For Spring Break, I decided to visit the beautiful city of Cartagena, Colombia. This colorful coastal city has a vibrant the restaurant scene, breathtaking islands, and a lively culture.
In the picture below, is a palenquera. Usually palenquera dress in colorful dresses and carry fruit on top of their heads. As a tourist, when taking a photo of a palenquera, one must also buy some of the fruit or give her some pesos. This is their way of making a living.
The city is painted with pastels of yellow, blue, pink, and orange, and looking down the streets is like looking at a picture. It feels like summer here with the high humdity levels and high temps and its a nice break from mundane weather of Southern California.
One of the most interesting places to visit was El Castillo. I’m not quite sure why they call it “el castillo” (the castle) because it’s not really a castle, but more of a military fort. Back in the day (1600s) this fort held off massive invasions of foreigners, because Cartagena was a storage place of gold, emeralds, and other valuable treasures.The fort was extremely fascinating to tour because of the numerous underground tunnels that were designed to stop them at invaders at every turn with various traps. Fun fact, the fort was designed to self destruct, in case it was taken over by invaders.
In addition, another popular thing to do in Cartagena is to take a boat trip to one of the Islas Del Rosario (Islands of Rosario). I visited the Isla del Encanto, which was a beautiful island about an hour off the coast of Cartagena. The water was so blue, almost turquoise and the beach was simply alluring. After I arrived at the island, I took a short ride on another boat to go snorkeling. That was a great adventure and the fish were brightly colored around the coral reef.
I also visited La Casa de San Pedro Claver. San Pedro Claver, was a saint who helped the indigenous people of Cartagena. Now his house and a church that is dedicated to him is turned into a museum. I thought the place was quite charming and really intriguing to tour.
The prices in Cartagena were extremely cheap, for example at breakfast I could get 2 eggs, coffee, juice, and a croissant for about $5 or $7. And dinner was about $15. These incredibly inexpensive prices are due to the low exchange rate of Colombian pesos to the U.S. dollar. So really, it’s a great time to visit Colombia.