Since I am unable to sit still, I convinced my friends Ash and Des to skip class and go on a girls trip to Cartagena, Colombia this March. (Yes, I am aware that it’s May. Life be lifeing. School be schooling. Y’all gone get this guide anyway). We had an AMAZING time and Cartagena is one of those places I wouldn’t mind going back to – which says a lot because there aren’t many places I want to go twice. We were there for five days and for sure maximized our time. Read on for all the glorious deets, tips, tricks, and recommendations!
Upon landing and getting our luggage, we took a taxi to our hotel. Shoutout to Kira for hooking a sister up with the Hilton, a place I would highly recommend as it was lit. You can absolutely take a taxi from the airport to your hotel or Airbnb. I would just advise having the address/location screen shotted in your phone to show to the driver. Upon checking in and getting cute, we set out for the first day of our Colombian adventure.
Our wanderings took us to Old City, which is the part of Cartagena that was occupied by the Spanish during the colonial era. There we simply wandered around and took in the sites. Old City is extremely vibrant. It seemed like every wall was painted some beautiful color and popped out at you while walking by. The balconies were overflowing with flowers and you could tell the area was “alive.”
I always try to do some research before going on a trip so I knew I needed to go to the Plaza Santo Domingo while in Old City to see one of the churches and a famous sculpture, Gertrudis, a large, plump, naked woman, done by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. From there we headed to La Cevicheria for the best ceviche I’ve ever had. It was better than the ceviche in Peru and Spain. It was delish. When you go there, order the shrimp ceviche, with plantain chips on the side and thank me later.
Post food, we wandered into a bar across the street to watch a football (soccer match) where I promptly fell asleep which was clearly a symbol it was time to head home. We left the hotel and decided to get in the hot tub before dinner. You know, relaxing without napping.
Day 1 takeaways:
– You can take a taxi from the airport no problem. No need to pre-arrange pick up unless where you’re staying offers it for free.
– Hit Old City the first day. It’s chill and will give you a good first look at Cartagena.
– La Cevichera is a must eat spot.
– Change money at the airport. I only changed about $200 USD to Colombia Pesos and the cash lasted until the third day of the trip. You’ll need the cash for cabs and any street purchases.
– Take your time. Cartagena is a city best explored slowly.
– Be prepared to speak Spanish or have something available to translate.