Cartagena is a bustling city that has an insatiable draw due to the lively culture and magnificent history, not to mention the gorgeous scenery that is nothing short of captivating. My trip to this Colombian metropolis is one that will forever be considered a favourite due to all of these aforementioned facts.
Walking down the ancient streets of this city you are met with glorious bright buildings in an array of colours. Architecture is certainly a main attribute to Cartagena de Indias with a multitude of stunning colonial houses, military structures and modern infrastructure attracting tourists from all over. After observation of these structures and architectural shifts it becomes clear how the city has developed over history.
Situated on the southern rim of the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is certainly one of the most active tourist destinations in Colombia. Formerly it was the hub of the Spanish empire throughout the 16th century, the shipping port for the wealthy to transport goods from the New World to Spain.
The city’s Old Town is surrounded by large stone walls and these enclose a number of blocks as well as the charming colonial homes, plazas, parks and churches. The Walled City of Cartagena is a central point of attraction as are the Steps of La Popa Mount, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, the Cartagena Gold Museum, the Palace of the Inquisition and the Clock Tower. There is no shortage of activities to keep visitors busy and enthralled in this lively and beautiful destination drenched in a remarkable history.
Following a morning of discovery in Old Town and a trip to the Clock Tower, soak up the sunshine aside the sparkling blue water. Enjoy a catamaran ride and dive in to snorkel and discover all the underwater wonders just off the shoreline. Memories of my own trip to this ancient city always include that of a boat ride to a nearby fishing village at which individuals were diving for pearls. It was the end to a wonderful trip when one man surfaced and displayed a magnificent pearl that was hit by the sun in just a way to shimmer and expose its true beauty. It was a symbol that entirely represented the sort of experience had in this paradise.
Following such exciting water activities, find retreat in the Bocagrande region of the city which is the modern tourist centre where visitors find chic accommodation directly on the waterfront along with a multitude of dining options.
The locale offers fresh fish and Spanish-infused dishes as well as traditional Colombian cuisine which is derived and gathered from the flora and fauna that abound. Plantain dishes, empanadas, torte de choclo, bandaja paisa , mamona and tamales are some of the local eats that will satisfy your appetite after a full day of sight-seeing and/or seaside fun.
A fabulous destination that became the hub of the New World, and has been the setting for a number of films and novels for a reason, Cartagena has much to offer its visitors. Its history and beauty will summon you there while the culture and entire experience of your stay will make you a return visitor. A pearl of a discovery, jet set and enjoy. Happy and safe travels to all.
By Jessica Ashley Dafoe