Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias (Spanish pronunciation: [kartaˈxena ðe ˈindjas], Cartagena of the Indies), is a large Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region and capital of Bolívar Department. The city had a population of 892,545 as of the 2005 census, making it the fifth-largest city in Colombia and giving the Cartagena urban area the status of fifth-largest urban area in Colombia. Cartagena is a center of economic activity in the Caribbean, as well a popular tourist destination.
Activity and development of the Cartagena region is dated back to 4000 B.C. around Cartagena Bay by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. The Spanish colonial city was founded on June 1, 1533 and named after Cartagena, Spain. Cartagena served a key role in the development of the region during the Spanish eras; 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.