From Medellín to Cartagena – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

From Medellín to Cartagena

So, after enjoying Medellín for half of my week-off, the time came for me to take yet another flight, this time to Cartagena, one of the oldest colonial settlements in Colombia, situated by the Caribbean sea. It’s fair to say that after landing, I was immediately greeted by two things: a cluster of European style architecture that reminded me more of Spain than Latin America, and the temperature. Oh my word, the heat and humidity was intense, and certainly different from Bogotá’s drizzle. 

after Unfortunately, we lost most of the first day in Cartagena, as the majority of my group felt rather ill. However, taking the decision to sleep it off for one day meant that the rest of the trip was both incredible and memorable, and the following day was one of the best I have had in Colombia so far. Knowing that Cartagena is famous globally for its beaches and seas, and taking advantage of the fact that I was walking distance from the Caribbean, I decided to book to go scuba diving in one of the city’s underwater ecological parks…

Luckily, thanks to the sea temperature being 32 degrees at 18m down, I did not have to suffer getting into a wetsuit in the overwhelming heat….

From Lionfish, to shipwrecks, to schools upon schools of fish…

As well as beautiful coral reefs, it was certainly one of the most incredible days in Colombia!

Definitely one of the coolest things I have done, and at least it allowed me to swim away from the town’s punishing humidity for an afternoon and enjoy some gorgeous views during the boat trip towards the island.

The only photo I took, I didn’t trust my balance and lack of coordination to take my phone out when the boat was moving!

The following days we decided to break from our usual holiday pattern of walking at least 10km, to simply just wondering, *very slowly*, through Cartagena’s cobbled colonial old town in between several drink stops. 

One of the main reasons I chose Colombia, was because of how little I knew about it, aside from the stigma of narcos and cocaine. Whilst I think tourism is increasing, particularly here in Cartagena, I do also realise that this international reputation harms Colombia from receiving the tourism it deserves. Cartagena is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever visited, with scuba diving, beautiful beaches, old cobbled towns and excellent seafood, so it is a shame that more people don’t take advantage of visiting there. The old town, in particular, is so beautifully preserved, that I do really miss walking around it daily, with my only worry being what is for lunch, or what flavour juice I will try next. Or maybe I just miss not having deadlines and reading to do…

However, we did stumble upon a little bit of the UK, in the form of the ridiculously touristy “Clock Pub” situated next to the famous Clock Tower in the main square.

Complete with its own telephone box and Guinness on tap!

We also found the cutest coffee shop, complete with ridiculously good ice cream, that resembled Warwick’s very own Curiousitea!

Moreover, I couldn’t quite escape my degree here, because as well as speaking Spanish (quite successfully I may add, given how notoriously tricky the coastal Colombian accent is here), on our final day exploring the town, we stumbled on a USSR themed pub, complete with a cold-war style bunker, and far too much military and Soviet memorabilia.

I feel like this might not be the MOST bizarre thing I will see/ visit in Colombia, but it will probably be up there…

And then the time finally came to return back to Bogotá, and to real life. Cartagena was one of my best places I have visited, and I won’t lie, it has been quite hard coming home to our rainy, grey capital city, as well as back to the 9-5 routine… 

Hasta entonces, Cartagena…

 

 

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