We have been in Cartagena on the Caribbean coast of Colombia soaking in the sun and sweating for the past four days. Cartagena happens to be the second oldest city in Colombia. In addition to its heat and history, it is a beautiful place that I could not stop taking pictures of. Therefore, I decided that my thoughts and explanations wouldn’t be able to do it justice but maybe my pictures would. Enjoy!
GETSEMANI – an area outside of the walled city where we stayed. Five years ago, it was a no-go area for tourists. Now, it is safe and a beautiful community filled with lively streets. It is also cheaper than staying in the Old City Center.
Our hotel, Casa Relax in Getsemani. $48 USD a night, breakfast, small pool, and hammocks are included.
Street right outside of our hotel.
Plaza de la Trinidad – major hangout for locals and tourists alike at night.
Street vendor in Plaza de la Trinidad that Dan swears has the best hamburgers in Colombia.
One of the roads leading to Getsemani from the City Center.
These are everywhere.
OLD TOWN, CITY CENTER, WALLED CITY (whatever you want to call it) – tends to be the main attraction in Cartagena. A stone wall was built around the city and was finished in the 1600’s to keep out invaders. Much of it still stands there today. Inside this part of the city are colorful, colonial style streets, vibrant buildings, shops, street vendors, churches, pricey hotels, restaurants and a lot of history. We took a free 2 hour walking tour that explained to us what many of the buildings, plazas, etc. are and their historical significance.
Dan awkwardly posing in front of the Torre de Reloj which is the main gate into the city center.
Plaza de la Paz
Plaza de la Aduana – beautiful today with an ugly past. This is where slaves were sold.
Plaza Simon Bolivar
San Pedro Cathedral
Plaza de la Merced
The old city is basically one beautiful street after another..
The sunsets from the wall in the Old City is highly recommended (with a beer accompaniment of course).
I’m convinced the best bar might actually be this one filled with Popsicles.
Our favorite spot for lunch, Espiritu Santo, meat or fish with three sides for only $4 USD or about 12,000 CP.
DIVING IN THE ROSARIO ISLANDS – I received my PADI certification a year ago and have only been diving one time on a vacation to Hawaii! Since then, I’ve been nervous but itching to go again. I found a company, Diving Planet, that was highly recommended in my Lonely Planet. They took us out to the Islas Rosarios on a boat for a two tank dive. The dives were great – lots of colorful coral, fish, and even a sea snake. I didn’t catch any pictures of the dives since we don’t have an underwater camera but here are some pictures of the island.
Dive Flag on the island.
Pano of the turquoise water.
The boat, crew, and dive instructors.
We were able to use the Cocoliso Resort for lunch.
After completing the first dive!