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Where We Are: Cartagena, Colombia

We spent all day yesterday hopping our way from Salento to Caratgena in one-hour travel increments. An hour walk, an hour bus ride, an hour at one airport, an hour flight, an hour connection, another hour flight and finally a cab ride to our Airbnb.

Our first rewards flight had us flying business class on Avianca. Getting off the plane first loses it’s perk though when you have to take a bus to the terminal with everyone else anyway.

It feels nice to have our own space again, and also to have AC for the first time in over a month! After staying in the eco-lodge and then a shared hostel dorm in Salento, it felt incredible to be able to sleep in dark, cool quiet.

That hammock life! This was the Airbnb I was most excited about before we left on our trip, and it’s just as adorable as I expected.

After less than 24 hours, we’ve found a pub with American sports and a library cafe, so really what more could we possibly need?!

Sometimes you’re just watching the sunset and some creeper snaps your pic.

Initial Reactions On (Old City) Cartagena:

  1. New Orleans meets Miami. Cartagena is the OG Colombian tourist destination. It’s got this beach-town, low-key, relaxed vibe that floats through the narrow streets lined with colorful, Colonial style homes that are dripping with flowers and greenery. It’s vibrant and beautiful and I can’t wait to explore more of this city.
  2. It’s flat and hot. I loved the mountains and valleys of Medellin, but I’ve never been more excited to see flat land in my life. It’s so refreshing to be able to walk places without your quads burning constantly. The contrast between these two cities, though, is exactly why Colombia is such a great country and thus tourist destination.

What you need to know:

  • Population: 971,592
  • Exchange Rate: 2,965 Colombian Pesos to $1 USD
  • Primary Language: Spanish
  • Walking Tour: Free Tour Cartagena 
  • Time Zone: Central
  • Taxi: Yes
  • Public Transit: Not really
  • Emergency Number: 123
  • Running: Ciclovia! On Sundays, they close down the street that runs between the ocean and the old city for pedestrians and I can’t wait to get my run on! The challenge of Medellin’s hills will be replaced with Cartagena’s heat. Bring. It. On.
  • American Football: Season hasn’t started, but I’d bet that they had it!
  • Starbucks: NONE! In the whole city!
  • Coffee Price:  6,000 COP (~ $2 USD) for cold brew or 7,000 – 10,000($2.25 – $3.25 USD) for espresso  beverages
  • Beer Price: 10,000 – 15,000 COP (~ $3.25 – $5 USD)