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Thursday, 02 July 2015 12:10

Colombia: More Accessible Than Ever

Written by  Lisa Loverro
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latin-colombiaApproximately nine months ago JetBlue, the leading airline connection between Latin America and the United States for the past 14 years, launched a new route between Fort Lauderdale and Cartagena, the picturesque colonial city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.  Giselle Cortés, director of Blue Cities for JetBlue stated, “JetBlue is pleased to offer our U.S. customers even more travel options by adding the Fort Lauderdale-Cartagena route. Cartagena is less than three hours away from Florida, making it a convenient option for vacationers or travelers who do business in Latin America.” Cortés continued to state, “JetBlue will continue to promote Colombia as a viable destination from the U.S. and strives to offer the best U.S. air service to the country.” This new route, offered daily, will serve as an addition to the pre-existing flight connection between Rafael Nunez Airport in Colombia and John F. Kennedy airport in New York (this flight became active in 2012).

These flights make Colombia even more accessible to U.S. travelers, and will complement the influx of hotels, the variety of business destinations, and the exotic travel locales throughout the country. While Cartagena currently has 38 international direct weekly flights (three in the U.S. and one in Panama), Florida is an active hub for travel to the Caribbean. Maria Claudia Lacouture, President of PROCOLOMBIA said, “As Cartagena has increased its number of hotels and business destinations, it’s become even more important to prioritize travel to and from the city. These daily flights will make visiting Cartagena even more convenient for business and leisure travelers.” In essence, with Cartegena now even more accessible, it’s the perfect destination to send clients on a tropical and exotic holiday.

The Destination
Sitting on the northern coast of Colombia, Cartagena de Indias, as it is officially called, is a large seaport city with a population of approximately 1.2 million. In 1980 Cartagena was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The “Old Town” district of Cartagena is a beautiful Spanish Colonial walled city consisting of impressive fortresses, magnificent cathedrals, large plazas and quaint cobblestone streets lined with balconied homes. The more modern and wealthier district, Bocagrande is adorned with high-rise condos, hotels and an abundance of shops and restaurants. Until recently, tourism in Cartagena had been largely dominated by Latin Americans on holiday, but with the arrival of this JetBlue flight, as well as the low-cost Spirit Airlines providing direct service through Fort Lauderdale, Cartagena is breaking into the mainstream as a viable option for vacationing Americans. The historic appeal of this city is what makes Cartagena uniquely different from other Caribbean destinations. This is not a “sit on the beach” vacation. It’s for those having a thirst for history, culture and great food. It’s a walled city where your clients will enjoy strolling through the many squares, cathedrals and fortresses. Among the most formidable fortress, The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a beautiful structure with massive walls rising some 135 feet above the sea is considered the greatest and strongest ever built by the Spaniards in their colonies. The Convento de La Popa, perched atop a hill, is the highest point of the city and offers scenic views. The Museo Del Oro Y Arqueologia, located opposite the Palace of the Inquisition and on one of Cartagena’s most beautiful plazas, houses gold treasures and pre-colonial pottery. The largest square in the old town, Plaza De La Aduana is also the oldest, and used as a parade ground with a statue of Christopher Columbus in its center. The Cathedral of Santo Domingo is one of the more popular churches, although all are uniquely beautiful and worth a visit. There are a multitude of new boutique hotels as well as larger ones such as The Sofitel Santa Clara. For more information on Cartagena and the rest of this beautiful country, visit www.procolombia.co

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