Cartagena Historical Center, January 2020

Colorful Cartagena, Colombia

Founded in the 16th century, the walled city of Cartagena is known for its cobblestone streets and pastel colonial buildings with balconies draped in bougainvillea. Afternoons are warm, slow and easy. Evenings are bustling with horsedrawn carriages and people dining at sidewalk cafes.

Hola from Cartagena!

We enjoyed a four night stay in an apartment with this incredible view.

Evening view from our apartment in Cartagena
Morning espresso

Our place was next to a small university housed in a historic colonial building so we were treated to live orchestra practice in the morning as we sipped from our elegant espresso cups. The sun sets to the right in the Caribbean Ocean. But nothing is perfect, so keep in mind the ants. Even on the 7th floor the little buggers found our bag of chips and had a heyday all over the dinning room table.

Beautiful Cartagena Streets

We spent three days just wandering the beautiful streets taking in the sights.

Bougainvillea drapes from the balconies
Feeling romantic in Cartagena
Palenqueras (the ladies selling fruit)
Every corner is beautiful in the Historic Center!

It’s hot and humid, especially around noon. Your best bet is getting home to some air conditioning or duck into a restaurant or bar around this time of day.

Ceviche for lunch
Our view from Cancha Cevicherea

Travel tip: We had delicious ceviche but didn’t ask the price for our Hendricks gin & tonics which cost us $18 US EACH! We normally wouldn’t make the mistake of ordering without seeing a price but I claim sleep deprivation from our red eye flight from San Francisco.

Maybe don’t buy this. Unless you really like licorice.

Aguardiente is the national liquor. Of course we bought a 750ml bottle for $10 US and couldn’t wait to mix some in mango juice with lime. Nope!! This is anise, folks. However, I had a lovely drink at a Colombian restaurant mixed with several things that tasted delicious even though it was dressed like the Grim Reaper.

I wish I remembered the name of my drink!

We thought the streets were clean, the hawkers will leave you alone after a couple ‘no gracias’ and people were generally polite and friendly. Did I mention you can drink the tap water? Yay!

Catching some rays in Colombia
The bustling nightlife in the Historic Center
Another gorgeous alley in the Historic Center

And now we have, for the first time ever! Ian’s Take:

Wow man! I am really enjoying the historic center of Cartagena. Locals carry around big coolers selling water and beer. I buy beer of course to drink while we wander the streets taking in the culture and acting like tourists taking pictures of EVERYTHING! It’s a very picturesque town. In fact I rate it among my favorite romantic towns. The Colombian women all wear sun dresses showing lots of skin with no bras on. Lookie but no touchie married peeps! I am still trying to get Ocean to take her bra off. There are hawkers everywhere selling everything. Sunhats, jewelry, trinkets, tours, etc. It amazes me of how multi-talented these guys are. The hat guy with his 4 foot tower of hats he carries around doubles as a tour guide and can sell you a trip to the off-shore islands. And if you are so inclined, he can also hook you up with a little white coffee (wink-wink) or weed. However we are not interested in visiting the Colombian jail so for now we will just stick to the sunhats. Ciao!

Bonita!