Here you’ll find travel reports about Cartagena. Discover travel destinations in Colombia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
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  • Day119

    Stepping off the plane in Cartagena was like stepping into a sauna. It was 32 degrees but it felt like 40. So hot and humid.

    The first day we explored Cartagena in the walled city. The buildings are very beautiful, with quaint little cobbled streets and lots of nice bars and restaurants. We also got our stuff ready for Casa en el Agua the next day.

    We arrived at the port at 9am and got a two hour boat over to the San Bernardo Islands. The sea was choppy but it calmed into crystal clear waters when we got to Casa en el Agua. Being there was amazing, it looked even better than it had in the photos and there was such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

    The Casa is also near to Isolete which is the most densely populated island on earth with over 1,000 inhabitants.

    We spent the day just sunbathing and in the sea, chatting with other people but it was incredible to be in such a beautiful setting. In the night we had dinner and played cards. When we slept there was a big storm and it woke us all up because the house is made of wood and you can hear everything.

    The next day we were meant to leave at midday but we had to leave earlier because the boats from Cartagena were not coming due to the sea being too rough. Instead we got the boat to Rincón, a small little fisherman's village about two and a half hours south of Cartagena, and then had to get the bus back from the mainland. I didn't mind it so much because you got to see what the region around Cartagena was like, although I was pretty gutted to be leaving paradise so soon.

    When we got back to Cartagena we walked round the walled city again and then in the evening met Andy and Lucy for some drinks! It was so nice having Josh meet them and we had a good night.

    The next day we chilled until it was time to get the us to Santa Marta. Overall, we had a short but sweet time in Cartagena. Visiting Casa en el Agua has got to be a definite highlight of my trip - it was honestly one of the nicest/ coolest/ serenest places I've ever stayed in my whole entire life.
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  • Day157

    When we left the sailboat that had brought us to Colombia we had to wait in an air conditioned supermarket with WIFI for Erwin. He went to immigration to get our passports stamped. Leaving Panama and getting into Panama was the first border crossing I didn't do myself. It felt kind of strange to hand someone our passport for this but on the other hand it was nice to know that you wouldn't need to bother with things like proof of onward travel or the yellow fever shot which you need for entering Colombia from Panama (I do have that shot but who knows what they would say at a border to my 2 chaotic vaccination certificates. We used the time in the supermarket researching hostels in Cartagena. Lara found this amazing hostel and even though it was a little over my budget I decided to join her going there to at least check it out. When we got there the girl from the reception showed us around and I knew that I had to stay. It was supernice with 2 pools, nice rooms and a chilled vibe.
    The first thing we did was taking a really extensive shower - it felt good after 6 days on the boat with limited access to fresh water. The rest of the day I spend figuring out what to do the next days and weeks, finding someone new to sublet my apartment as my first choice had cancelled while I was on a boat between 2 countries and cleaning my backpack as it unfortunately got wet in the storage on the boat.
    At night Lara and I met Hanna and Otto for dinner in a local restaurant. After that we walked around for a while looking for a nice bar to have another drink. When we finally sat down on this balcony what turned out to be quite a tourist trap I wanted to take my phone out of my backpack. The first thing I realized was that it was light inside my backpack. Suddenly I realized someone must have cut my backpack while I was walking! I couldn't believe my luck when I realized that everything was still there. I must have turned around or moved away before they had a chance to take anything out. It still felt pretty weird to know that someone had been on my backpack with a knife. I always knew that something like this might happen to me at some point. Still it made me feel more unsafe than usual for a few days.
    The next 2 days I spend wandering around the streets of Cartagena. I mostly stayed within the old town but it was a similar contrast as in Panama City to see the skyline in the background. I still liked Cartagena with its old houses and balconies even though it is quite touristy. I went to visit the museo del oro. But to be honest I did it more to escape the heat and cool down in the air conditioned rooms than out of interest ;)
    At night Lara and I went to Plaza Trinidad, had street food for dinner and watched the people hanging around here. I liked the place as it felt like a meeting point for backpackers, street artists and local families. One night there was a free Zumba class happening in the square which was quite impressive to watch!
    After 3 nights I felt I had seen everything there is and continued to Santa Marta.
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  • Day3

    Dancing champeta style. This place was absolutely AWESOME. I took some videos of a live band and dancing, but I can't upload here's the only picture I have of the inside. We also ran into Charles King, a famous Colombian champeta singer. We'll definitely be back again before we leave...loved it!

  • Day4

    We spent the morning at my mother-in-law's pool, then she and her husband took us to a delicious lunch in el centro at a place called San Valentin. It was delicious. I had a fish called mojarra roja🐟, patacones🍌, veggies and a salad🥗...with my favorite drink: lemonada con coco🍋🍹yummm

  • Day5

    My husband took us to his friend's "finca" - a small "farm house" in Turbaco, about half an hour outside of Cartagena. It was beautiful, very green with lots of plants and flowers. We had delicious appetizers - patacones with queso costeño and suero, yuca, and chicharrones. And after eating and visiting with his friends, we had some bbqed chicken and meat, with a fresh salad and sweet plantains. Then they surprised me with a coconut cake and coconut pie. I don't have any pictures of that, but here's link to his instagram with the video: more

  • Day9

    This presentation put on by Juan's uncle Alvaro was absolutely amazing! He collaborated with a group is South African musicians. The performance was beautiful. And we made the local newspaper!
    "El Colegio del Cuerpo y Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble presentaron un espectáculo de música y danza contemporánea en el Centro de Convenciones."Read more

  • Day13

    Today we went to the island of Barú. Juan's best childhood friend, Juan Camilo, has a bed & breakfast there, right on the beach. It was adorable, I loved the place and the decorations. We had a delicious shrimp rice and plantain chips prepared for us for lunch. And I got to collect some beautiful seashells. The beach was FULL of shells, I literally could've scooped them up in I had to be picky (due to luggage space), but I got a couple handfuls. Nearby is an aviario (aviary - bird sanctuary), and we went there before lunch. The place was amazing. It's newly built, and gigantic! Inside was all of Colombia's native birds. In some areas, the birds were flying and walking around with us. My favorites were the tucans. They're such a colorful, beautiful bird. I also loved the flamingos. Although, the entire place was fantastic, and full of pretty, unique birds that I'd never seen before. Great experience.Read more

  • Day23

    We went on a boat tour through the local mangroves. It was very interesting, I'd never seen anything like it before. Peaceful and pretty. There were tiny crabs everywhere! To get to the mangroves, we walked through the village where the natives live. They live bert simple, but they are such happy people. They have all they!

  • Day29

    Today is Tomas' last day of vacation with us, so we spent the day at the islands. We went snorkeling and got to see lots of pretty, colorful fish swimming and feeding around the reefs. no pictures from the island, only this one on the boat on our way home.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Cartagena, قرطاجنة, Картахена, Cartagena de Indias, Kartageno, کارتاگنا, Carthagène des Indes, Cartaxena de Indias, קרטחנה, カルタヘナ, კარტახენა, 카르타헤나, Kartachena, Caratagena de Indias, Cartagena i Colombia, کارتاجینا, Cartagena das Índias, Картахена де Индијас, การ์ตาเคนา, Картагена, کارتاخینا، کولمبیا, 卡塔赫纳

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