Cartagena in pictures: A photo essay

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.”

Cartagena balcony Double-Barrelled Travel

One of the many charming homes lining the streets of Cartagena’s walled city

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.

Walking Cartagena city walls Double-Barrelled Travel

Walking along the ancient city walls of Cartagena

 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.

Cartagena town square Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena street Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena archway Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena apartments Double-Barrelled Travel

window into Cartagena Double-Barrelled TravelThe churches

I’m not religious but I still found these churches utterly charming.

church in Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel

church close up in Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel bells in Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena church door Double-Barrelled TravelCartagena’s homes

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.

Cartagena beautiful house Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena doorway Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena doorway2 Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena house Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena purple house Double-Barrelled TravelCartagena’s horse transport

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.

Cartagena horse and cart2 Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena town square horse Double-Barrelled Travel horse and cart Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena horse and cart3 Double-Barrelled TravelCartagena’s street art scene

But don’t get me wrong – Cartagena is far from old fashioned. In the hip bohemian district of Getsemani, street art adorns the walls.

street art 2 Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel street art Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel street art 3 Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel street life Cartagena Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena street art 2 Double-Barrelled Travel Cartagena street art Double-Barrelled TravelQuirkiness in Cartagena

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.

Cartagena door knocker Double-Barrelled TravelHave you been to Cartagena? Were you charmed by the city like I was?

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

6 comments on “Cartagena in pictures: A photo essay”

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      Yep! Originally we hadn’t put Colombia on our itinerary but because everyone we met who’d been there said how brilliant it was we decided to make a last minute change of plans… and it was totally worth it 🙂

  1. Sander Bos Reply

    Great to read and see this post on Cartagena! For me the city is one of the most beautiful I visited in Latin America. Nice Carribean vibe, colorful, old city walls: amazing.

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