It highly possible that you have heard me say that if I ever was to escape the winter and you wouldn’t know where I was that I would be here. This is how much I loved the city!
The next stop after sailing the San Blas was Cartagena in Colombia. It was such an experience to see land from the boat and the skyline grew closer and closer all the time. I was finally in Colombia!
Cartagena is such a colorful and vibrant city that you can’t help but enjoy the sun, music, and the atmosphere. Officially Cartagena las Indias is a big harbor city on the North coast of Colombia. The city was founded in 1533 by the Spanish and today its old town is protected by UNESCO.
As soon as I arrived to Cartagena I fell in love with the music and colors all around. And I hope with these pictures you can get a sense of why. One night I had an old local lady teaching me to dance salsa at the bar and the other we had a walk around the old town by night. I was around to celebrate New Year and this obviously means a big party in Colombian style.
Best things to do in Cartagena
Here are my top tips for Cartagena, pick yours, and discover your own.
Explore the Old Town
Majority of the tourist coming to Cartagena stay in the Old Town which is filled with little streets, colorful houses and local life to enjoy in a nice and relaxed setting. The Cartagena Old Town consists of three different neighborhoods, Centro, San Diego, and Getsemani which offer you all you need.
Visit Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
One can visit Cartagena and miss the huge castle that stands on the city of the city. The castle lets you in on the busy history of the city and really nice views around the city.
Let loose in the salsa bars
One of the most unforgettable experiences in Cartagena was one night at the local little salsa bar with live music. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere and people’s excitement and you couldn’t help but to get on the dance floor. It was clear for the locals that I was not home and here so sweetest grandmother helped me to work my feet. And for those who know me, it’s a lot to see me dance 😀
Day trip to Playa Blanca
Voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in Colombia Playa Blanca on Isla Baru is only a short ride and a boat away from Cartagena. When the city gets too hot this is the perfect escape. I wish I had time for this trip and it’s definitely on my list when I get back one day.
Munch on the street food
The street of Old Town are buzzing with little stalls and restaurants filled with local goods. Especially during the weekend street parties and festivals, it’s food heaven! Bbq, sweet, salty it’s all here. I had the best time in the street party watching local dance performances and enjoying the food and music.
Mercado de Bazurro
It’s the biggest local market in the city which means colors, lots of noise, chaos and good food. See local producers introducing their crops, shop for fruits and adventure away in the local feeling. There are also organized day trips in Cartagena stopping at the market to make sure you will not miss this treasure.