I spent my last day in Cartagena fishing with Ecotours Boquilla. Ecotours Boquilla offers a variety of tours, but I thought the fishing tour on a kayak in the mangroves from 7am to 1pm would be the most fun. I have kayaked in the mangroves and I have fished, but I haven’t put the two together. Continue reading “Fishing in Boquilla’s Mangroves”
Things to do Outside the Walled City of Cartagena
Getsemaní, a neighborhood outside the walled city, once a poor area is now a hip place to visit. I accidentally found a B&B in this area, and it turned out to be conveniently located for visiting both the walled city and the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas.
At times, specifically during the heat of the day, the 15 minute walk seemed just a touch long for a short rest in the A/C, but otherwise, the nightlife, restaurants, and eclectic feel was enjoyable. While I enjoyed the walled city, I found myself spend a lot of time outside of it as well. Continue reading “Things to do Outside the Walled City of Cartagena, Colombia”
Walking the Streets of Cartagena
I had just a few days in Cartagena and wanted to make the most of it. As such, I walked about every square inch of the Walled City along with most of GetsemanÍ in order take in the culture and history of the city. I tried visiting virtually every plaza and along the way enjoyed window shopping, people watching, dining, and seeing what the vendors had for sale.
The History of Cartagena
Cartagena, founded in 1533 by Pedro de Heredia, is named after Cartagena, Spain. Strategically located between the Magdalena and Sinú Rivers on Colombia’s northeastern, Caribbean coast, the city became a very important trade port for Spain. During the colonial era (1533-1717), the port was used to export Peruvian silver and to import African slaves. Continue reading “The Plazas of Cartagena’s Walled City”
8 Things to Do in San Andrés, Colombia
- Go Diving
- Try a coconut water
- Rent a shade at Spratt Bight
- Stroll Calle 1
- Rent a golf cart to drive around the island
- Visit the botanical gardens
- Stroll the boardwalk in San Francisco
The Tourist and Local Places to Eat in San Andrés
So I tried some of the tourist places first and then migrated off the main drag to dine with the locals. I found the food was just as good if not better at the local restaurants. In addition, the portions were larger for a half or a third of the price! Continue reading “Best Places to Eat in San Andres, Colombia”
Top Dive Sites in San Andrés
I wasn’t sure what to expect for diving in Colombia. After reviewing Trip Advisor, the location of dive shops, and their websites, I contacted Banda Dive Shop in San Andrés. They confirmed that they offered two-tank morning dives with a surface interval on the boat which included water in a bag and a small snack. In addition, all equipment was provided. The boat included a small canopy, captain, and 1-2 bi-lingual divemasters for 8-12 people. The price, at around $65 per day, was far less than most diving locations around the world.
I arrived at the dive shop at 8 to fill out the paper work before the scheduled 8:15 departure time which morphed into 8:45. The paperwork was the most informal I had ever seen which basically included a waiver and a blank for my certification number. Illnesses and the number of dives were of no importance in Colombia. Continue reading “Top Dive Sites in San Andres, Colombia”
San Andrés is the largest of three islands in the Colombian archipelago located in the Caribbean Sea. The islands first appeared on the Spanish map in 1527. Over the next 350-400 years, the islands were inhabited by the English, Dutch and Spanish and changed hands many times. In 1900, the islands were declared Colombia’s. The USA requested that the archipelago be given to Panama by which it is closely located, but the request was rejected proving the local’s loyalty to Colombia. In 2000, the islands became a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Continue reading “Top 11 Tips for Traveling to San Andres, Colombia”
The Pros and Cons of Copa Airlines
For most international flights, I choose a major carrier, but for my trip to Colombia, in order to find decent connection times, I opted for Copa Airlines. I have used the airline for intra-South America flights, but it had a been a while, and I wasn’t sure what to expect flying from Denver International Airport.
Copa Airlines began operations in 1947 as a domestic airline in Panama. Over time, it dropped its domestic flights and expanded to international flights in South America. Before Continental merged with United, Continental was a 51% owner of the airline. Copa flies 737s and while it generally focuses on South America, it has expanded into additional North American cities and even to a few European destinations. With only one crash with fatalities, its safety record seems better than many airlines. Continue reading “Why To Fly Copa Airlines”