A Travellerspoint blog

COLOMBIA - Cartagena

(Day 95 – 99)

sunny 35 °C
View Round The World Map on kostlin's travel map.

Both of us have really been looking forward to coming to Colombia, (since the planning stages of our trip last year) and are so happy to be here. It is the one country that all the backpackers we have met along the way, have unanimously voted as their favourite in South America. We heard this so often that we even changed our flight tickets to have more time here! High expectations indeed, watch this space to see if they were fulfilled by the time we leave end of March..

We were slightly worried about the “danger” factor through the country but most of the trouble we heard about seemed to have happened elsewhere. We are nevertheless on our guard as usual and will try stick to the beaten path were we can.

In any case here we are in Cartagena. We are not staying in the old town itself as the accommodation is pricey, but in the rather more gritty area of Getsemani, which is just a few streets away. Our hostel is an old colonial style home with a courtyard in the middle. It could be a fantastic place but isn’t great, on the plus side we have our own en-suite bathroom which is something of a luxury these days! And a cute little café next door which sells the most delicious cheap food ever.

The Old town of Cartagena (full name: Cartagena de Indias) is unexpectedly charming, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cartagena was founded in 1533 and was one of the first Spanish cities in the new World. The city was targeted by pirates several times in the 16th century; the most infamous attack being in 1586 when the city was held hostage for more than a hundred days. After this, the Spanish started construction of the fortifications that are now the city’s hallmark.

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The scenery though, is so ordinary looking from the airport and around our hostel (dry and hot) that it was a welcome surprise to enter through the walls of the old town and discover the place. Small streets shelter the most colourful buildings, have bougainvillea flowers of every colour hanging from their balconies and it is just gorgeous. Although it is on the Caribbean Sea, it feels a bit like being in the Mediterranean too at times. We spent a lot of time wandering the streets, and relaxing in the afternoons. Whilst the town could have been discovered in less time than the 3 days we spent there, it was a welcome respite after the happy rush in Rio.

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Posted by kostlin 09:28 Archived in Colombia

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Love this old town...beautiful colours.

by Delphine Raffray

Cartegena looks oh so charming, and your photos brilliant! how much longer to go?
lots of love
berit xx

by berit

i LOVED cartagena! it is so beautiful and so 'other-wordly'. enjoy every minute. will you get to any of the islands (isla rosa etc)?

by Karine (Gowdy - I know there are others!)

how awesome. it was like esp, travel channel had a stunning program re Columbia last night! Cant wait to see the Lost City pic's!
Travel Safe xxx Val & Luc

by Val & Luc

Awesome update guys - keep them coming. It makes me want to leave my job in London and go travelling... (until the money runs out!)

by Andrew Lomberg

Wish I was there!! Miss you crazy guys.

Hey did I tell you I went to Antarctica......?

by Kate Day

Stef & Martin
how excited am i to be here for 1st time TALKING 2 U!!! IMPRESSED & SO O O ADMIRATIVE 2 read your h m .trip,your beautiful WRITING & FOTOS!!BRAVO!

by daniele Labat


I especially love the pic of you Martin - the one where you are in the air! Keep the news coming. Great to keep track of you guys.

lots of love

by jacqueline de jongh

Your descriptions and editorial are becoming more and more interesting . A great read , we are so enjoying the reg. updates and hope dear Stephanie got some help with her inflamed knee Big hugs to both our special young ones I & E

by Erhart & Ingalill

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