Cartagena is Colombia's most famous tourist destination on the Caribbean coast. The city is renowned for its colonial and colourful architecture. With a tropical climate, the city is also a popular beach destination.
The city was founded on June 1, 1533, and named after Cartagena, Spain, itself after the original Carthage in Tunisia. However, settlement in this region around Cartagena Bay by various indigenous people dates back to 4000 BC. During the colonial period Cartagena served a key role in administration and expansion of the Spanish empire. It was a center of political and economic activity due to the presence of royalty and wealthy viceroys. In 1984 Cartagena's colonial walled city and fortress were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.