Whenever someone asks me “where do you suggest I visit?” my immediate reply is always, Cartagena, Colombia!
Having traveled a respectable portion of the world, Latin America and el Caribe continue to be at the top of my list. Here is why I adore Cartagena and why you should be putting it straight to the top of your list of places to travel now.
- The combo. When you travel to Colombia you get both Caribbean and Latin American flavor. The country proudly celebrates being Latino/Caribbean which is reflected in their people, food, music and style. This blend provides a fabric to the land that will be a huge part of your rich cultural experience. Best of both worlds!
- Restaurants. Ahhh-mazing, the cutest up to date fusion of all foods are available in Cartagena. It’s literally like their entire culinary scene is straight off Pinterest and delicious at the same time. My faves are, La Cevicheria and La Mulata, La Cevicheria is perfect for daytime drinks and alfresco dining, La Mulata is perfect for a yummy intimate dinner.
- Undercover. Cartagena has been flying under the radar for some time now and as much as I would like to keep it that way it would be selfish of me. If I’m the first person to mention Cartagena to you I won’t be the last. I have already noticed a jump in airfare prices since my last visit. The city has been the talk amongst multiple travel sites as well, so before McDonald’s and Starbucks get there I suggest you do!
- History has been preserved and beautified. Cartagena is a walled city left with colonial infrastructure from when the Spanish controlled the port. What makes it extra special is how well maintained it is! The buildings are fresh with colorful paint, updated to modern standards and packed with all the charm. A night walk atop the wall is the perfect way to sip in night air. Plus atop the wall there are bars and salsa clubs which just sweetens the deal that much more!
- Turquoise water and white sand access. Staying inside the walled city is really my biggest suggestion to anyone visiting Cartagena. However, Isla Baru a white sand and turquoise water beach is a short speed boat ride away. You will always have total control of how you want to Caribbean your days away.
- Modern and Safe. Not once in Cartagena did I feel uncomfortable or unsafe, to the contrary it is probably one of the safest Latin American countries I have ever visited. I’ve been to a few 😉 If you are thinking it’s all Pablo Escobar and Cartel, you my friend are watching too much Netflix.
- Endless discoveries. Strolling through the walled city there was always a new street we had never seen or been down. Art, shopping, cafes, bars, restaurants, cigar factories (cigars; cheaper than Cuba’s and just as good if not better), we seemed to never repeat and never have enough time to see it all.
After having a beyond amazing adventure in Cartagena I am itching to get back and learn more of this rich country. Full of salsa music, mojitos, shopping, dinning and history, everything about Colombia calls my name. If what you seek is a true cultural experience in a safe, comfortable and intriguing environment, Cartagena is for you too!
Ask me questions or share your favorite Cartagena spots in the comments below and until next time.