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Cartagena

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Cra. 17, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
For a sense of Cartagena’s colonial past, take two short taxi rides from the old city. Built in the 17th century, the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas was an impregnable, tunnel-filled Spanish fort that kept both pirates and the English Navy at...
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See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. When the temperature rises and the Caribbean beckons, a day trip to a nearby island beach is a must. Catch an early-morning tour boat to Isla de Baru, where you can snorkel with iridescent blue fish....
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Baluarte de Santo Domingo., Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
For a great place to start the evening in Cartagena, head to Café del Mar, located directly on the wall in the Old City. It's a favorite for lounging and watching the sunset.
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Cl. 35, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
One of the best things to do in Cartagena is to wander the streets at night. The city comes alive with music and laughter. La buena vida!
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Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
finally made it to playa blanca after waiting 2 1/2 hours for the boat to leave - and it did not disappoint. haggle with the locals for a beach massage, fresh oysters and coconut juice! go to mama ruth's for lunch and if you plan to stay the...
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Plaza de la Aduana, 32-09, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
When it's election season in Colombia, the sell or purchase of alcohol is prohibited the day before and day of election - except at Cafe San Pedro! Not quite sure on those legalities, but regardless - beautiful atmosphere and wonderful menu right...
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Cl. 35, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Street vendors sell the best regional crafts. At Plaza Santo Domingo, look for artisans displaying beaded necklaces made from small chirilla seeds. Or try on mochilas, handbags that indigenous Colombians weave from natural and brown-dyed wool....
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Zapatero, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
I was strolling around the old town of Cartagena recently when I stopped to admire the exotic fruit on a street corner. I pointed to pile of apple-sized red fruit and asked what it was. The fruit seller replied: "mejillas del gringo." Translated,...
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Just 30-minute boat ride from central Cartagena, Playa Blanca's soft white sand and clear turquoise waters draw loads of day trippers looking to escape the heat of the city. Rent a shelter and chairs for $10-20 anywhere along the mile-long strand,...
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Loma de Marion, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
Sitting in the square having a coffee is a great way to people watch in Cartagena. There seems to be something happening behind every wooden shutter of every building as well as in the street. I was struck by how friendly the local people were to...
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Calle del Colegio # 34-60 Local 1, Centro Histórico, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Don Juan Restaurante is a high-end restaurant in the Historic Centre of Cartagena. Cartagena is world renown for its gastronomy and this place is its Mecca. An absolute delight. Ask any local or business owner and they will show you the way. Buon...
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Loma de Marion, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
Cartagena is full of surprises. While on a recent visit to the Colombian coastal city, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a collection of prolific street drawings tucked away on a clandestine street in the city’s Getsemani neighborhood. These...
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Calle Quero 9 58 Sandiego, Cartagena De Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
A bustling eatery next to a hostel that feels very vibrant. Young and hip, a lunch break spot for working Colombians and tourists alike. They keep things casual and good. 4 daily dishes, breakfast and lunch only. Patio in the back. Get the coconut...
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Cl. 39 ##7 14, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Many will have heard of La Cevicheria thanks to a visit by Anthony Bourdain in 2009. The location has not lost any of it's charm in the last 4 years. In our very warm July trip to Colombia for a close friend's wedding, La Cevicheria was an oasis....
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Cl. 25 #10B-6, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
A simple, straightforward restaurant that is the best place to see traditional Colombian and Caribbean fusion, a signature of Cartagena's cuisine. The offerings include farm fresh eggplant, tomatoes, and lemon blended with fish and meats and local...
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Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
This central plaza has an interesting past. In the early 1600's "auto-da-fe" took place. This was the ritual of public self-punishment of condemned heretics during the peak of the Spanish Inquisition. Today, its main attractions include the Palace...
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Cra. 69 #31-75, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Situated in the Rosario Islands, the hotel San Pedro de Majagua lies about 45 minutes from Cartagena by speedboat. The property is great and when you're on their small beach you can negotiate a fresh caught lobster or snorkeling session from the...
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Cra. 10 #29-29, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
This cool spot in the the hip neighborhood of Getsemani right across from Plaza de la Trinidad boasts a retractable roof, making the tables open air, with a vista over the old dilapidated walls of the building that was in ruins when the owner,...
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Chino, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
stared at this fishmonger for 2 1/2 hours while waiting for our boat to leave for playa blanca. per our lonely planet guide, boats leave every half-hour - so you can just imagine what the wait did to us! get the boat at Muelle Turistico de la...
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La Matuna, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
Searching for a great custom made guayabera linen shirt? Visit Jenny Amador Chaljub just north of the Plaza de Santo Domingo. I came across this place and got a custom shirt made. I couldn't be happier with my new and stylish guayabera. Looking...
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Cl. 35 #4-29, Cartagena, Cartagena De Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
Cartagena is filled with beautiful, hacienda style boutique hotels. Most of them are converted colonial houses built in the seventeenth century. Staying in one of these properties will provide you with a true authentic Cartagena experience.
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Getsemani, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
You know how some places look like they were painted into real life? Cartagena, Colombia is one of those places.
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Loma de Marion, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
The seven-room Tcherassi Hotel and Spa is an ode to modernism set in a renovated 250-year-old mansion. Colombian-born fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi named each room after a fancy fabric (the trilevel penthouse is called the Gazar). After a...
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Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
Leaving the skyline of Cartagena behind a wall of sea spray from the motorboat that propelled us toward Isla Del Piratas was one of the best things that ever happened to us during our journey in Colombia. Broken Spanish aside, booking the voyage...
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Esquina Carrera 5 Calle 36, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Don't let Gelateria Paradiso's girly girl decor fool you; this gal scoops some of the best gelato in Cartagena. And when you're in the Cartagena heat, you're going to want gelato. Sit down and try refreshing regional fruit flavors like Lulo and...
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La Paletteria pops with a rainbow of popsicles. There are a variety of water, cream and yogurt based options including regional fruit like Guanabana and Lulo. Pistachio and Nutella became my crack for my time in Cartagena and I returned daily for...
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Avenida de la Asamblea Edificio El Comendador No 29A42 apto 201 A, Cartagena de Indias, Bolívar, Colombia
Getsemani, the oldest neighborhood of Cartagena, is receiving attention for its transformation from a dangerous area into a still semi-undiscovered (I spied no other tourists there) gem. I thought it was the most interesting and photogenic part of...
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Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
Walking through the streets of the walled city in Cartagena I step into a real party in the middle of the day, people dancing in the streets just having a great time.
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Calle del Tejadillo, Carrera 6 #38-71, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Staying true to its colonial roots, Hotel Casablanca offers huge doors, all white decorum, and two small pools - one in the atrium and one in the roof. A+ for proximity and relative quiet with the cobblestone streets.
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21, Calle 38 #6, Cartagena De Indias (Distrito Turístico Y Cultural), Bolívar, Colombia
All white everything is the theme for the upscale italian dining room at the Tcherassi Hotel, all the way down the to waitstaff's shoes. Very modern and chic, being inside, with the adjacent aqua bar is a departure from the colonial feel of...
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Playa de la Artilliera #36-38, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Lima is one of my favorite cities in the world, and in that city is Brujas de Cachiche - serving up some of the best pisco and ceviche I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying. While wandering the streets of Cartagena one day, I happened upon the...
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Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
The breeze gently rocked the hammock back and forth. As I lay there with my eyes closed swaying, I could hear the familiar sound of drum music wafting through the little village of Manzanillo. I imagine a giant speaker somewhere in the town center...
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Cra. 10 #29-29, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Set in the Getsemani neighborhood of Cartagena, Demente is an escape from the tourist areas and perfect for late night tapas and great music. The neighborhood is popular amongst artists and tourists vying for a more authentic feel of the city....
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Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
You’ve heard of food carts that you need to try when traveling – but what about a book cart? You’ll find a library on wheels in the beautiful Parque de Bolivar in Cartagena. Martin Murillo will be pushing the cart and he’s hard to miss. Dressed in...
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Chino, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
We had all the usual warnings from locals – beware of pick pockets, don’t flash your phone around, and take off all of your jewelry before you go. I find the best places to visit in the world are the ones that people give you warnings about –...
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Cra. 7, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Your eyes are immediately drawn to the bright primary colored dresses peppered around the Old City of Cartagena – the customary attire of Palenquera women. They sit in the shadow of the old city walls in Cartagena selling fruit which is...
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Calle 37, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
If you are anything like me, then you love to read a map when you arrive in a new destination. And it’s even better, when you can get an aerial view of a place to help you understand where you’ve been and where you are yet to go. Be sure not to...
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Cra. 17, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is not and was never a castle. It was actually a fort masquerading as a castle. With 53 canons and massive walls – this was not a place for fairy tales. The fort, which took 104 years to build, was created to defend...
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Getsemani, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
If you want to get away from the tourist shops and cleaner side of Cartagena - then you'll have to leave the old central city walls and take a walk. Head across the main street to Getsemani - a diverse neighborhood where locals still outnumber...
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Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
I got a real feel for local life in Cartagena by having dinner with a local family at their home. I was welcomed with open arms by the Perez Cuesta family in a suburb of Cartagena. The music was playing, the plantanos were frying up, and we all...
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Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
Amidst the heat and crowd, you will find peace and calm at the San Pedro Claver. I just went in and sat for a few minutes on a hot Monday afternoon, and here, I found strength to battle the heat once more before heading out.
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Cl. 24 #25-84, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Looks like the theatre has been abandoned for quite some time. Graffiti in front, paint peeling off the walls, and rusty iron gate locked the entrance. I wish someone would offer me the chance to go in to explore.
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isla baru km 24, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
A quick speedboat ride from the city center, Islas Del Rosario (Rosario Islands) is the a great day trip to the beach. The beaches are beautiful, with the calmest, clearest and most peaceful water. It feels like you're at a private beach paradise...