Colombia Part 4: wandering through the colourful streets of Cartagena
I have to say, Cartagena was my favourite part of Colombia. The city is amazing!
So, it is important to mention that there are two completely different ‘Cartagenas’. One absolutely beautiful and another to avoid as much as possible. There is the old city (the cool one), limited by a wall surrounding it, with narrow streets and all sorts of colourful houses. Here, there are nice restaurants and bars which makes it the place where you will want to spend all your time. And then there is Boca Grande, which is the modern part of the city. It has a very populated dirty beach and alongside there are huge condos and hotels, some already built but most still under construction. This area is really not pleasant, it is ugly and has too many people and disturbing noises.
So stick to the old town, the hostels are cool – for instance El Viajero if you want to rest or Media Luna if you want to party -, but there are also really nice boutique hotels if you are looking for something nicer. Regardless where you stay, it feels good to wake up inside the walls and walk around those streets.
There is a free walking tour at 10am and 3pm, which lasts for about 2 hours. Even though the heat is almost unbearable, I still think it is worth doing it. You immediately get a sense of the city and how to get around it, and the guide – Edgar (I’m pretty sure he’s the only one) – says very interesting stuff about the city and its history.
In terms of partying I think Cartagena was also the best place. We tried Dante one night, a very Colombian club, only locals and latin music, and of course very friendly people (as usual in Colombia). And then we had a completely different night at Mirador rooftop, here were basically only tourists but was also a cool place with a great view to the clock tower.
Finally, besides visiting the old city and going out, it is also worth it to get a bus ticket to Playa Blanca, one of the Islas del Rosario. It is a 45-minute drive from Cartagena, once you get there it seems a bit messy and crowded but all it takes is walking a few meters to the right and the beach starts getting more and more paradisiac. It is possible to rent a hammock or a bungalow and stay for the night, if not, spending the day there and having some ‘pescado’ in one of those cute little restaurants is also a lovely way to spend your day.
The trip is finished now. Unfortunately. But I left Colombia completely in love with the country. I will come back for sure, there were stillway too many good places I didn’t visit.
I’ll post a video soon 🙂