Cartagena from Hotel
I had an absolute blast in Cartagena
de Indias. I recommend "La Rumba en Chiva", they play Vallenato music on the Chiva while you drink and get a tour of the city. It was an absolute blast. Everybody was singing along with the songs. I soooo wanted to join them, but I didn't know the lyrics to "El Santo Cachon". We spent a 4 days in a resort setting, all you can eat, all you can drink, round trip airfare and hotel included for $400.00 Very cheap, but from what I've learned of the family history of that resort, i will not spend another dime in their hotel. Regardless I had a blast and loved the city. Took a tour of Simon Bolivars Hacienda. Took a tour of the castle of San Felipe, which is a fort to protect from Pirates back in the 17th century.
Inside the walls of the old city
The old city is charming and has some great restaurants. But the nightlife of Cartagena is a blast. From walking around to just sitting back and enjoying the cooler nightime air the ambience is great. The few items that were a bit bothersome, is as soon as we stepped off of the resort property, we were hounded by sidewalk vendors who are pretty aggressive in coming up to you. Also, although both my parents are Colombian and I was born there (raised in the U.S.), the locals knew exactly where I was from. One kid comes up to me and in spanish, tells me he'll change my dollars. If I had been talking at the time he came up to us, I would have understood, as I do have a little bit of a gringo accent, but he came up to me while I had been pretty silent for a good minute or so, while walking along with a girl that I had met, who was actually from Bogota
. The kids are sharp. Aside from those negative aspects, I'd recommend visiting Cartagena to anyone wanting to visit a touristy spot in Colombia. It is probably the funnest place I've ever been. If you take a road trip from Cartagena to Santa Martha, I recommend not doing the day tour and stay a day or two in Santa Marta
, it's a 6 hour drive, so there's 12 hours on a bus....not worth the 3 hour stay in Santa Marta.