Why is Cartagena the perfect destination for weddings?

Cartagena de Indias is a city located in the north of Colombia, declared by UNESCO as a historical and cultural heritage of humanity, which over time has become a preferred destination for locals and foreigners.

It should not be overlooked that the city has been marred by scandal over the behavior of some visitors in recent weeks, but This is not an obstacle for couples from all over the world to choose Coralito de Piedra as their favorite destination where they can immerse themselves in eternal love.

Wedding scene in Cartagena

But what exactly makes Cartagena special? Santa Clara Hotel Director of Sales and Marketing Carmen Otero said A WEEK what are these details that return to the city, the destination par excellence for weddings.

Otero emphasizes this the colonial beauty and romanticism that surrounds the city is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in choosing Cartagena as a destination for couples. He also emphasized that La Heroica has a unique and natural environment that appeals to everyone.

The proximity to the sea, the air connection and the fact that it is a city with easy mobility, these are Cartagena’s natural points, competitive advantages”, are some of the aspects he highlighted, as well as value for money.

Likewise, Liliana Rodríguez, director of the Hotel and Tourism Association of Colombia – Cotelco in Cartagena, explained the key points she has identified for couples choosing the city as their wedding destination.

“As a primary attribute, Cartagena has its beauty of architecture and heritage, within which the offer of non-traditional establishments (places) for parties stands out. In addition, hotels that know this create plans for the bride and groom, their families and guests: the wedding room block, which are special accommodation plans with special rates for guests, regardless of where the wedding takes place. “, he explained

Cartagena is one of the tourist sites that will welcome the most travelers at the end of the year – Photo: Getty Images/Reinier Snijders/EyeEm

Although these features have positioned Coralito as a wedding destination, entry into the world’s best cities to host these events is relatively recent. Cartagena is on the radar of this market after Formula 1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya chose La Fantástica to get married in 2022.

Juan Pablo Estrada, a famous wedding planner in the city, explained what the famous runner’s wedding means. “Juan Pablo Montoya is a very important character for Colombia who got married in Cartagena and did things that no one had done before. For example, he installed the first air conditioner in a church, so that the rite was more pleasant, people came from other geographical latitudes. (…) This was the trigger when Cartagena opened up to the world as a place to get married”.

This event undoubtedly opened the door for hundreds of celebrities to come to this destination, for example, last March, Cartagena was the venue for the wedding of the Prince of Liechtenstein.

Estrada also emphasized that currently one of the reasons why Coralito is one of the cities internationally recognized as the best place for weddings in South America is because of its climatic conditions.

“It is a colorful city, with a lot of sun and really very happy. Very few places in the world have these characteristics, for example, when it is winter in a European country, here we are in permanent summer and that is undoubtedly an attractive force,” he added.

Mary Kuter, one of the most important wedding planners in Colombia, recommends that those planning to declare eternal love in Cartagena, choosing a colonial-themed hotel, not only because of the easy access to multiple services in one place, but also because, in his words, “they allow for a unique and magical environment.”

In addition, these spaces offer their visitors architecture, history and spaces to generate experiences.

Weddings and tourism in Cartagena

Since the start of the year, the city has already confirmed at least one ceremony every weekend until the end of the calendar. This can be directly related to the influx of tourists to Cartagena, meaning that weddings work as a boost to tourism.

“I consider the relationship of romantic tourismwhich includes destination weddings that mobilize guests from another destination to Cartagena, who usually arrive for a whole weekend, so the entire value of the sector is included. From transport to small and medium enterprises, local restaurants, shops, merchantsetc.”, explained the director of Cotelco Cartagena.

Usually, those who decide to choose this destination for their marriage know that they should have an experience for several days, not only the night of the celebration and the ceremony, which corresponds to an offer from the city and automatically affects the economy, in addition to generating jobs.

For example, in 2022, the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara hotel confirmed 140 weddings at its facilities; On average, each ceremony consists of between 200 and up to 700 guests, who later become consumers of the products or services offered by the people of Cartagena.from the taxi driver transporting visitors to the informal traders offering souvenirs.

Although not everything is rosy, the wedding sector, like other fields, also presents challenges, Mary Kuter and Carmen Otero agree that Although not all ceremonies are Catholic, they believe the city lacks religious spaces where couples can unite.

Another challenge pointed out by the experts is the lack of support from the District Administration. Otero explained this Many of the large weddings in public places are set aside because of some obstacles the District presents in issuing permits.

The director of “Sales and Marketing” of the hotel said that this is a market niche on which the town hall should put a magnifying glass and issued an invitation to support this type of tourism produced by weddings.

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