One of the oldest ports in the Caribbean sea, Cartagena De Indias is certainly worth a visit. Since we only had one day to explore the city, we opted for a free (tips expected!) walking tour and free food tour by Beyond Columbia, whose services we were familiar with, after tour in Bogota. If you do both tours in one day like us, you’ll have a break of 4 hours, from 12:00 to 16:00 and if you decide to have small lunch, we recommend Espirito Santo restaurant – tasty food with budget prices!
Historic part, which is arguably the only one of interest to tourists, can be easily explored in one day; however may not allow for detailed sightseeing, like San Felipe Fortress and certainly not excursions like to Praia Blanca! If you’d like to take full advantage of everything Cartagena has to offer, I recommend 3 days here.
FREE WALKING TOUR
Apparently every city in Colombia has a square, park or a plaza named after Simon Bolivar, so Cartagena couldn’t be different. It’s a plaesent place with street performers, handmade souvenirs and lemonade sellers and, of course statue of the man himself! Perhaps more interestingly, you’ll find pictures of every miss Colombia embedded into the sidewalk at Calle De la Inquisicion. As the name of the street suggests, “Palace of Inquisition” is on the same street – you’ll find out some horrific facts about, what took place behind its doors on Beyond Colombia walking tour.
San Pedro Claver Plaza
At one corner a beautiful church of the man’s name, certainly deserving a photo and few minutes of your admiration. The story of San Pedro Claver and his work is even more admirable. His good deeds earned him the title of patron of slaves; he even became a Saint. His statue, museum of modern art and federal government office can also be found here; some pretty horrible things happen here, but I leave it to be revealed on your tour.
Monumental clock tower and the gate, make it feel like an official and only entrance into the old town – it may be official, but certainly not the only one. The place is a great photo opportunity, especially during Christmas period, when after dark, colourful lights make it even more picturesque.
“Camellon” of the Martyrs
Accros the street from modern, Cartagena convention centre, this is where you will meet your guide and group. Also, as the word martyrs indicates, nothing nice could have happened here in the past, but again, I’ll leave the details out not to spoil your future experience.
FREE FOOD TOUR
A sort of, well seasoned prawn cocktail from one of the oldest, street food vendors in Cartagena. It’s roof is decorated with a huge sombrero hat and it holds world Guinness record for Largest Seafood Ceviche. A minute’s walk from the old town, but it doesn’t look like many tourists get to eat here.
These were actually smoothies, with many fruits and mixes to choose from. You should definitely find something to satisfy you here!
Deep fried savoury snacks with variety of sauces to choose from. Sara had a meaty one and I opted for cheese. They were delicious.
Pretty common these days, even outside of South America; however they came with refreshing juice drink made of a kind of sour berry. Oh and by the way… you get to try the berry too.
That was our busy day in Cartagena. I hope you got some useful tips.