Fresh fruit, cigars, cocaine anyone?
Cartagena, Colombia Cartagena has an amazing energy. The people, the history, the beautiful architecture, bright coloured buildings, cobbled streets, restaurants and cafes on every corner...it felt like a European city. And the women here know how to dress!! We loved being able to walk out of our Airbnb right into the action. Within seconds you could find vendors selling souvenirs, fresh fruit, cigars, cocaine...you name it.
There is so much to see and do in Cartagena, we had no problem spending a few days here. Every night there were street performers, musicians, and tons of Christmas light displays. Despite the fact that it was 28 degrees at night, we started getting into the holiday spirit. Cartagena is definitely a locals hotspot for tourism, as well - it was fun to see Colombian families on vacation!
One morning we took a taxi to a nearby market called Bazuro. Having travelled for some time and having seen many a market, we are finding ourselves a bit jaded. Even still, we were impressed with the magnitude of this market. Check out the size-of-dem avocados!!
We were the only tourists which was also neat. We tried deep fried cheese balls and arepas, which are apparently “must tries” in Cartagena. We have learned that a core part of the Colombian diet entails of anything deep fried, and with tons of cheese. We shopped in some of the local clothing stores nearby, and had some pretty hilarious “conversations”...well more like misunderstandings with the sales people due to our broken Spanish.
We visited the San Felipe Castle, and learned about the historical and geographical importance of Cartagena, and how the San Felipe Fort was developed to protect the area from multiple invasions during the 1600-1800s.
There are a variety of neighbourhoods to explore in Cartagena. Getsamani is a neighbourhood that is about a 5-10 minute walk from the Old City Center, where we were staying. We enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere, and sculptures depicting everyday life. We loved being able to recharge and relax in this romantic colonial city.