The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.
Cartagena. A city full of color, sound, warmth, and incredible history. It is more than a place. It is a state of mind. A dance. A destination where the old world meets the new.
I had the pleasure of welcoming in 2019 here and it was a celebration to be remembered. The salt from the sea saturated not only my skin, but my soul as well. The city is split into two sections—the Old City as well as the new. I preferred to spend my time in the Old City—full of historic architecture with bright Latin colors paired with meandering cobblestone streets. The sun was always shining and the warmth of the temperature was the reflection of the people.
Each day, I would take time to explore and bask in the wonders that were before me. As a food and drink enthusiast, my palette wandered through the neighborhoods. And as I predicted, I was not disappointed. Colombians, similar to other Latin countries, demonstrate their personality and love through food, music, art, dance, faith, and family. Since these are my favorite things, I felt right at home. La Hechicera soon became my rum of choice. My rum tasting at El Arsenal: The Rum Box offered an informative educational experience to the history of Colombia’s rums. Let’s just say that after tasting over a dozen rums, my heart was in a state of bliss. My palette also became alive with tastes from Donjuan Restaurant. This local restaurant offered authentic cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Each dish strives to enhance its simple ingredients. Be sure to not to miss the delectable tastes of their muelitas (crab with an infusion of butter, garlic, red peppers, and white wine), carpaccio (vegetables seasoned with goat cheese) and the risotto of prawns (fresh tomatoes, mascarpone, and parmesan). All of their dishes are encouraged to share, so be sure not to dine alone. Also, it is highly suggested that you make reservations well in advance, as walk-ins can rarely be accommodated. Following dinner, I often found myself at Alquimico. This “speak-easy” bar, situated in the Old City of Cartagena, offers custom-crafted cocktails that continually satisfied my palette. With three floors, each floor offers an individualized and unique ambiance. Dinner can be enjoyed on the ground, as well as the second floor. On the roof, I regularly discovered an energized and vibrant environment.
For those who wish to get out of the city and breathe in more of the salt air—experiencing the island life—the Rosario Islands are a must. This archipelago of islands offered more than wonderful oceanography and wildlife. It is known for being a prime spot for diving, kayaking, and most of all—a peace of mind. I highly recommend taking a day trip. Or if time allots, take a few additional nights to truly soak in their essence. You won’t regret it.
Cartagena, its islands, and the sea that surround it offered me a look into the past and a focus upon the future. This is a destination for solo travelers, families, couples, and groups. With its prime location and easy access, there isn’t a reason why one shouldn’t travel to Cartagena, Colombia.
Let its vivaciousness inspire you!
Dance to its rhythm and return forever changed. I know I did.