Cartagena is a city in the Caribbean that has gotten very popular lately. It has become one of the most instrammable places in the Caribbean. When I traveled to Cartagena I was expecting all of the colorful and colonial buildings. The beautiful old churches everywhere, friendly people who would give me a sense of home since I’m Latina, and street vendors selling all types of food and souvenirs everywhere you would go.
I wasn’t completely wrong .
I did feel at home because I could speak Spanish freely with my grandmother and not feel as if I was being rude. My grandmother felt like she could go anywhere and they would understand her since she barely speaks English and is my main travel partner. There were tons of street vendors everywhere you’d go selling fresh fruit which was of course absolutely delicious and cheap! As you get to know me there are 2 things I absolutely love while traveling and that are local street food and live music.
That being said, before arriving to the old city we went to the new city where the main sights are and I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I wasn’t impressed. It just wasn’t what I was expecting, and then to top it off, the moment we got off of our bus we were swarmed with street vendors selling us souvenirs. I wasn’t expecting that I be actually quite bothered by it. I would warn anyone thinking of heading out to Cartagena to watch out for that, it’s a common mistake non-experience travelers face a lot and it’s a quick way for one to get robbed. I hadn’t experienced that in a very long time so it was a bit of a shock to me.
Before heading to the old city we made 1 last stop at the beach. One thing enjoyed about Cartagena was that it reminded me of Miami. You are able to see the hustle and bustle of a city and then a quick drive takes you to the beach. I feel as if you can get both in a day and there aren’t many Caribbean cities that can offer that.
The old city of Cartagena has beautiful colorful, colonial buildings. I literally spent about 3 hours just walking down the streets and getting lost through the old city. We would walk into the stores, talk to the locals, get some tips from our guide, but the most I did was just get lost in the streets of the old city. Which is another one of my favorite things. I love to discover a new city and just get lost in the attraction. It’s hard to choose one photo stop in the old city of Cartagena. There are so many beautiful buildings and old churches.
I only had a few hours in Cartagena since I was on the MSC Divina. However, if I were to go back to Cartagena, which I plan to do a tour of Colombia as a whole, so I do see myself heading back there at some point. I would stay in the old city and enjoy all that it has to offer. I would spend a few more days getting lost in those streets and explore some of the other cities that I didn’t get to explore this time around.