When people hear you’re traveling to Colombia, they instantly think you’re going to be lounging on a beach or swinging on a hammock in the middle of the jungle. Both are possible activities here, but neither of which I had intended for us to do. In fact, Bogota is usually a pretty cool, rainy place where a jacket is almost always needed, but somehow we got extremely lucky and it’s only been sunny and 70 degrees!
Despite that, I knew that Tyler needed to see at least one other part of Colombia. After a quick peruse at a local airlines, we saw that a flight to the Caribbean was only $300 round trip… for the BOTH OF US! We couldn’t not go, so that was how our last minute trip to Cartagena began! #yolo
Early Monday morning we Uber’d to the airport and landed bright and early in the vibrant and extremely hot city. My aunt was too kind and lent us her (beachfront!) apartment for a couple nights, so we headed straight there to begin proper relaxation.
Seriously, look at that view! I knew we’d have few issues the next few days.
We grabbed a quick lunch at El Corral (think Colombia’s In-n-Out, but fresher and less greasy–and definitely less photogenic)… Can you guess who’s who in the awesome mural?
After, we walked around our new neighborhood before taking a nap in the hammocks… After our siesta we headed to the la ciudad vieja (the Old City), which was just a short cab ride away.
In the 1500s, Cartagena was the main trading/political port for the Spanish Empire (become home to many of Spain’s royalty and elite) and was key to its expansion. In fact, pirates of the Caribbean is most closely associated with the old city. To protect the city from attacks and invaders, a giant stone wall was built around the entire city as a fortress (called the muralla); within it is a gorgeous city with picturesque buildings and romantic winding streets and horse drawn carriages.
If you walk to the wall, you can climb on top and check out the awesome canons.
At the top of the wall is the Cafe del Mar, which boasts an epic view of the ocean. We got there right before sunset and grabbed a table to enjoy the view. The ambiance and energy is pretty amazing, to say the least. The speakers blast romantic, lounge music and you’re free to sit back with a cold drink and watch the sun set with others along the wall.
It’s a little pricey since it’s one of the more popular spots in the Old City and it can be crowded right before sun down, but the view is worth it and it makes for a great photo opp.
After the sun set, we continued to stroll the streets finding beauty (literally) around every corner.
For dinner we walked outside the city for ceviche in front of the Torre de Reloj (clock tower), from a cool dude and his cart. It’s a little risky to take whatever ceviche you find on the street, but he came recommended by my uncle. We had a traditional mix of shrimp and sea snail with tomato, mayo, and chili and lime. Amazinggg.
We headed back to apartment with a bottle of rum and coke for a night of Cuba Libres and Spanish music videos.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our getaway!