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The nation of Colombia, a South American country, has two cities that boast of beauty, splendor, culture and tradition. These are the cities of Cartagena and Bogota. Situated on Colombia’s northern coast, Cartagena or Cartagena de Indias as it is popularly known is the capital of Bolivar Department, and ranks fifth among Colombian urban areas in terms of size. The city is surrounded by the following bodies of water, namely, the Caribbean Sea and the Cartagena Bay; the latter has two entrances, the Bocagrande or Big Mouth located in the northern part and the Bocachica or the Small Mouth in the southern part of the Cartagena Bay.
The climate in the city is habitable and is even considered tranquil since it is always windy despite the heat all year round. According to historians, the city of Cartagena started with only 200 habitants during the early 1500s; however, its population boosted rapidly over the years because of the gold tombs built by the Sinu civilization; the city’s population, however decreased after the said tombs were destroyed.
Cartagena has various tourist attractions, which include its Downtown, which is considered the heart of the city as well as the home of various architectural structures, from Italian, to colonial, to republican style; the official entrance is through the Clock Gate or Puerta del Reloj. Other attractions in the city are: the Historical Archives, the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Cartagena, the Santo Domingo Church, and the Plaza de Bolivar, formerly called Square of the Carriages or Plazas delos Coches.
Just like the city of Cartagena, the Colombian city of Bogota attracts tourists from different parts of the world. Bogota, whose official name is Bogota Distrito Capital happens to be the capital of Colombia. Its former name was Santa Fe de Bogota, and it is said to be the most populated city in the entire Colombian country. There are two seasons alternating throughout the year: the rainy and the dry season; wherein the driest periods are experienced during the months of December, January, February and March, while the rainiest are during April, May, September, October and November.
The city also experiences rain during the months of June and July, while in August, the weather is sunny with high winds. The city of Bogota is otherwise known as the Athens of South America because of the many colleges and universities that can be found there. Among these are the first university founded by Dominicans – the Saint Thomas Aquinas University; Our Lady of the Rosary University founded by Cristobal de Torres, and the Xavierian University founded by Jesuits. Various business establishments that cater to various needs of people are all over the city.
Bogota owes its vibrant night life to the cultural activities, restaurants, clubs and bars that makes the city popular. Bogota does not only have night life to offer to people; its activities are present even during daytime through the different recreational areas it offers its people and its visitors; some of its attractions are the Simon Bolivar Metropolitan Park, the Bogota Botanical Garden, the amusement park known as Mundo Adventura. Both cities have their own history to look back to, both are rich in culture and traditions, and both are proud of their heritage.
Bogotá Photo: Plaza de Bolivar. The National Geographic Expedition. 12 June 2009. http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/places/photos/photo_bogota_bogota.html.
DuBois, Jill and Leslie Jermyn. Cultures of the World: Colombia. 2nd ed. NY 2002
Hamre, Bonnie. Bogota, Colombia City of Contrasts, City of History. South America Travel. 12 June 2009. http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/southamerica/a/ColBogota.htm.
Hamre, Bonnie. Cartagena, Colombia. 12 June 2009. http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/southamerica/p/ColCartagena.htm
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