Colombia has initiated a remarkable underwater expedition to explore the remnants of a Spanish warship. This ship, the San José, sank over 300 years ago near Cartegena. It is believed to hold a fortune in artifacts. 

The government of Colombia, along with international scientists, first located the shipwreck in 2015. They claim it as a significant historical and cultural find. The initial phase of the exploration began by taking photographs using advanced, non-intrusive technology.

Colombia Launches Groundbreaking Expedition to Claim Sunken Spanish Galleon

(Photo : History on YouTube)

Colombia's Quest Unearths Sunken Spanish Warship Treasures

This ship, known as the "holy grail of shipwrecks," was the main vessel in a Spanish fleet carrying precious cargo from Peru to Colombia. Tragically, it sank with 600 people aboard during a battle in 1708. 

The ongoing project aims to meticulously document the site and assess potential items on the sea floor.

CNN reported that the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History has taken steps to protect the area around the wreck. They have designated it as a protected archaeological site. This ensures that the scientific and archaeological value of the findings remains intact.

Furthermore, this venture into the deep sea has sparked a hefty legal challenge. 

A U.S.-based company claims they discovered the wreck decades earlier and is now seeking a share of the shipwreck's estimated $20 billion value. Colombia, however, disputes these claims, emphasizing their original discovery in 2015.

As Colombia progresses with this historic exploration, it aims to recover valuable artifacts and deepen understanding of the early 18th-century European socio-economic conditions. 

This project highlights Colombia's commitment to preserving and learning from its submerged historical treasures.

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Colombia Sees Surge in Tourism Growth

Colombia has experienced a significant boost in its tourism sector, reporting a record $9 billion in revenue from air passenger transportation and travel by the end of 2023. According to Travel Pulse, this figure marks a 22.4 percent increase compared to the previous year. 

The positive trend is expected to continue, with international tourist arrivals projected to rise by 24 percent in the first half of 2024. This increase positions Colombia third among Latin American countries for tourism growth.

The surge in tourism is largely attributed to a record number of non-resident visitors reaching over 5.8 million in 2023, which is a 26.6% increase from 2022. 

Cartagena and Medellin are among the top urban destinations, with expected bookings to grow by 34% and 57%, respectively, in the upcoming year.

Air travel connectivity has also improved, with 28 airlines linking 11 Colombian cities to 51 international cities. This development has facilitated a substantial increase in air traffic, accommodating over 11.8 million passengers last year.

In addition to boosting local economies, the influx of tourists has contributed significantly to Colombia's GDP. The travel and tourism sector surpassed its pre-pandemic contribution levels in 2022, accounting for $14.9 billion and supporting 1.25 million jobs. 

This resurgence underscores Colombia's role as a dynamic player in the global tourism industry, offering diverse attractions from coastal adventures to cultural experiences.

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