With its narrow cobbled streets, colorful buildings, fashion boutiques, and enough restaurants to satisfy all tastes, there’s no wonder why the old town of Cartagena is considered one of the highlights of Colombia and a true colonial treasure.
Whilst we were in Brazil, we started reading about Colombia, and Cartagena was definitely one of the top destinations we wanted to discover. Although very touristy, it has major charm and it is not to be missed if you visit Colombia.
Discovering the old town
We allowed a full day to discover the old town, walking for hours, snapping pictures every step of the way, trying to see everything.
Although we normally mark the places we want to see in Lonely Planet or on a map, this time, we decided to walk and discover. Hence, we didn’t know where we were heading, what we were going to see, but it felt great and made it more fun.
From our discoveries, Palacio de la Inquisición was the most striking. It was quite shocking to read about the tortures people were subjected to and seeing the tools they used. However, it’s important to know what was a big part of the world’s history.
On a more positive side, we also loved it because of its photogenic qualities :). Almost each wall of the facade had a special color, a particularity that we loved.
Also beautiful are the views you can see from the walls surrounding the old town; the busy streets packed with cars, especially taxis who’s color blended perfectly with the ones of the houses facade. What a beauty!
How and where to:
How to get there: We took a mini bus from Tayrona Park with Marsol and paid COP 65000 pp. Although the price was good and we were picked up at the hotel, the driving was awful, and we were not dropped off at the hotel in Cartagena as promised.
Where to stay: We stayed at Casa La Espaniola, a B&B about 10 min by taxi from the old town. We had a great time there. The owner, Blanca, was absolutely lovely, from preparing breakfast to answering all our questions.
Where to eat: We tried a few places and one of our favorites was Nativo in the old town for a nice lunch and La Brioche for great fruit juices and croissants.
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