Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, Cartagena: Hours, Address, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas Reviews: 4.5/5

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas

Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Cartagena was always a desirable conquest for pirates and enemies of the Spanish Crown; and for this reason, the defense of the city from these threats was a question of priority for its inhabitants from the first decades of the existence of the city. Once the primitive nucleus of Cartagena and the outlying district of Getsemani were fortified, there was a need to erect a structure on San Lazaro Hill that would prevent an enemy attack from its peak, since the hill dominated the walls and the only entrance to the city, the Media Luna Entrance in Getsemani. In addition, this hill was the intermediate point between the city and the nearby Popa Peak, where some heavy guns and canons were installed between 1769 and 1780 to cross fire with the castle and make an enemy attack more difficult from the large beach of Playon Grande in Pie de la Popa.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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4.5
12,870 reviews
Excellent
6,561
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1,440
Poor
195
Terrible
71

michele200929
Marlton, NJ50 contributions
worth it if you have the time
Apr 2021
My hotel was in the walled city and I had the same driver who picked me up at the airport drive me here. I could have taken a taxi but I wanted him to wait for me while I looked around. For $20 USD I felt it was worth it not to have to deal with the hassle of negotiating a price with a cab driver. It was also extremely hot the day I went.
The entrance fee is 25,000 COP. I personally feel it should be half that. I was also slightly frustrated because there are vendors inside the actual grounds. I understand them being outside and I have no issue with them trying to make a living. However, when I've just spent 25,000 COP to enter a place I don't feel like being bothered by them.
I prefer to not have a guide when I see a place and read about it ahead of time so I know what to expect and what I'm looking at. There were guides available to be hired at the entrance. I did see a couple other people walking around with them. It was very hot when I went so it was not crowded.
I had to stop every 15 minutes or so and find some shade and drink some water. That said, there is a nice view and a nice breeze when you're up there.
It was interesting to look around and take some pictures. I spent about 40 minutes there. If you have the time you should check it out.
Written April 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Neil P
Houston, TX772 contributions
Ok stop
Apr 2021 • Family
Not a lot to see but a great view. If your in town and have several hours. Hire a guide at the entrance and take the 1 hour required to learn the history
Written April 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Juan R
1 contribution
Magical place
Sep 2020
When I went to Cartgena, the first place that I visited was The Castle of San Felipe de Barajas, this place is very interesting, because it is full of history and important facts about the discovery of this beautiful city, also you can find a gorgeous view with a incredible panorama of Cartagena. The service and the attention is excellent. You're going to have a great time here.
Written March 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gperlloni
Miami, FL2 contributions
Very well maintain and historic place
Feb 2021
You have to see the tunnels! Part of the military history of Cartagena this is a place that you have to visit with the kids.
Written March 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ben F
Bloomington, IN729 contributions
A Rich, Sprawling Historic Landmark
Dec 2020 • Solo
I highly recommend you spend at LEAST part of your day experiencing the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas during your Cartagena trip. The site is utterly fascinating. I won’t make this too long of a review because I want readers to GO HERE, but below are things to keep in mind:

- As with several other attractions in the city, be prepared for energetic, persuasive salespeople to urge you to buy water, trinkets, hats, and other items of varying necessity. Sure, do buy water (because it’s usually hot hot hot!), but be firm if you’re uninterested in other stuff.

- There is a fee to tour the grounds of the fort, but I didn’t remember it being overly expensive. It’s certainly worth it.

- Accessibility: as a traveler in a power wheelchair, I sadly couldn’t experience the entire site. I contemplated doing the little walking I’m able to do (short distances only) in order to see the very top, but I decided to forego this. I realize people may disparage me for this, and I also feel bad I couldn’t fully immerse myself in the fort’s geography, position in the city, and history. I was able to drive my chair up a nice distance, though, and get AMAZING views of the old and new cities below.

- Tour guides are there and very eager to give tours, but just like the water/hat/trinket salespeople, don’t feel obligated to accept a tour. My travel style involves fewer guided tours and more self-exploration—that’s just how I like to do things.

So with that said, I can’t recommend this historic site enough!! You MUST go when in the city. Take plenty of pictures and enjoy the moments you’re up at the top!!
Written February 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Billy W
Tampa, FL45 contributions
This Castle is an engineering marvel towering over 13 stories high.
Nov 2019
The Spanish history here is incredible where the Castle was the protection for the very large walled city. A beautiful Castle, City and Country, Cartagena, Colombia is magical.
Written October 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dutch0ven
Kingsport, TN17 contributions
Worth about 2 hours
Nov 2019
I use to live in Cartagena and have visited el Castillo many times. The first time was 24+ years ago where they use to let you see a whole lot more of the castle. What you will find now is worth the visit but is not as open as it used to be.

There are two main reasons to see it. Learn the history of the city and get great pictures. Nothing beats the modern Cartagena city backdrop with colonial architecture in the forefront. There's a few iconic places you'll have to stand in line to get pictures of but it's worth the wait.

Walking through the underground tunnels is pretty fun but a word of caution if you're claustrophobic. They are tight and muggy, poor airflow, so take caution.

Wear sunscreen, there is not a lot of shade and the light colored stone reflects quite a bit of heat. Buy the water bottles they sell at the entrance. You'll be glad you have them in about 40 mins of being there.

About 2 hours tops and you've seen it. If you want to pay for the tour guide it's up to you, most of what they say is not historically accurate but it's giving back to the local economy. I've found they charge anywhere between $10-$80 USD. Everything is negotiable.

When you're done, head down to Jumbo supermarket across the street, cool off and grab a maracuya at the smoothie shop in the food court.
Written September 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Myo M
Coquitlam, Canada19,934 contributions
Sprawling grounds above (with also a "skyline view"!) :)
Jan 2020
A hilltop fortress (but just a 5-minute-or-so walk up from the bottom) with a "quite sprawling" area above the ramparts, this is really a site for a "high-ground walk" in I would categorize as generally 3 parts: the Central Part with the "national flag" (a good-sized one for a nice photo-op) where there's also a tunnel to go down below which connects with the North Part (a straight walk for just about 5 minutes to the other side but where inside are also some "diverging paths" to wander around a bit); the North Part which is the "most spacious" of the three where there's also like a higher promenade along its one side for some direct views to outside through the openings among the battlements alongside; and the South Part which is actually a 2-level one with its upper level being the "highest part" of the entire fortress (and likely due to that physical position being the "most number" of cannons of the Fortress to be found at that specific location). And yes, to enjoy above apart from spacious grounds are also great views all around especially to the south with just a "pretty phenomenal" view of the city's skyline (generally around the Bocagrande Beach area with really quite a number of modern high-rises spread along an impressive length!) and also to the east with La Popa Hill (a distant-but-clear view of its convent on top with actually also interestingly some of the cannons of this fortress pointed in that direction for some "unique scene" I would say).

Just somewhat on the downside though (not personally for me) is that this is a site pretty much "all outdoor" except for some rest shelters, but be sure not to miss the small souvenir shop on the upper level of the South Part (which despite its size has a pretty good collection of a variety of souvenirs).

If coming from the "Walled City", after coming out of its east side is just about a half-hour walk pretty much just a straight way (until arriving at the north end of the Fortress which is where to turn right for a further short walk to the ticket entrance), and also to pass by "at about halfway" along the way is the India Catalina statue right beside a big lake (one commemorating the tribal woman who accompanied Conquistador Pedro de Heredia in his quest to establish Cartagena). And actually as for statues, there's also one right at the bottom of this fortress (just to the left after coming back out of the ticket entrance) which is just somewhat of an interesting one featuring a "sword-weilding" commander or such (with my initial impression being one for the Spanish defenders in the 1740's War, but the inscription below mentioning actually being one for the British attackers!).
Written August 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

juelz89
Seeheim-Jugenheim, Germany73 contributions
Worth the visit
Feb 2020 • Friends
We spent a few hours exploring the castillo and it was totally worth it although it was unbelievably hot. watch out for the amusing trumpet guy ;)
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Robert S
Lawrence, KS2,664 contributions
Very impressive colonial fortress
Jun 2019
The Castillo is a well preserved colonial era fortress that was first built in the 1500s and the latest rebuild was in 1739.
It was the involved in the famour Battle of Cartegena de Indies when the Spanish repelled a huge attack by the British led by Admiral Vernon.
The fortress is easily toured. It is all walkable, depending on the heat.
There are concessions at the top, along with great reviews.
Written May 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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