Colorful Cartagena

Last week, four friends from San Francisco flew into Bogotá, and a few days ago we traveled to beautiful Cartagena: a coastal, colonial city in the north of Colombia. As is true of the rest of Colombia, Cartagena has become increasingly popular with tourists from the US and the rest of the Americas over the past few years. It’s a short flight from Florida and feels more equipped to handle tourists than a city like Bogotá. More menus are in English, the cobble-stoned streets are all picture-worthy, and the hot temperatures and Caribbean beaches around the city are a huge draw.

Later in the trip, we rented a boat for the day and enjoyed a lot of time in the open water and snorkeling. The boat was also a bit of a relief, because (perhaps as a sign of increased tourism), there are so, so, so many peddlers on the beaches. It was overwhelming to be approached while reading or lounging once every… five minutes, maybe? People sold alcoholic drinks, water, jewelry, ceviche + oysters + lobsters out of carts, rap songs (yes, men would bring their own boombox, rap at you, and ask for money) henna tattoos, and massages. So many massage offers.

When we weren’t on the water, we were happy to snag a beautiful Airbnb on a main square and explore Old Town Colombia by foot.

dsc_0287
Buildings on same square, Plaza San Diego, as our Airbnb
dsc_0291
A Cuban restaurant nearby

dsc_0293dsc_0294

dsc_0306
Our first afternoon in Cartagena was also Natalie’s birthday

dsc_0308

dsc_0310
A beautiful street by our Airbnb

dsc_0311dsc_0312dsc_0313

dsc_0314
A mix of businesses and homes
dsc_0317
In front of Iglesia de Santo Toribio

dsc_0321dsc_0322

dsc_0327
Sunset on the coast
dsc_0334
The rooftop view from our Airbnb
dsc_0352
Torre del Reloj: A large clocktower and gateway into the walled city of Cartagena
dsc_0359
Morning on Isla Baru’s Playa Blanca, while the beach was still relatively quiet

dsc_0370dsc_0372

dsc_0386
Views of Old Town Cartagena from our boat for the day
dsc_0390
Cruising past some of the newer areas in Cartagena
dsc_0396
Stopping to snorkel and swim in the bluest water
dsc_0401
The five of us!
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0402.
Jumping in one-by-one
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0409.
Spotting some fishies while snorkeling. Also spotted: huge lobsters and schools of fish
DCIM100GOPROGOPR0405.
The water was clear enough to see the coral about 10 feet below
dsc_0416
Our last night in Cartagena
Advertisements

5 Comments Add yours

  1. A Hearty Nomad says:

    I want to go there so badly!

    Like

  2. jnkbrdg says:

    Haha. The first day we arrived, we also got a taste of said rapping.

    Like

  3. I LOVE that they came to see you!! What a gift that y’all got to be together! And in such a beautiful place too!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s