Forget your candy and chocolate, for me a real treat is exploring somewhere new. And if that somewhere happens to be a far-flung UNESCO World Heritage Site, then so much the better!
After a fantastic treat in the form of a dugout canoe ride through mangrove swamps, we returned to the historic centre of Cartagena for a wonderful walking tour.
The majority of visitors flock to El Centro, the historic heart of the Old Town, and we were no different.
El Centro is where most of the upper class folk lived during colonial times. Walking along picture-postcard streets, between beautifully renovated buildings, it was easy to imagine yourself back then. And our guide José from Cartagena Tour Guide seemed to know the history of every last stone.
We took a brief stop at the shops of Las Bóvedas in the San Diego district, although more to avoid a brief rain shower than to do any serious shopping. In fact, it was the architecture of these former barracks, built within the 50-foot thick city walls in the 1790s, that grabbed my attention.
The working class neighbourhood of Getsemaní is located in the southeast part of the World Heritage area. Here we got a feeling for what old Cartagena felt like before and after the gentrification that has swept through El Centro.
The historic walls and streets of colonial Cartagena couldn’t be more different from how most of the world imagines Colombia. Thanks very much to Martin of Cartagena Tour Guide for setting us up with such a knowledgeable guide in José to introduce to this captivating city!
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