The general public is starting to come around to the idea that Colombia is no longer some scary place you should avoid in your travels. Most of them still don’t know though how really unbelievably great Cartagena is.
No, this is not one of the world’s cheapest destinations. Far from it actually since Cartagena has the bulk of Colombia’s true luxury hotels and an array of great restaurants. But if you compare it to some equally picturesque city in Europe, it’s definitely a terrific value. Plus the Brazilians are coming to Colombia by the planeload for their vacations, so it’s definitely a better deal than there.
Here are a few photos to check out from the streets at night, just because that’s when I’ve been there thus far. I’m checking out what’s happening at a trade show called TravelMart Latin America and the business part of that is a convention center outside of town. My hotel is on the beach though—a nice trade-off. That’s another cool thing about this city: it’s got a gorgeous colonial center, but you can go swimming in the warm Caribbean waters too.
There aren’t a whole lot of places in the Americas where you’ve got an old city behind a surviving walled fortress. Campeche in Mexico, a wall left in St. Augustine in Florida, and then this one that’s absolutely huge. It’s all still there, holding strong, and you can walk along much of it, day or night. Grab a beer from a vendor that you’re welcome to drink on the street and stroll the ramparts. It’s cute to see smooching couples in spots where the cannons used to be mounted.
I flew on dreaded Spirit Air to get here, but it was around $450 from Tampa with all the damned fees, a mere two hour flight from Ft. Lauderdale and it’s on Central Standard Time: no jet lag to face. I’m coming back for sure, for vacation next time.