Colombia is the country of timeless colonial cities, welcoming people and hip shaking party evenings and the new hot travellers destination!
A must see during your travel in Colombia is Cartagena de indias, the city of romance and legends. This old colonial walled city in the north of Colombia was declared as NESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and lies directly at the carribean coast.
When you walk in the romantic streets of the old centre with the horse and carriage you will feel completely lost in time. This mystery and charm of this Colombian city has been an important inspiration for Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s romantic novel, Love in the Time of Cholera. Watch the movie of this book to get in the cartagena spheres in preparation of your trip.
The touristic neighborhoods of Cartagena are concentrated in the old city centre inside the walls and Boca Grande. The narrow streets in the heart of the city are fulled with small cosy restaurants and bars and give a tropical carribean feeling with the bright colored colonial style buildings. A specific caracteristic of this South American city is the loud music outside and inside. Everywhere you come you can listen to salsa and the romantic bolero’s. And in the streets are filled with local musicians.
Where to stay?
There is a wide range of hotels and hostels which makes it easy to find an accomodation within your budget. Oke you pay a bit more for one of the romantic boutique hotels inside the wall but I can tell you its worth to have this experience. For example this romantic boutique hotel in the centre: Casa India Catalina Looking for a budget option? Check the accommodations just outside the wall in Getsemani.
6 cool things to do in Cartagena
1.Watch the magical carribean sunset from the terrace of Cafe del Mar
End your fascinating warm day in cartagena with a walk to the city wall and order one of the delicious cocktails in Cafe del mar to dreamaway with the beautiful sunset of the carribean coast.
2.Try the best chocolate in the Chocolate museum
Although its more a chocolate shop than a museum you can buy some amazing high quality cacao products produced in Colombia in this cute small shop. They have a big variety of chocolate products. From high quality 70% chocolate bars with different toppings to daycreme made of Cacao and they even sell irresistable chocolate liquor in different types. Warning this shop is extremely dangerous for chocolate addicts!
3.Eat fish, fish, fish latino style
In this carribean city you need to try the fresh fish. A typically latin american style to eat fish is Ceviche. Ceviche is a from origin peruvian dish made of fresh raw fish marinated in lemonjuice. You can try this colorfull fishdish in la cevicheria.
4.Shake you hips in one of the salsa clubs and experience the tropical ‘noches de Cartagena’.
Its not difficult to find the salsa dancing clubs just follow the salsa music and get your hips loose on the dance floor. Tip don’t go to early because the dancing scene starts late. People slowely drip in starting from midnight. A famous salsa club is Cafe Havana Cartagena
5.Experience a tropical serenade
Sip on your tropical homemade cocktail on the old square terrace of the creative cocktailbar El baron and dream away on the bolero music performed by the streetartists. You have a stunning view on the old church Inglesia de san Pedro Claver.
6.Dive into the turquoise blue Carribean sea
Take a day trip to the paradise islands Islas del Rosario and dive into the clear blue carribean sea which is named in the top 10 of world bluest water. You can take a boat trip at the harbour which take you in 1 hour to the archipel islas del rosario.
Colombia is getting more populair under travellers but is still emerging of its bad reputation of being unsafe to travel due to kidnapping and drugs. But the safety is improving rapidly, specially with the upcoming tourism and the peace deal with the FARC. The people work all very hard to create a better Colombia and you can feel it when you travel trough this beautiful country and talk with the warm and welcoming locals. So don’t get intimidated by the media because Colombia is in one word amazing!
More tips for Colombia? Stay tuned for more tips in my next post….