Cartagena de Indias, one of the main Spanish commercial ports in the Caribbean Sea, was strategically built on a system of islands and peninsulas that formed a lacustrine system along the coast of Tierra Firme, known today as Colombia. For several centuries, Cartagena fortifications have been at the fore-front of Spanish military technologies. This site became the scene of action of the main military engineers at the service of the Spanish crown. In 1586 Battista Antonelli received from King Philipe II the task to design this monumental defensive system. The first project for the Cartagena wall enclosure (1595) is due to Battista and it was continued and modified by his nephew Cristoforo Roda. Nowadays, Antonelli walls still fit into the urban fabric of the city and delineate the perimeter of the historic city. The research project follows the previous research experiments conducted by the Lab DAda-LAB of the University of Pavia in the territory of Panama for the study of the Antonelli fortifications systems of Portobello and San Lorenzo del Chagres. It concerned an extensive action aimed at the documentation and to the study of the entire fortified system of the historic center of Cartagena. The perimeter walls of the old city and the fort of San Felipe de Barajas have been documented through the use of a mobile laser scanner that uses SLAM technology, evaluating the most effective performed strategies for fast survey activities. In parallel, a more specific action was conducted on the portion of the Baluarte of Santa Catalina walls, where it was possible to give a comparison between different methods and instruments, in order to verify the reliability of the 3D databases. Analysis protocols have been developed for the documentation and study of the defensive system. The paper will highlight the construction technologies that qualify the fortresses of Cartagena de Indias and the results obtained by the comparison between different data acquisition technologies to evaluate the quality of the models for the development of documentation strategies for heritage enhancement and protection.