Travel Log: Cartagena, Colombia

This last week’s snow and freezing temperatures in Seattle has me wanting to go back to warm and sunny Cartagena! Thanksgiving feels like a lifetime ago when we enjoyed three nights and four days in this beautiful colonial city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, exploring the historic old town and enjoying a beach day on the nearby island of Tierra Bomba. Cartagena is a popular cruise ship stop, but is also gaining in popularity for independent travelers who want to experience incredible food/drinks/nightlife, incredible artwork/architecture, and that wonderful Caribbean climate! I convinced my husband to wake up early with me one morning and take photos while the streets were still empty, mapping out our walking route to hit specific streets and landmarks along the way that highlight just a hint of Cartagena’s beauty. Please read on to see why I fell in love with Cartagena.

We started our photo walk in the Getsemani neighborhood shortly after sunrise (around 6:45am), next to the old walled city. While it was once the home of prostitutes and thieves, Getsemani is now full of hip bars, hostels, and plenty of amazing street art! This alley is called “Calle de las Sombrillas” aka the “Umbrella Street” because of this adorable installation of photogenic hanging umbrellas. An Instagrammer’s dream!

This artwork depicting the famous palenqueras, women wearing brightly colored dresses selling fruit on the streets, marks the entrance to Calle de las Sombrillas. The sleeping kitties were too cute and I had to snap a photo! We tiptoed past them and turned right on Carrera 10b to continue our photo walk.

Carrera 10b has plenty of colorful walls and storefronts, but what caught my eye was this tree painted in pretty much the same shade of Tiffany Blue as my DVF dress! I joked that I found my doppelgänger in Colombia…

One of the next side streets we came to had the prettiest flowers growing along whitewashed walls, I just loved the color contrast!

After a couple of blocks we reached Iglesia de la Trinidad and Plaza de la Santisma Trinidad. This church is striking with its bright yellow exterior and massive green entry doors, and it stands in sharp contrast to the modern street art on the wall behind. This neighborhood truly is a photographer’s dream.

We continued on Carrera 10 to see more pretty streets and street vendors starting to set up for their day. This small street caught my eye with its hundreds of small flags together creating a giant Colombian flag!

From Carerra 10, we turned left on Calle 30 and followed it back to the Bahia de las Animas (Bay of Souls) and its entrance to the walled city. By now it was around 7:20am, as you can see by the clock, and still very quiet on the streets.

From the city gate, we made our way to Calle 34 to cross through this picturesque street on the way to the cathedral. Any other time of the day or night, this particular area is full of people but it was so pretty in the peaceful morning light.

The Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandria is one of Cartagena’s most well-known landmarks, and a must-see when visiting the walled city. I think the best views of the cathedral can be seen from one block north of the cathedral on Calle de la Iglesia, near Abacus Books and Coffee (where the below photo was taken).

The area around the cathedral is also where the palenqueras can usually be found selling their fruits and taking photos with tourists. Since it was early, I did not expect to see any palenqueras but was pleasantly surprised when this woman saw us taking photos and came right up to us with a smile. The palenqueras ask a small fee for a photo, but of course I could not refuse the opportunity!

After approximately one hour of walking and taking photos, we had covered a selection of Cartagena’s most photogenic spots and were ready for a cup of coffee and breakfast. Which is your favorite photo from Cartagena? Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know! I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of Cartagena, thank you for visiting my blog today, and I also hope that you have a great rest of your week!

Thanks for reading chic cute post. xoxo.

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