How to See the Pope in Cartagena – Juan Ballena | Travel Experiences in Cartagena

How to See the Pope in Cartagena

Posted by Juan Ballena Travel Experiences in Cartagena on

As Colombia prepares for the arrival of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, people are asking all of the important questions! Where will he be? How can I see him?  The pope will arrive to Cartagena on September 10th, 2017, and the question on everyone’s mind is: Do I have a chance of seeing Pope Francis during his visit to Cartagena? Here are some answers!

When and where does the pope arrive in Cartagena?

Pope Francis will depart the airport in Bogotá around 8:30 am on September 10th and the arrival time at Rafael Nuñez International Airport in Cartagena is planned for 10 am on this day.

What is the pope’s plan for the day?

After leaving the airport, Pope Francis will reach the San Francisco neighborhood around 10:30 am, where he will bless two social works of the Archdiocese, Talita Kum y María Revive. Next, he will take a tour from Glorieta de Bazurto to the Historic Center.
At 12 noon, he will pray an Angelus in the square of San Pedro Claver. After the Angelus, the pope will proceed to the Santa Catalina de Alejandría Cathedral. At 3 pm, he will bless the sick of the city of Cartagena.
Finally, at 4:30 pm, the pope will hold mass in Contecar. This is considered the most important event of the visit. There are already 200,000 people prepared to attend the mass with a total of 300,000 spots available for those hoping to attend the mass. Only people between the ages of 13 and 70 are permitted to attend the mass. At 6:45 pm will be the farewell at the airport in Cartagena and at 7:00 pm the pope will depart from Cartagena to Rome.
To see the timeline of the pope’s scheduled events, click here!


Will I be able to attend the pope’s events on September 10th?

Yes! The events are open to the public! For the blessing of the works in the San Francisco neighborhood, priority will be given to those who live in the neighborhood and surrounding areas. The Angelus in San Pedro Claver plaza is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. The anointing of the sick in the Santa Catalina de Alejandría Cathedral, will have about 900 attendees. Those invited to attend this event will be three persons from each parish, with someone to accompany them and two patients from each clinic and hospital in the city.
The mass in Contecar has a capacity of 300,000 attendees with over 200,000 already having signed up. To sign up to attend this event, fill out the link here.


How much does it cost to attend any of these events?

The good news is, all of the events offered by the pope during his visit are free!


Will I still be able to get around the city on September 10th?

On this day, personal cars and motorcycles will not be permitted to operate. It is also expected that over half a million people will be visiting Cartagena from the surrounding areas, so Cartagena will be very busy. Special routes will be enabled from Patio Portal to Contrecar through Sistema Integrado de Transporte Masivo (SITM). Transcaribe will suspend its service from the Bazurto Station to La Bodeguita between 10 am and 12:30 pm. During this time, the pope will be traveling down Avenida Pedro de Heredia in the Popemobile. Transit cards will be available for purchase in order for visitors to use Transcaribe. The Deputy Minister of Transport wants no surprises with transportation on this day and the plan is still being developed to insure that transportation runs smoothly.

Una publicación compartida de Trista Li (@tristalihaha) el


What is the focus of the pope’s visit in Cartagena?

The focus of the Pope Francis’ visit in Cartagena is mercy and reconciliation. He will visit the plaza of San Pedro Claver, a priest dedicated to helping slaves and working hard for the human rights of the people of Colombia. The pope’s visit will highlight the inequality among the rich and the poor, especially among Afro-Colombian communities in the city. While Colombia has made huge strides in combating racism and working for the rights of its people, there are still many issues that arise in Colombian communities that need to be addressed. Pope Francis’ visit to Cartagena, the place where San Pedro Claver devoted his life to helping the poor, sick and outcast. For Catholic people is a reminder that human rights play a pivotal role in healing the country after decades of civil war. The pope will pray with and for the people in Colombia.

Una publicación compartida de Pope Francis (@franciscus) el


Can I volunteer during the pope’s visit?

At this time, there are over 2000 volunteers signed up to assist in Cartagena during the pope’s visit. Volunteers must be between 18 and 45 years of age. There is still time to sign up to be a volunteer. Unfortunatly registration for volunteer during the pope's visit is now closed.

BE AWARE: Due to the activities and changes in transportation during the pope’s visit, please expect delays. For more updates, please follow Juan Ballena on our social networks!


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