When we were in the Galapagos a few months ago, some new-found friends were showing us their holiday snaps.
“And this was Cartagena,” Jen said, showing us a photo of a street featuring brightly coloured walls and flower pots housing purple flowers with tumbling vines.
“Wow, I can’t believe that’s in Colombia,” I said. “It looks like Europe.”
Colombia and its bad reputation
Most of what I’d ever heard about Colombia, before Dave and I began travelling full time, was negative. I feel bad about writing that sentence, but it’s the truth.
And yet ever since we’ve begun travelling through South America, no one has had one bad word to say about Colombia. Quite the opposite, in fact – travellers can’t stop raving about the country.
Dave and I hadn’t even planned to put Colombia on our itinerary when we first flew to South America in January. We’d labelled it as being in the ‘too unsafe’ category and thought we’d be smart by flying over the country and cutting it out of our travel plans altogether.
Thank goodness we changed our minds. Maybe it was because we had little expectations, or perhaps it was the negative drug press the country gets, but we didn’t intend to enjoy Colombia as much as we did.
The beauty of Colombia
And we didn’t just enjoy it – we loved it! The food is delicious, the people are the friendliest we’ve met in South America so far, and the culture is lively and in-your-face.
But enough of me carrying on – enjoy the photos of Cartagena and see just how beautiful this part of the world is for yourself.
Cartagena in pictures
You can easily while away hours in the picturesque town of Cartagena by simply walking around and admiring its beauty. The architecture makes you feel as though you’re in Europe, not South America.
I’m not religious but I still found these churches utterly charming.
These doorsteps were just begging me to enter and peer inside. Sometimes locals would leave their doors open wide and you could do just that – which was fun for a nosey person like myself.
Often a street would be perfectly still – if just for a moment – and then you could hear the clop-clop-clop of a horse and carriage approaching from the distance.
But don’t get me wrong – Cartagena is far from old fashioned. In the hip bohemian district of Getsemani, street art adorns the walls.
And even the old-timely buildings retain some of their quirkiness with door knockers like these – which can be found all over town in different shapes and sizes.