This 9.15 mile run connects the southwestern terminus and northeastern terminus of Cartagena’s Caribbean Coast. The run alongside the Caribbean coastline tours the lagoon, Bocagrande, Centro, Walls of Cartagena, El Cabrero, Marbella, Crespo, then past Canal Bocana to finish on the Via al Mar bridge after crossing Boca La Boquilla.
Cartagena is renowned for its colonial architecture, military fortifications, and white sand beaches. Cartagena was founded in 1533 by a Spanish commander and quickly became a major port shipping sugar, tobacco, cocoa, and gold from Colombia’s interior across the Caribbean and Atlantic. Regrettably, the city also became the center of the African slave trade in the Americas, with an estimated 1.1 million captive slaves entering Cartagena’s docks before abolishment in 1851.
Riches exported from Cartagena helped finance the empire’s expansion in the Americas, making it a prime target for piracy. In response to repeated pirate attacks, including a month-long occupation by the legendary Sir Francis Drake in 1586, Spanish King Philip III ordered the construction of defensive fortifications beginning in 1614. “The Walls of Cartagena” were completed in 1796 and remain the oldest and most intact examples of Spanish colonial defensive walls in America. Cartagena was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.