Yup – we’re in Cartagena and will be till the end of our trip. It was never in the big picture plan, as I knew it’d be too hot for me, and really not a lot of sights to see. But… we were swayed by many Colombians who said it’s a must see – so we see.
It is hot and sunny and windy. On the Carribean, it’s main tourist attraction is the fortress wall, build in the late 1700s by the Spaniards, that surrounds the original city. Inside, colonial buildings are continuing to be restored and the area is the top spot for the many cruise boat cruisers. That’s where any authenticity ends. The ratio of visitors to locals hawking endless trinkets, souvenirs and dining spots (lots of restaurants ) is about 50-50. So unless you’re into shopping, the attractions – a few museums and churches – can easily be seen in a day. An unfortunate aspect of this is that if Cartagena is ones only exposure to Colombia, it bears no resemblance to the country. With a population of near a million, the rest of the city doesn’t have any interests for tourists, though it is a jumping off spot for some island excursions.
We will visit Medellin and the coffee producing region south of it on our next visit to Colombia (not Columbia). That being said, enjoy some images of the area while we soak up some sun.