Cartagena de Indias is located at the caribean coast of Colombia and the capital of department Bolivar. It is one of the most exciting and beautiful colony cities in South America, well yes in the whole wild world.
Informer Cartagena used to be attacked by pirates because of it’s wealth the strategic location and it’s important harbour (i.e. 1585 by Sir Francis Drake himself). For that reason there was built a very big and strong defense wall around the old town and an enormous fortress. Nowadays the old town is the pearl of the caribean having an undescribable mystic vibe when entering.
The Clock Tower is the entrance to that magic historic place. During daytime the city is busy with all kinds of street sellers like super fresh fruits, chicken, sweets, tobacco, but it is quite hot so you can go to the city beaches of Bocagrande, the hotel area, place yourself close to a beach bar…
At nighttime the monkeys come out! With sunset Cartagena shows it’s real magic side. You find a lot of great restaurants and bars. Nightlife is on the streets and from everywhere you hear the greatest caribbean music. Donde Fidel Salsa Bar is a great place to start. Street sellers with tobacco and sweets are always around.
Order a bottle of Ron Medellin, a bottle of coke, a bucket with ice and a plate with fresh slized lemons. Take a seat on an outside table, thats how every evening should start after dinner. Watch the people passing by, dance, having fun, talk to the sellers, the locals, the guests, the bar tenders and listen to the greatest music, that flair is absolutely unique.
An other highly recommended spot is Cafe del Mar. It is located directly on the defense wall at seaside. It has perfect cocktails, great music and the view and the vibrations in the air are breath taking, promised. Everywhere you look you see beautiful people open to talk. A lot of wealthy colombians come here from Bogota, Medellin and Cali to take some days off. The one or other kingpin will be there for sure.
After midnight it is time for one of the clubs. There are several of them in the old town, even more in Calle Arsenal at Getsemani. Nightlife is perfect in Cartagena. For your stay you can choose at least 3 regions. The hostals are located around Calle de la Media Luna in Getsemani. In the old town you find rooms and hotels from middle price to exclusive. In the hotel zone in Bocagrande you can rent flats on the 30th floor with amazing views. You will have an amazing time in Cartagena, promised!
My special colombian friend Eduardo, I met him at Hotel Marlin where he worked nightshifts, he later worked in a new hotel in Bocagrande when I travelled there my second time. The second evening I visited him there as he was doing the nightshifts there, too. We took the elevator to the rooftop and what was there? A super nice terrace with mega jacuzzi lightend up inside and outside. He offered me to use it every night from 10 pm till 6 am and I can bring people and drinks with me to have rooftop pool parties, what a great offer!
So one day spending the afternoon on the beach till sunset, having the best cocktails ever at my favorite simple beach bar with some locals it was time for the 3rd rooftop party. After having a beer at hostal Marlin I took 4 people with me to old town. Beginning at Donde Fidel with 2 bottles of Ron Medellin the bunch went further visiting some more bars and meeting new people.
In the end we took 2-3 taxis with about 10 people to the hotel stopping for sure at a liquor store to get party material. My colombian host Eduardo wanted to party with us so he joined and got drunk quite quick. Even he jumped in the pool. We had a perfect party in and around the jacuzzi on the rooftop with super music, drinks, dances, laughs…until sunrise. We watched the sun coming up over the caribean horizon from the jacuzzi, these were one of the most magic moments you can imagine. We took taxis back from cbocagrande in the early morning hours, totally satisfied!
For one guy the satisfaction ended quite quick! My friend Eduardo! As he jumped into the pool with and more or less without clothes (he can not control himself quite good when drinking) he could not dry his clothes. In the morning he stood quite drunk and in wet clothes behind his hotel reception desk when his boss came in. He was not too happy with Eduardo’s condition so he told him not to come again in the next time and he will think about what he will do.
So as he was quite down and not knowing what to do now, I invited him to Playa Blanca to get his mind free. And he did. See the Blog Playa Blanca, Colombia.
The rest is history!
Find pictures of that trip on youtube La Marcha vs. Sundancer En la Calle (Cartagena Dedication) or just click below. More pictures on facebook.