GETAWAY GUIDE: CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Last month I went to Colombia for the first time and spent 4 days in Cartagena in the old city and it was seriously beautiful!  It feels like a Latin New Orleans with all of the bright colors and gorgeous balconies everywhere! I would definitely recommend visiting (I felt completely safe).  Four jam packed days full of exploring, dancing, eating, shopping and adventuring. Complete City Guide at bottom.

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This city is definitely a place you can explore on foot or bike! All the colonial architecture is right outside your door step. It does get really hot and humid, so mid afternoon is for lounging at your hotel pool, taking a siesta, or going to the spa. Cartagena comes alive at night! Don’t even bother bringing makeup and make sure you pack a hat, sunscreen and very light weight clothes!

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I LOVED the shopping in Cartagena. Everything is so colorful and beautiful.    I came back with a few pair of these pom pom flip flops and an assortment of the colored purses you will see as you scroll down.  You must not miss the store called St. Dom, it only carries Colombia designers and it is to die for!

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Gorgeous flowering bouganvillas spilling over every balcony. I could do a post just on the balconies!!

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These are the purses I was talking about! You can definitely bargain for the ones on the street, but if you’re looking for a little better quality the boutiques carry them as well.

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Las Palenqueras, Cartagena legendary fruit vendors bring even more color to the vibrant city! On most corners in the old city, the woman stand in bright dresses selling fruit piled high in bowls they carry on their heads. They cut it all to order, offering some of the juiciest watermelon, bananas and papayas available anywhere.

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You have to try the ceviche place called La Cevicheria!

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GETAWAY GUIDE

In a Nutshell: Cartagena is contained in two small, impossibly photogenic neighborhoods: the walled Old City and the rising barrio Getsemaní. You can’t go wrong staying in either!

Getting There: Non-stop flights from NYC, MIAMI, ATLANTA.

Where to stay: Sofitel Santa Clara (make sure to book a room in colonial wing) or Casa San Agustin

What to Pack: Hat, Sunscreen, Tropical Attire, Comfortable Sandals, Bathing Suit, Salsa Dancing Attire.

Where to Eat: Le Cevicheria, Paletas from La Paletteria, Frank & Frank, Alma, Carmen Cartagena, El Boliche Cebicheria, Trattoria Di Silvio.

Where to Drink: Sunset Mojitos at Café del Mar

Where to Shop: St. Dom & Street shopping

2 Responses
  • Suzanne
    August 24, 2016

    How are the beaches? How difficult would it be for an American with very limited Spanish skills to get around?

    • thesimplesol
      August 28, 2016

      I wouldn’t say you go to Cartagena for the beaches – they are very touristy and crowded but its beautiful little town worth spending time in and very easy to get around (almost everyone speaks english)!

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