Cartagena, Colombia

Walls of Cartagena (Old Town Tour)

Rafaela Ely

One of Cartagena’s most unique and fascinating features is the historic wall enclosing the Old Town. While the wall is broken in some sections and inaccessible in others, it is possible to run on top of the structure in many locations. Doing so provides an easy to follow tour with a great vantage point of some of Old Town’s top architectural and historical sites, from the gate and clock tower to the colorful city plazas. The clock tower/Pegasus Statue (near the Bay of Souls) is a good starting point. From here, runners can bear right around Calle 24 for 0.8 km, then left along Carrera 11. Carrera 11 is slightly busy, with a narrow sidewalk, but the Monumento India Catalina park is a welcome relief. At the north end of the park (90a intersection), cross LEFT to stay on Calle 11 (be sure to use the crosswalk as traffic in this area can be kind of dicey during peak hours). After the crossing, runners can hop up onto the wall and follow it to its northern reaches (2.4 km mark). The wall bends around to Carrera 2, through San Diego, and heads south for 1.4 km. At Baluarte de San Francisco Javier, follow the wall back east to the clock tower. The loop is a little under 5 km, but can be combined with the Bocagrande Waterfront or Getsemani/Manga Waterfront runs for more distance.

Another option, which avoids the more congested southeast section of the Old Town, is to run along the northwest walls, then return on the waterfront sidewalk of Avenida Santander for a loop of 4.3 km. Sights along the way include the Old Circo Teatro, Las Bovedas, the house of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the University of Cartagena, and Marine Park.

  • 4.4 km (2.7 miles) loop
  • 44 feet
  • Torre de Reloj (Clock Tower)/Pegasus Statues
  • Avenida Blass de Lezo