bunkers, batteries, and parapets represents one of the most formidable accomplishments in the history of Spanish military architecture. Walk the walls, explore the maze-like network of tunnels that links the different parts of the fort, and enjoy panoramic views from its highest point. You'll find little written information throughout the castle, so rent an audio guide if you want to learn about its history. A visit to San Felipe de Barajas Castle represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Cartagena trip generator to plot your vacation.
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34 days in Colombia SEE PLAN July, culture, outdoors, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM MALTA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Cartagena District BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, culture, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM MEXICO September, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM TUNISIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM TUNISIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Colombia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Cartagena District BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA July, culture, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Cartagena BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Very nice castle to visit while in Cartagena. Great place, lots of history, great view of the city. Probably one of the mais tourism attractions while in Cartagena.  more »
  • Defense was a necessity to early Cartagena. This fortress provided protection and a symbol of strength and stability. For tourists, it still provides excellent views of Cartagena! The area around the ...  more »
  • Impressive tunnels, great with a local guide to understand the importance of the defence of Cartagena de Indias.  more »
Google
  • Fantastic place if you are into history and want to experience it first hand. Although, considering the high entry fee and the fact that it's considered a world heritage site, they could have done a much better job in preserving it and making it engaging for tourists. Lots of potential being wasted in here. Pd: go when the sun is low if you don't wanna roast!
  • Very interesting historical landmark. Read the Wikipedia page ahead of time: they'll hand you a leaflet that is only moderately interesting. If you're staying in the walled city, I'd recommend walking to the castle. Some blocks are slightly questionable, but there are some murals in the Street of the Turtles that are interesting. Make sure to check out the sculpture of the Old Shoes, right behind the castle, before you leave (it is in a square just outside of the castle, so you'll need to exit the castle first).
  • It is a must see attraction, and this is why I went. The place was under maintenance, but I still got to see a lot of it - even though there is really not that much. It is really just an old fortress with dark halls within, lots of stairs and steep places. It takes around 40 min at least to walk it through under a blazing sun, so you better take water! Not recommended for elder people or handicaps.
  • Fine castle in itself. You are left to your own devices once you've paid the admision fee. Good tip is to be there two hours before sundown to check the castle and before the tourists buses come with loads of tourists to see the beautiful sundown. If it's hot have a sit down on the castle in the shade.
  • For me it's a not to miss attraction if you like history. I suggest going before 10 am or after 4 pm, otherwise you may roast in the Caribbean sun. If you go between 10 am and 4 pm, bring a hat or umbrella and water. Get the audio guide at the entrance or hire a guide or you'll wonder around aimlessly and your trip will be wasted. Great place to take pictures.