10 Reasons to fall in Love with Cartagena

You already know that we love our city Cartagena “La Fantástica”, but we wanted to
share with you a few reasons for exactly why we are so besotted with this Caribbean
city that never stops moving…

  1. The Weather
    What’s not to love about a city where it’s sunny and 32 degrees celsius Fahrenheit 365 days a
    year? Due to its position at sea level and proximity to the equator, this city on the
    Caribbean coast does not have “winter” as a word in its vocabulary. Sure, we get
    stormy season and windy season, but believe me, some tropical rain is a refreshing
    welcome after so much sun and windy season means one thing…kite surfing! (Or for
    those who are more interested in the kite surfers, that too).
  2. The People
    If there’s one word that describes Colombia, it would be happiness. Everywhere
    you go, you are greeted with smiles and warmth. Any excuse for a celebration is
    enthusiastically embraced (have you ever been in Colombia when their football
    team wins?) and Colombians have an immense sense of pride of who they are and
    where they’re from, and they love to share it with the world!
    From the lady who serves you your fresh coconut water to the oh-so-charming guy
    or gal you meet at the club who’s more than willing to walk you through the salsa
    moves, you’re bound to have positive, and even unforgettable experiences in
    Colombia thanks to the joy and openness of its people.
  3. The Architecture
    One of the things that gives Cartagena’s old town its sense of magical realism is its
    romantic architecture; at times bold, bright and majestic, and at times rustic and
    bohemian, but always true to its essence. There aren’t many places in the world
    where you can rent a colonial mansion complete with swimming pool, open
    courtyard, sun terrace, and to top it off, a sense of history and tradition that so
    many of the houses here are overflowing with. Classical Botero statues, suits of
    armour, fountains, crumbling exposed brick walls; you name it and its here.
  4. Food, food, glorious food!
    Cartagena is foodie heaven. From fancy restaurants to midnight snacking on street
    food, there is something suitable for all budgets and taste buds. From sushi and
    wood-fired artisan pizza to fresh fish poached in coconut milk or exotic fusion
    dishes, Cartagena is at the forefront of Colombian gastronomy.
    And for when your tummy rumbles between meals, Cartagena’s also got you
    covered. Golden corn-based fried foods are sold on every street corner, at any
    time of day or night, giving you your fix of cheese or grease (don’t forget to add

suero – a home-made sour cream!)
For those with a sweet tooth, the many gelato shops provide a cool pit-stop from
the heat and the clock tower square will keep you entertained with the bittersweet
super-sugary tamarindo balls or crispy alegría – which literally translates to
“happiness”. Cartagena in a nutshell, basically.

  1. The Islands – a slice of paradise on Earth
    Whether your game is total relaxation – the cover-your-head-with-a-towel-do-not-
    disturb kind – or whether you prefer partying on yachts surrounded by gorgeous
    babes (or dudes) – Cartagena’s islands have something for everyone.
    Think crystalline blue sea, soft white sand, fresh oysters…mmm…can someone
    remind me why I’m not there right now?
  2. Party!
    Cartagena is one of the party capitals of Colombia. Its tropical climate means that
    there’s no need to mess around with cloakrooms, and many clubs and bars are
    open-air, allowing you to dance African Champeta or be swooned by romantic
    Bachata all night under the stars.
    But who said parties had to take place in clubs and bars? In Cartagena you can
    party on a boat in the middle of the day, or on a “Chiva” – a famous traditional party
    bus that gives you a tour of the city whilst you dance, and on New Years Eve and
    on 11th November (Cartagena’s Independence Day) the whole city takes to the
    street for some of the wildest street parties of the year.
  3. Banksy who?
    A casual stroll through the streets of Getsemani is almost like walking through a
    modern art gallery. Many of the crumbling walls are decorated with incredible street
    art that gives the area a bohemian charm and intrigue. There are many classic
    pieces, which have become iconic and others seem to be more transient – come
    back in 6 months and you’ll be surprised to see another masterpiece in its place.
  4. Wild Animals
    In Cartagena, it’s not unusual to see brightly coloured parrots flying above your
    head, or even birds of prey casually perched on the roof tiles. Geckos and teeny-
    tiny lizards hang out on the walls, helpfully eating any mosquitos or flies that may
    be hanging around, and mysterious, dinosaur-like iguanas lurk in the shade under
    palm trees in the park. There’s even a friendly sloth who hangs out (quite literally)
    in Parque Centenario – if you look carefully enough you’ll find him!
    And if you’re lucky enough to go snorkelling or diving on the islands, you’ll be
    invited into a magical underwater world buzzing with life – a place where starfish,
    angel fish, “Nemo fish”, and even the odd turtle hide and play amongst the corals,
    making this the ultimate nature-spotting adventure.
  5. Fruit Heaven
    The perfume of fresh, sweet mangoes fills the street in the month of May (try them

with salt, pepper and lime juice) and prepared fresh watermelon and papaya are
sold in cups for less than $1 USD all year round. In Cartagena, you can try exotic
fruits so exotic that they almost sound like tongue twisters…guanabana, uchuva,
pithaya, níspero, lulo…
Most of these mouth-watering delights can only be found in this region of the world
and are must-tries on your visit to the Caribbean coast.

  1. All the modes of transport
    In Cartagena, you can travel by speedboat, yacht, paddle-board, bicycle, electric
    motorbike, jet-ski, rackety vintage bus, modern air-conditioned bus, tuc-tuc, horse-
    drawn carriage…meaning there are a million ways and zero excuses not to explore
    this fantastic corner of our planet.

You May Also Like