Have you ever seen the movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”? The scene, where the characters portrayed by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt first meet, is supposed to be set in the capital city of Colombia: Bogota.
They’d portrayed Bogota as this hot, steamy city. Let me tell you: Hollywood got it all wrong. Bogota is cold! (i.e. an average temperature of about 19°C year-round) They must’ve mixed up their Colombian cities. Perhaps they meant to use Cartagena instead? Because this place is definitely hot and steamy! This is us simmering in the Caribbean heat.
Jason and I are on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia, in the city of Cartagena. I’ve read mixed reviews about this place, but I personally loved it (once I was able to stop scratching long enough to enjoy the Caribbean heat). The palm trees were beautiful, the beaches were plenty, and we had a front row view of the ocean.
Before we moved closer to the ocean, we stayed for a few days in the old walled city.
There are three areas within the walled cIty: the beautiful original part of the walled city called Old City, the newer part called San Diego, and the grittier, sketchier area of Getsmani, where the majority of the hostels were.
We stayed in Getsemani and fell in love with how it best represented local life in Cartagena. The food was authentic and cheap, music was always blaring at night, and old men sat around watching the pedestrian traffic pass by.
When we decided to stay in Cartagena for a little longer, we rented an apartment nearby in Bocagrande, a modern area dotted with high-rise hotels and accommodations for Colombian vacationers.
I loved the attractiveness of Cartagena: the colourful Spanish-colonial architecture; the narrow winding stone-paved streets, and the surprise of turning a corner and happening upon yet another one of the city’s many plazas.
Speaking of surprises and plazas, check out this strange spectacle in Plaza Fernandez de Madrid:
We were pretty captivated with him until we figured out how was he doing it. Can you figure it out?
And then after dark, the Old City got even more enchanting. Seriously, this city is like the girls you see roaming the club district in Toronto – gets more beautiful after dark.
See? I wasn’t kidding you. She’s pretty gorgeous. Feel free to ask her for her phone number.