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Cartagena: The Paris Of The Caribbean

How A Solo Female Trip To Cartagena Turned Into An Epic Girl’s Weekend Trip

If I’m honest, I only went to Cartagena to prove it wrong. To prove that it wasn’t as great as everyone said it was. I truly believed that Colombia’s number one tourist trap destination wouldn’t wow me and I would just leave with pretty pictures and disappointment.

Life always has the final say

Despite my efforts to prove Cartagena wrong, I was proved wrong. Not only that, fate had it that I had an epic time. In my hostel (which I will not recommend), I met some amazing ladies. We ended up spending the whole weekend together. We bonded over men, Colombian kebabs and salsa dancing.

We danced until 4 o’clock in the morning. We went looking for those kebabs afterwards (I know I developed an addiction to them!). We talked about boys and offered each other advice. And in the true feminine oversharing style, we talked/joked about porn, sexual encounters, crazy boyfriends, our wombs, rape culture, sexual urges and big dicks. Sigh…I truly love being a woman.

In that moment, it felt like we had known each other before and we were having a girly catch up. The truth was, our paths crossed at the right time and our time together was really uplifting.

Outside of that, I really enjoyed Cartagena. I usually avoid romantic destinations but I’m glad that I didn’t skip Cartagena. The city is gentle on the eyes, even with all the colourful buildings. Yes there are a lot of people asking if you want to buy their stock, despite this I could still imagine myself walking the streets with a lover. This is why I call it the ‘Paris of the Caribbean’. I saw plenty of engagement/honeymoon photoshoots and I could understand why. Cartagena has a certain charm.

Speaking of charm….ladies, the catcalling here is very intense but can be comical at times. I have had men say something to me in Spanish, and when I don’t respond I hear “Oh, you don’t speak Spanish? Welcome to my see-dy! Let me show you around beautiful lady.” At this point I’m laughing. If one way doesn’t work, another one must work right?

What To Do

Cartagena has a lot of boutique hotels and they themselves are attractions, especially depending on the neighbourhood you chose to stay. I recommend Getsemani for it’s quirky coffee shops and beautiful street art and highly recommend the old town because that’s the most photographed spot of Cartagena. Definitely check out the free walking tour – both of the old town and Getsemani.

What To Eat

Ask the tour guide on the free walking tour where do the locals eat in Old Town. They will take you to a restaurant that doesn’t have a name but it had the best food I’ve had outside of Providencia. I went twice and had the beef soup and the fish soup and believe me, the fish soup is amazing! The price is not too bad too considering the fact that there are plenty of restaurants with price points that cater to the people staying at the boutique hotels. The other thing to eat is what I called Colombian kebabs. They are delicious meat on the stick, and although you can buy them everywhere in Colombia, the best I’ve had was in Cartagena. It’s just so tender and flavoursome. The men come out at night and they are everywhere between old town and Getsemani. Just pick one as my usual guy would move around. But if you find one that does chicken – GET it!!!!

It was a public holiday in Colombia and I had an itch to see more of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Everyone that I knew were shocked that I had not been to Cartagena yet. The in Colombia wasn’t on my must see list. I wanted to see Mocoa in the south and Bahia Solano in the west more than I wanted to see Cartagena.

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