Tourists who arrive at the Cruise Ship Terminal can wander along paths that meander through refreshing vegetation in a 1,000 square-meter garden. As they wonder around, they can admire parrots, flamingoes, iguanas, howler monkeys, pelicans and even deer, among many other species from the region.
A veritable oasis
In the heart of the port, flamingoes, iguanas and deer welcome cruise ship tourists in a fine example of Colombia’s biodiversity. When the Port of Cartagena Organization refurbished the Cruise Ship Terminal, apart from building the necessary infrastructure for passengers to embark and disembark, it used wooden materials already on its premises to establish an open zoo. This has become a natural oasis amid the modern port infrastructure.
The Port of Cartagena had two major reasons to create this port oasis. First, in order to reinforce its commitment to the environment, the project enables the organization to protect the ecosystem in the area and to safeguard certain animal species. Second, it is a beautiful attraction for visitors, and it encourages them to discover Colombia’s natural riches. After all, what they find in this oasis is a sample of the wide variety of flora and fauna the country has to offer.
The initiative won the Organization of American States’ (OAS) First Americas Maritime Award under the category of Sustainable Tourist Destination Port. It recognizes the organization’s environmental practices during its cruise ship operations.
As a complement to the natural oasis, and with the same goal of enabling tourists to discover the country’s riches, a replica emerald mine was built inside this oasis. Tourists can admire the precious stones that have earned worldwide prestige and fame because of their purity and color, as well as 24 other unique artifacts.