Now that I am safely back in Colombia, I felt I should share a few closing thoughts. I am a chef that has a pretty diverse portfolio which includes travel blogging and promotion. Not a travel agent, more of a promoter and influencer. So todays blog will be about my recent trip to Cartagena Colombia, where I spent 10 awesome days! To keep it simple I have composed a list of pros, cos and after thoughts. I definetly will be returning, so read on and find out why I LOVE Colombia, and this is not the Colombia you have been sold by mass media in the past.
You can find a lot of the images from my trip if you head over to my instagram account...to many to post here, have a look.
So to begin, THE PROS!
You should never pay more than $20,000 pesos or($5-7 dollars Canadian) for a taxi to your hotel is the going rate. A taxi to the city centre about $5 bucks, or to just about any destination within the city. There are also buses, motorcycle taxis which are much cheaper, but not easy to navigate, and not entirely safe. Additionally there are tour operators, hop on , hop off buses, boat trips and many kinds of excursions avaialble.
The food is great. Eating out is inexpensive and you shouldn't pay more than $10,000 to 80,000 pesos for 2 persons. This range is based on street food at the low end and fine dining at the top end. I booked a hstel hotel with a full shared kitchen, and did a lot of my own cooking. Food to purchase is inexpensive, and of the highest quality. Even the local variety stores carry much more than our typical stores in Canada. Also you will find tons of local vendors, some that will come right to your door with fresh fruits and vegetables. They even have an Uber service for typical food delivery like pizza and wings. Not so different than home, right? There are even a few multi national companies like McD's and Subway, but why would you?
Accommodation is also inexpensive ranging from 70 000 pesos to 300,000 depending on the level and location of the hotel. Air B&B, and hostels are also quite good choices.
The people are wonderful! The woman and the men are extremely attractive! Despite what you may have heard about Colombia being a dangerous, drug fueled empire, this is far from the truth! Of course like any place in the world, including Canada, you have to be careful. If you go looking for trouble, of course you will find it. Petty theft, being hastled to buy stuff and a few unscrupulous people will be found here, like anywere. But for the most part Colombia is safe, clean and beautiful.
The attractions, history and architecture are amazing! All i will say about this is, I saw something new every single day I was there! Check out my Scratch Tours Website for more images and imformation during my time in Colombia.
The weather is very hot during the summer, but much more temparate from November to May. I personally don't mind the heat, and you will find refuge in the stores, restaurants and Malls, which are all air conditioned. The beaches are beautiful and plentiful, both within the city and close by.
I'm going to keep this short and sweet, because I really didn't find many. Mostly what I will say here is be careful what you are looking for! Like any were in the world, you will find trouble if you are looking for it. And on occasion, trouble will find you. because there is of course poverty here, there comes with this some level of desparation. You will be asked for money, use your discretion on this one. I don't mind helping people out, it's my nature...but don't be foolish. Additionally, be careful of woman or men offering love for money, unless you want this...lol. Colombia is a sex and leasure destination, and also many woman and men go here seeking life mates. There are good and bad people everywere, just be careful!
Avoid Boca grande! Maybe have a look around, but please note that you will be hastled constantly to buy stuff. And I mean just about everything from sex, drugs and crab legs...and everything in between. And by hastled, I mean to the level of craziness. Just stay away, there are much better, safer and quieter beaches to be found. There really isn't much more I can add to this "CONS" section. Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions, and consider joining us this Fall in Colombia, we have a few dates lined up for travel, and would love to have you come along!
Cheers, enjoy your week!