Cartagena

This vibrant Colombian city is decked out with mustard-colored buildings, enough to turn the entire color palette of the city to various sunshine shades. Full of life and adventure, this charming town is an exciting and *very* yellow destination.

Colorful pretty and full of history

This vibrant Colombian city is decked out with mustard-colored buildings, enough to turn the entire color palette of the city to various sunshine shades. Full of life and adventure, this charming town is an exciting and *very* yellow destination.

This place just oozes romance and sensuality — and hey... there's plenty of empanadas and ceviche in case you're taking a break from the dating scene. ;)

With historic lemon yellow walls, spicy empanada vendors and high energy street rap battles— you could say things stay lively in Cartagena’s Old Town. Here, you’ll feel transported back in time with old style colonial architecture drenched in shades of gold. Inviting archways and dangling botanical displays add a heaping helping of charm, making you want to walk around the cobblestone streets endlessly (which is exactly how I spent my time there).

How could you visit the Caribbean coast without seeing Cartagena? Well, truthfully, you probably can’t. The majority of arrivals into the area come through this historic port city, and it’s well worth sticking around to check it out. The walled city in Colombia is incredibly safe, understandably touristic, and is known for its fabulous restaurants and luxury offerings. A stroll in the main area will be accompanied by solicitations from street vendors and perhaps a random dance or rap battle right in front of your eyes. Be prepared to leave a tip if you decide to stick around for the show. By contrast, the nearby Getsemani neighborhood is much quieter than the main squares in Cartagena. Between colorful art, hole in the wall bars, and tons of empanadas, I can’t recommend it enough. Check out some of the nearby beaches while you’re there and eat as much ceviche as humanly possible. 

If street food is fine art, then I’m a damn museum curator. You can find the goods (legal, get your mind out of the gutter) across the whole country. But the best street eats I encountered were in Cartagena right on the Caribbean Sea. Specifically, there was one woman that had a swarm of hungry friends around her cart every time I passed by. Immediate intrigue. She sold arepas de huevo, delectable deep-fried snacks filled with eggs, meat, or veggies. For me, she really went the extra mile to help me out as a non-meat eater. I don’t know her name or if she’s still selling arepas this very moment, but there were a handful of other delicious offerings up and down the street near the intersection of Calle 36 and Carrera 11.

If you’d love an infusion of history and culture on your tropical vacay, then set your sights on Cartagena, one of the most magnificent architectural treasures in all of Latin America. The colonial-era historic centre is insanely charming and offers a colorful abundance of shopping, gastronomic feasting, and sightseeing. When you’ve had your fill of city-life, just hop on a boat and head straight for the Rosario Islands, one of Colombia’s prized jewels and one of our top picks for tropical destinations. This sparsely-populated archipelago is only one of many along Colombia’s coastline but, in many ways, it’s the most impressive. A marine reserve that’s been left mostly undeveloped and unspoiled, the Rosario Islands are easy to reach and offer the kind of ‘Caribbean dream holiday experience’ that would cost an absolute fortune further north. We’re talking swaying palm trees along white sandy beaches, turquoise seas, an abundance of underwater treasures that entice snorkelers and SCUBA-divers, and a handful of super cool places to stay. Just fight the urge to only visit on a day trip – with 3+ hours allocated to transport alone, a day-trip really is counterproductive to relaxation!

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