Cartagena // Colombia
For the author Gabriel Garcia Marques, Cartagena was an inspirational place and it’s not surprising because this historic city is something special with it’s beautiful buildings and magical places. Cartagena is the biggest colonial town in Latin America and was the most important port for trade for the Spanish colonial rulers in the 16th century. A lot of money has been invested in the renovation of the colonial buildings and to make Cartagena the safest city in Colombia. In 1984 the Walled City of Cartagena was designated an UNESCO World Heritage.
- Walk around the narrow streets of the Walled City
- Discover colorful colonial houses & old churches
- Have drinks on the plazas and enjoy the beautiful ambience
- Dance Salsa at Cafe Havana
- Eat the best fish dishes in the restaurant La Mulata
- Hang out on nearby beaches & islands
The city is divided into districts which are quite different to each other. From the main bus terminal, it took us 1 hour with a taxi to get to the Old Town, where we passed the living areas of the locals. These areas looked basic and poor but also authentic. For tourists it can get a bit dangerous there after sunset. The expensive and fancy district Bocagrande is where the skyscrapers, fancy buildings and big hotels for tourists are.
The main tourist attraction is the Walled City of Cartagena. A few walking minutes outside the wall is the district Getsemaní. This part is very beautiful with colonial houses, street art and inexpensive, hip hostels, restaurants and bars. It’s not as crowded as the old town and a bit more laid-back. There is also the famous Cafe Havana, a Salsa bar with great life music – it felt like being in Cuba!