Cartagena de Indias, Colombia Day 2

Day two 7/1 Saturday

The hotel bed was a little hard but overall we had a good night sleep. Breakfast was included in our hotel booking. Fresh fruit, Colombian coffee, eggs, toast and fresh squeeze juice (delicioso!). Today we decided to explore the old walled city and get lost while looking at the architecture and history written all around. The weather was in the high 90s with tons of humidity. Although it was hot, we enjoyed looking around and whenever we were in need of some cool air, we walked into a store to look around and cool off. We definitely stopped at one too many delicious bakeries while looking for AC but all the Pan de Bono I had was to die for. The artwork and old buildings are beautiful. Everywhere you look, there is a colorful and full of life building. I love the fact that this city is so bright, it just makes you happy. Walking around was definitely a good way of getting to know the city. There are so many small boutiques, cafes, and landmarks to stop at and spend some time.

After walking around all day, we returned to the hotel and decided to jump in the pool to cool off before heading out for dinner and drinks. The restaurant we chose that night was “El Santisimo”.  Although, a little on the high end price, it is worth every penny. They combine French techniques with local coastal cuisine creating some seductive unique dishes. With a wide variety of wines, they sure satisfy even the most demanding palates. I tried the salmon, which was served in a bed of cream of asparagus. After dinner, since the night was still young, we decided to continue the party at “5”. This bar is a Medellin inspired bar, they offer inside and outside sitting and a long list of cocktails. Once again, we danced the night away until it was time to head back to the hotel and rest for the night.

*Tip of the day. Pick up a map at your hotel but don’t flaunt it. Street vendors will spot a tourist and surround you trying to sell you everything and anything. While there is nothing to be fearful off, sometimes they can be a little pushy. IMG_2617

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Travel · Uncategorized

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia Day 1

Day One 6/30 Friday

As we were flying into Cartagena, you could see the colorful streets all around. When we got off the plane, the hot summer Colombian weather greeted us with big open arms, it did not make me miss the New Jersey weather at all. At the airport we asked what was the best way to get to “The Old City”, one of the airport security guys recommended taking a taxi. He also recommended negotiating the price before getting in the cab. The cab ride was only a 10 minute ride from the airport to the hotel, which was located in what its called “The Walled City”, and it costs about $13,000 Colombian pesos ($5 US dollars +/-). At the hotel we were greeted by the staff who was so welcoming and helpful. After we settled in, we decided to go find something to munch on and explore the city. We walked down the beautiful colorful streets and ended up at “Mistura”, this place is located right across the street from Parque Fernandez Madrid, they had an amazing tender sirloin steak and fresh grilled octopus. We immediately made friend with the bartender who so kindly gave us a taste and a lesson on Colombian rum and moonshine. After a delicious taste of Colombian moonshine we met with our friends who landed in Cartagena a little latter. We were quick to make plans for that night to take a “Chiva” (local, doorless, super loud bus) for a night tour bus of the city. The Chiva is definitely something that even though is a cheese way to lure in tourists, its so much fun and you get a tour around the city, drinks, entertainment, a guide and a couple of arepas while on board. During this tour, one of the stops was at the wall the surrounds the city. While we were at the top of the wall, other Chivas stopped there too and it became a big party. A Ballenato (type of Colombian music) band played lived music while everyone danced around and drank. Local street food vendors were selling arepas, empanadas and other street food.  After dancing on the wall, we kept touring around the city for a final stop at a club. We continued the dancing and the drinking until we had no more energy left. Definitely a good start of this 7 day trip.

*Tip of the day. If you didn’t exchange money before traveling to Colombia. Only exchange a little bit at the airport, enough to pay for the cab and exchange the rest of the money at a hotel or one of the many exchange places in the downtown area. You will definitely get a better exchange rate.

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