Best way to see Cartagena is on foot; however, taking a bus tour gives a ride around the old city and into the modernized city where there are hotels, beaches, parks, and more of how the locals live. Audio tours are provided on the bus that lend an in-depth history of the city.
A stop at Castle of San Felipe de Barajas on the bus tour is worth getting off and touring. Strategically built and located on the Hill of San Lázaro, this fortress was constructed by the Spanish during the colonial era. Self-guided audio tours are available giving detailed information at various points around the fort.
Volcan del Totumo was the adventurous part of the trip. A mud volcano in Northern Colombia known for its alleged healing. At first, I was hesitant climbing down a questionable rickety ladder. It seemed like there was no bottom and you literally float in mud. One of the workers guided me to lie down and relax. I didn’t care for the sinking feeling nor the mud getting into my ears, so after about five minutes, I was done.
It was funny seeing the group covered completely in mud looking like zombies. After leaving the pit, a road led down to the water where the women workers were ready to rinse the mud with their buckets. If planning on going to Volcan del Totumo, be aware that the people work on tips and be clear as to what is and isn’t agree upon. Consequently, we had a discrepancy on food that was prepared that we did not order.
Favorite part of the trip was a private coach ride to the Punta Iguana Club Nautico. The ride alone was magnificent as it showed a more rural part of Cartagena. Many people on the side of the road were either on foot, moped or donkey to reach their destination. Upon entering the Club, we were immediately struck by the awesomeness of an infinity pool and beach. The white sand beach w/thatched huts and crystal clear blue waters had me not wanting to ever leave. The day was spent relaxing, swimming, kayaking and enjoying refreshing drinks.
Finally, gotta mention the food! So many great options and everything was delicious. And of course can’t forget the Colombian coffee. Some of the best coffee I ever tasted. If ever in Cartagena, be sure to check out some of these wonderful restaurants:
Visit the PHOTO GALLERY to see more pics of this amazing trip!
Visited South America? Which is your favorite country?