As friends from Munich were visiting me, I was planning a nice itinerary for them – but of course also thinking of myself by planning it, as I always love to spend as much time as possible with my dear visitors on the weekends! This time it meant to fly to Colombia’s Caribbean Coast and spend some days in the wonderful city of Cartagena with them.
Cartagena is also called the pearl of the Caribbean and I would say it is the most touristy place in Colombia. It is just wonderful to stroll through the cobblestone narrow streets and marvel at the well-maintained fassads filled with balconies full of colorful flowers. The historical centre was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984 and you just feel that you have travelled back many years in history walking through this enchanting part of the city which is surrounded by the old city wall – one of the most complete set of fortifications in South America!
So actually in Cartagena you really just enjoy wandering through the beautiful historical centre which we did, of course! At sunset we headed to the Café del Mar from where you can enjoy a great view of the ocean, the historical centre as well as the modern part Bocagrande (which seems like you are in Miami) while enjoying a delicious cocktail and the Caribbean breeze!
The next day, we wanted to enjoy a lazy day on one of the Rosario Islands which are situated about 45-60 minutes from Cartagena! At 9am boats leave to the different islands with about 30-50 people who want to enjoy the sun, take a swim in the Caribbean Sea or discover the beautiful underwater world! Our destination for today was the Sun Island “Isla del Sol”. We arrived at around 10am at the island and first got some information about the activities on the island before we enjoyed some sunbathing at the beach! Then we went snorkeling to discover the underwater world! It was pretty amazing what we could see – concerning the little distance from Cartagena – many different colorful big and small fishes in the coral reefs! It was a definitely a great “underwater” experience!
Once we got back to the island we enjoyed a typical lunch with coconut rice, salad and a huge delicious fish! The rest of the afternoon we just relaxed at the beach before we left the island at around 3 pm and headed back to Cartagena! Unfortunately these islands are pretty small and most of them do not have a sandy beach as you might expect – but if you want to escape from the city and just enjoy the Caribbean Sea it is a great way to do this on a day trip to one of these islands!
But the surroundings of Cartagena have much more to offer – especially if you want to discover more of the local culture! I will tell you more about these unique experiences in my next blog article!