Barranquilla was my hometown for twenty-three-years, just a little over an hour’s drive to the beautiful and romantic city of Cartagena. On our way, we passed by the largest Sombrero Vueltiao that no one can miss! It is a tourist info stop but was not open that day. The restaurant was selling Empanadas and other fresh, delicious, local fried food. Mmm… yummy breakfast!
￼First stop, Boca Grande beach. During a weekday, there is always plenty of parking. It’s perfect for a nice walk on the beach, admiring the gray sea, the wind, the spectacular view, sand castles, and people watching. Stop by the Caribe Hotel, one of the most antique hotels in Cartagena, which has gorgeous architecture.
Take a walk to the Laguito neighborhood, from where you can see the big port of Cartagena, ships, small boats, and even canoes.
Go to the amazing walled city located at the entrance of Cartagena. You can easily get lost for hours in these special and interesting walls that the Spaniards built 500+ years ago for defense. Cartagena is a great place to have a romantic getaway. Entering from Santa Teresa Plaza, where the elegant Santa Teresa Hotel is located. Walking toward the city center, it is hot, as always! Stop for a real, natural, refreshing lemonade and small bites at Le Piadina Caffe.
Enjoying a walk around the city hall and La Torre del Reloj (the clock’s tower). There were dancers and drummers having a great Cumbia show, wearing traditional costumes, dancing and playing with a high energy. Anything is possible around these fantastic walls.
Arriving at Santo Domingo Plaza, take the time to admire one of Botero’s most popular sculpture and the architecture around. It is a cozy plaza to sit and enjoy a coffee, local beers, small bites or a full meal. These old walls embrace local and international designer’s stores, charming restaurants, colonial architecture, colorful balconies, and a peaceful atmosphere.
Now, walking toward the fancy area of the Santa Clara Hotel, you can find almost anything, a KGB Russian bar, Cuban cigars, Argentinean steaks, ceviche, street food vendors, boutique hotels, international and local people.
Once you reach the other side of the walled city, climb a few stairs, and enjoy the view of the sea, where the modern and colonial Cartagena merge into one spot.
Leave the wall city behind and go to the Convention Center area. An early dinner at La Cocina de Socorro is a must! With shrimp casserole, coconut rice, green fried plantains, and a Club Colombia makes for a perfect meal. Walking around a little bit more, you will find a very glamorous pastry shop. I don’t usually do dessert, but I couldn’t resist the beauty and perfection of this hidden gem at Ely Reposteria. They have excellent customer service and wonderful small cakes!
Just a few steps away from La Cocina de Socorro is La Casa del Habano, which finishes up this wonderful day with some refreshing mojitos. Best mojitos in Cartagena and the service was great – they even gave us a free round (just ask if their credit card machine is working, if you don’t have enough cash).
The night has arrived, time to go back to my old hometown.
Living hard! Living wise! With Simply Green.