Cartagena Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Hi everyone :)
After being featured on the TB first page i feel commited to say something more about this visit... mmm... as i´m saying constantly: i think because this was my first travel blog Eric put me there to encourage me to write more and improve this something! jaja.. yes... so all eyes are set on me.. good technique! ...blush...
I´m not going to write about Historic events or about the battles that were held in Cartagena, because i´m not the right person to do it and i think my buddy Travelman 727 already did a great job writing about Cartagena´s magnificent Fortress.
What i can say is that, to me comfort and safety is one of the most important concerns in all destinations.
The city appeared to me very well organized, the Bocagrande area has a lot of commerce but it´s clean and you can find a taxi cab at any time to go anywhere. There are a lot of restaurant options from typical Colombian food: bandeja paisa, sea food, arepas, chicken in many varieties, to Italian and Argentinian cuisine.
At the beach, what i felt annoying but could finally handle it (or at least accept it) was that the people who sell either handicrafts, food or aloe vera massages, etc... are so insistent... they are keen to follow you to your tent, to wait for you till you get changed or just to disturb while you´re sunbathing... they don´t care and keep and keep talking and insisting to buy. If you say "no gracias" or "no thank you" that´s useless.. they will always find a way to keep trying. Well at the end i took one of those massages ´cause the lady started with a short demonstration by saying that i looked so stressed.. so no one wants to hear that!.. ok.. go ahead.. $10 bucks for that massage with that green staff which i really HOPE it was aloe vera jaja.
The things on the beach are certainly much more expensive than if you buy them in the local handicraft markets: for example sandals, t-shirts, bracelets, etc.
A taxi ride from the airport to Bocagrande costs 13.000 to 15.000 pesos, so about $6 dollars.
During some nights of my stay i had to change hotel to the event location, so i stayed at Hotel Estelar Almirante, i got a superbe Suite! This is deluxe, i liked very much the service and my room, it had a great view and they had little details that i liked such as printing out the news of my country newspaper and deliver it to my room every morning, or preparing my invoice for a fast check out the night before my departure. However if it was not necessary i could have been all nights at my previous Hotel Da Pietro, they were just great too, and you can save some money because the price difference is big.
Unfortunately i could not do the carriage ride, it seemed so nice but i didn´t have time for it. You can rent those horses with the carriage man for about 20.000 to 30.000 pesos, that´s about $10-15 dollars for a ride of 40 minutes in downtown. Another highlight of the city are definetly those Chivas.. they are open buses (no windows, no doors) with a musical band while they invite you some aguardiente.. it´s cool, i didn´t do this but i saw them. In Quito we have them too when we have our festivities in December, people get too crazy and they even jump up at the bus roof... and dance up there... you can imagine that. So in Cartagena is pretty much the same but i did not see people on the roof :). There are chivas departing at midday and at night.