Our first South American stop proved to be so much fun. We arrived in Cartagena, Colombia ready for everything this beautiful region of the world has to offer. In fact, Cartagena is truly beautiful in so many ways; from the old world colonial architecture of the Walled City, to the bluest ocean escapes of nearby Playas Blancas, and not to be forgotten – the gorgeous women that pepper the daily city sites. That summarizes Cartagena best…. sun, sites, and beauty.
Our airbnb in Colombia was actually upgraded! This was a first for us and I can’t believe how perfect our upgraded two bedroom, two bath apartment turned out to be. It was oceanfront and so close to the sea that crashing waves usually rocked us to sleep while sunsets overtook every afternoon as our balcony transformed from yellow to orange to pink and purple then grey and finally darkness. I could sit on that balcony for hours feeling such warmth and gratitude. It’s no wonder we stayed in Cartagena for six weeks.
Cartagena is quickly skyrocketing in popularity among worldwide vacationers. One recent travel blogger recently coined Cartagena as “the most photogenic city on earth!” It’s a city full of cultural delight from the vibrant music, to the colorful city streets, and abundant pork dishes (Colombians love pork)!
Cartagena gives visitors a great combination of ocean vibes (be warned lots of street vendors and tourist trap places) and history. The architecture and ambiance of the old Walled City and a nearby town of Getsemani transports visitors to what life felt like centuries ago.
Cartagena also felt incredibly safe. It’s a walkable town full of ample shopping and dinning experiences. Our favorite find had to be the artesanal paletas. These ice cream bars of so many varieties come close to my beloved Mexican paletas and became the perfect after dinner snack combined with a city stroll.
Night time strolls were an experience in and of itself. Horse drawn carriages flood the streets, vallanato music or rapping street performers add to the night’s energy and colorfulness all while folks mingled among the gorgeous architecture. The perfect evening weather meant that for yet another country our coats would stay packed!
Cartagena (well all of Colombia to be exact) will likely be one of my top three favorite counties visited this year. My family felt so at home and this is a feeling that cannot be beat. We were comfortable and welcomed by the locals. There’s one thing about the Colombian people that will always warm my heart… they are constantly kind, incredibly well-mannered, and so, so welcoming.
We’ve said this before, and we will say it again. We do everything to live as locals would on our journey abroad. Therefore, we felt quickly at ease in Cartagena. Whether it was our supermarket runs or daily exchanges with neighbors in our common apartment, we enjoyed every minute of our experience. Truly, it was a pretty fulfilling six weeks. So fulfilling that when the opportunity to live in Medellín for another six weeks came up we jumped right on it and our Colombian adventure only got better…
Stay tuned: our next post will feature Medellín (the first city we lived in that could have become our permanent home).