Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cartagena - Colombia's Caribbean Crown Jewel




After spending a week in the splendid capital Bogota we continued our journey to Colombia's Caribbean coast.
Cartagena de India is literally worlds away  from the Capital - climate, landscape, mentality, even Spanish is pronounced here in quite different.
The city was founded in 1533 by the Spaniards and become soon wealthy and powerful and turned therefor into an attractive plunder for pirates and corsairs.
For defense purposes, mighty walls and forts were built around the city and are still well preserved today.
The infamous Sir Francis Drake, a pirate in the service of  Queen Elizabeth the I. managed to conquer the city for a short time and marauded the place with his cronies.
Contemporary Cartagena is actually like two cities in one. There is the historic center, dating from colonial times and perfectly preserved and the modern part of the city with construction sites everywhere and a Skyline that resembles Miami.
Skyscrapers are pushing forward, setting limits to urban planning and the tropical way of life.
However, the rhythm of life seems relaxed, people are friendly and time is relative. You master it and don't allow time be your master.
Music is omnipresent in the streets. Caribbean sounds in one corner, Cuban Salsa in another one.
I was surprised by the Cuban presence here: Salsa, Cuban Cigars, Cuban restaurants everywhere until someone explained to me that most of Cubans here where immigrants who came via Venezuela to the nearby Cartagena.
The city's colonial heritage is charming and very much alive and we had lots of fun discovering sounds and sights.


Pegasus horses overlooking the harbour

A glimpse over the walls

Unspoiled beaches

For the romantics: a drink at the patio of the Monasterio Santa Claro Hotel at night.


Do not disturb: taking a nap in the middle of nowhere

Snow white sand and turquoise water

Taking a sunset drink at Café del Mar, on the walls of the old city

Strolling through beautiful colonial streets

The perfect balcony for Romeo & Julia

Jazzing up the evening

A building dedicated to the National Beauty Pageant. The whole week of competition  is a holiday and Cartagena comes to a standstill for a few days every November.



 View from our hotel pool over the harbor

Modern Cartagena


For the romantics: Dinner at Club the Pesca restaurant


Enjoying a gorgeous seafood risotto


A city of contrasts: beautiful old patio from colonial times


Cuban live music at a restaurant

A piece of heaven at Manzanillo beach

Cheers, hope you enjoyed the visit


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56 comments:

  1. I lived in Venezuela for many years and Cartagena was always on "the list" to visit, but we never did make it. Thanks for the photos.

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    1. Hi Monica,
      I didn't know you lived in Venezuela. A pity you couldn't make it to Colombia. Maybe at another occasion, sure you would enjoy.
      Cheers.

      Delete
  2. I'm loving these pretty beach views on this chilly day! Wish I could transport myself. And, the seafood risotto looks delicious!

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      Wish I could send you a little sunshine over to warm up the chilly autumn days :)

      Delete
  3. The beach is absolutely gorgeous, looks like a great time.

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    1. Hi Cheri,
      We really did enjoy this trip and the sunshine.
      Cheers.

      Delete
  4. I only know it from the movies...would love to see it one day. Thanks for the tour!

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    1. Hi Ela,
      so glad you could join me at this tour!

      Delete
  5. Hi Daniela, thanking you very much for the tour. I definitely enjoyed looking at all the beautiful pictures.. the sandy beach is a definitely a piece of heaven to relax and lazying around. Love the hammock too, great for relaxing and taking our beauty nap. :)) You look gorgeous and beautiful. Cheers!

    Have a lovely weekend, regards.
    Amelia

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    1. Hi Amelia,
      thank you or your sweet feedback, I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the tour. Have a great weekend,hugs.

      Delete
  6. I love such places...historically, traditional coexisting with modern.

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  7. Daniela - I have always dreamed of visiting Cartagena, and I hope it will happen in the next few years. It looks amazing! Thanks for the virtual tour! ~ David

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    1. Hi David,
      Hope you will travel to Cartagena soon, I'm sure you would enjoy it very much. Cheers.

      Delete
  8. I envy that warm weather! Lovely photos of a beautiful place.

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    1. Hi Susan,
      Wish I could send you a little bit of sunshine over :)

      Delete
  9. i'm affraid i won't coming back to my patients here in Indonesia once i visit this heaven....
    lucky you my friend!!!

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    1. Hi Dedy,
      I'm sure your patients would never forgive me :) Cheers

      Delete
  10. Hi Daniela, thanks for the sharing the beautiful and amazing virtual of Cartagena. It's a great place for relaxation and to while away. Eh, you look sweet in this pic. Thumbs up for the great tour and you have a wonderful week ahead. Cheers and warmest regards :)

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    1. Hi Ivy,
      thank you so much for this sweet feedback!
      So happy to hear that you enjoyed the tour.
      Hugs

      Delete
  11. How fun Daniela! I do love history, and old buildings, totally charming!

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    1. Hi Kari,
      Thanks for accompanying me at this trip!

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  12. I have a Colombian friend from Bogotá. Colombia is a jewel in terms of food, culture, and history. I had no idea that Cartagena was so pretty. Thanks for making us travel to it too.

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    1. Hi Denise,
      So happy to hear that you enjoyed the tour!

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  13. Such an interesting contrast between the old and new parts of the city! I've never been to Cartagena -- heck, I've never been to South America! -- but would love to go someday. Good post, really fun pictures -- thanks.

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    1. Hi John,
      Thanks for accompanying me at this virtual tour, happy to hear that you enjoyed the trip!

      Delete
  14. Oh I so want to go, very European too. I want the beach...we got our first snow :-( Great pics.

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    1. Hi Evelyn,
      already the firt snow?
      Wish I could send you a little sunshine over:)

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  15. How wonderful. I love all the plants and nature all around.

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    1. Hi Lilth,Mother Nature has been truly very generous with this region.

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  16. Oh the beaches and the balconies are wonderful, but my mouth started to water over the seafood risotto. Oh my gosh.

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    1. Hi Madonna,
      I felt really lucky, plenty of culture and history and such great food.
      Cheers.

      Delete
  17. Wow a whole week off for beauty pageants! That is so interesting and I guess it's really true, they take their pageants very seriously! :D

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    1. Hi Lorraine,
      I was as well very surprised about the importance of the beauty pageants.
      But it's a nice excuse for taking holidays:)

      Delete
  18. Wow - thanks for sharing your journey! It looks like a fantastic trip!

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  19. Gorgeous pictures - sounds like you had an amazing time. I truly hope to get there someday!

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  20. I have never been in Colombia...therefore I am loving the post...and all the pictures...thanks Daniela, and glad that you having a fabulous time!
    Have a great week :)

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    1. Hi Juliana,
      So happy that you could join me at this virtual trip, thank you for oming along!

      Delete
  21. From your lovely photos, it certainly looks like a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for sharing your trip with us…it must have been wonderful.

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    1. Hi Karen,
      So happy to hear that you enjoyed the tour!
      Cheers

      Delete
  22. Great photos from a place I will probably never be able to visit! Thanks!

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  23. Wow what a neat place!!! Loved the photos and your view from the hotel was amazing.

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    1. Hi Ashley,
      We enjoyed the view very much, it was so nice to take breakfast looking at the harbour.
      Cheers

      Delete
  24. Cartagena de India looks lovely and like a fun place to visit. Great photos!

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  25. Great trip Daniela and you are so pretty! That drink looks great too. I am pretty sure my husband stayed at that same hotel and he took the most incredible shot of the domed building at night during a lightening storm. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Tricia,
      It's a small world. From the way you describe it , it must have been the same hotel, incredible.
      Thanks for coming along at this trip!

      Delete
  26. Hi Daniela, how you doing? Hope all is well at your side. Drop by to wish you Happy Thanksgiving to you and family. Have a wonderful week ahead, regards. Hugs to you.

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  27. Oh, I want to go there! I'm taking salsa dance lessons now and I'd head for the salsa clubs for sure.

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  28. So much fun! Sounds like you had a really fantastic time! Happy Thanksgiving! :)

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  29. This looks like an amazing trip to a wonderful place - love everything about it and your pictures have me feeling like I am right there. Beautiful!

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  30. WOW, you travel to some very interesting places. Love the photos of local people and local architecture. Your post overall is so educating!

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