What will surprise you most about Cartagena de Indias is how it perfectly intertwines the old with the new, the traditional with the bohemian, natural beauty with luxury, and the classic with the modern. You will be impressed to find solemn vestiges of the colonial past in Cartagena. The Castle of San Felipe de Barajas will transport you about 400 years in time. During your vacation in Cartagena, you cannot miss Castillo de San Felipe! For your convenience, we recommend you book now at any of our four hotels located in this enigmatic city: Hampton by Hilton Cartagena; Hilton Cartagena Hotel; Atoll Hotel Cartagena Tierra Bomba, Curio Collection by Hilton or the Conrad Cartagena.
Located on the hill of San Lázaro, as soon as you arrive you will be taken aback by the sight before you. If you look up, you will immediately understand why this castle is considered to have a strategic location. Imagine at that time, from the top of the castle, the sentries could spot enemy ships at a great distance, give warning and prepare for the impending attack. You will undoubtedly think this is an imposing structure, powerful and resistant to both man and nature. Remember that the castle is outdoors and that it is very hot in Cartagena, so do not forget to wear a cap or hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and to bring something to drink.
San Felipe Castle is the largest fort in the Americas built by the Spanish colonists. Yes, it is immense! In terms of its design and equipment, it is worth highlighting an endowment of 63 guns and that its barracks had a capacity for 350 men, with walls that lean inwards. To understand why these characteristics make it an impenetrable fortress, we invite you to visit the castle.
In addition, and what for some is the best part of the tour, San Felipe Castle will invite you to visit the underground world where the troops were positioned to face any of the looming threats. You will be amazed at how its tunnels and architectural design were intended to give a strategic military advantage against those who tried to penetrate it. They were created with the purpose of disorienting and confusing the enemy, therefore, you will not want to lose yourself in this mortal labyrinth.
The stones of this emblematic fortress, declared Historical and Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and National Monument by the Government, are impregnated with myths and legends. Every confrontation lived here is more interesting and fascinating than the previous one, and, keep in mind they weren’t all victorious for the Colombian people. For an additional price, you can hire a guide at the box office so you don’t miss out on the most interesting parts of the tour, get some more and learn about the country’s history.
Just to give you a sample of the abundant and captivating history that awaits you at this place, we recall the defeat of 23,000 Englishmen and 186 ships led by Edward Vernon or the capture of the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas by the Spanish forces led by Pablo Morillo, an event that gave the title of “La Heroica” to the city of Cartagena.
At the top of the castle, you will have a panoramic and out-of-this-world view of this impressive city, the cradle of magical realism. It’s no surprise this monument is one of the top tourist-attraction sites in all of Colombia. In addition, you will be able to share your photos on social media since this relic of Colombian history offers free WiFi.
You can visit this majestic Latin American construction from Monday to Sunday from 8 in the morning until 7 at night. Prices at Castillo de San Felipe, quite affordable. Children under 6 and adults 62 and over, members of the Colombian government and those with disabilities have free admission. In addition, on the last Sunday of each month between February and November, every Colombian can go in for free. For the general public, there is a full rate of 25,000 COP which is approximately equivalent to USD$8, but remember this does not include a guide fee. To purchase your tickets to the Castle, you must visit Fortificaciones Cartagena.
Your Hilton Hotel can help you coordinate logistics during your visit, specifically your transportation needs. Also, in order to have the best day with your family, we recommend you wear comfortable clothes and shoes to visit the Castle of San Felipe de Barajas, especially considering you will have to climb the hill comprised of old stones with an average temperature of 27ºC/80ºF. The charm of Cartagena awaits you, come feel it.