The Best of Cartagena
Best View: The best view of both the old city and the sea can be seen from the top of the city’s wall. From here, colors abound. It’s also about the hottest, stickiest place in the old city because there is no cover and the ocean breeze is minimal. If you plan to walk the wall wear comfortable shoes, light clothing, and sunscreen and bring plenty of water.
Best Sites: This may not always be the case, but when we went in January the light displays throughout the old city were easily the best sites at night. Some of them were overly cheesy but their soft glow and the vibrancy they brought to the already electric nightlife couldn’t be beat. (more…)
Handmade Goods in Cartagena
After a day or two spent among Cartagena’s vibrantly painted buildings and slow burn of an electric nightlife, you’ll want to take a piece of that color home with you. You might be tempted to pick up small trinkets, blankets, or bags from any one of the dozens of street vendors. If it’s the smaller trinkets you’re after then the street vendors and artisans inside the markets aren’t a bad plan. However, if you’re looking to find quality, authentic Made in Colombia, Wayuu mochilas – the brightly woven bags most associated with the country – then you’ll want to find a reputable source. While half the cost, many of the street vendors sell mochilas made in China rather than by the Wayuu people.
This is why, contrary to my normal souvenir-hunting advice, you should go to one of the Colombia Artesanal stores in old Cartagena for certifiable goods made in Colombia and knowledgeable associates who can tell you about the specific indigenous peoples who make each item. (more…)
Where to Go: Cartagena
DO let go and get comfortable.
DON’T miss the details. Notice the woven patterns of bags, the folds in skirts, the smells of sweet treats, and the old world door knockers
DO take a walking tour of the city in the early morning or early evening when the heat isn’t so oppressive.
DO take a siesta like the locals.
DON’T plan on early nights. Join the throngs of people in the streets.
DON’T drink the water. (more…)