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First up Cartagena! Travelling fun in Colombia!! Travel tips and more!

Who likes to travel? I do!!

So this year I decided to go to my home country, Colombia! And trust me, you,d want to visit this place, there is so much to do and explore!
Sadly I didn’t have enough time to explore more of Colombia than I had wished to buut here are some things I got to do 🙂
I’m gonna be mentioning the good stuff and the bad stuff here, so bare with me! 
 

Cartagena from the hotel view, Bocagrande.

 
So my first stop was Cartagena, here there’s no doubt you’ll find plenty of things to do.
But first a couple of tips; tourists usually stay in the area of Bocagrande, where the hotels are right by the beach, most of the hotels have at least one – two pools and you’ll be close to many important things like a shopping centre (who doesn’t love shopping?) Juan Valdez (because who goes to Colombia without trying out Juan Valdez coffee) and a couple of grocery stores.  Now as you know, tourist season usually starts June-August so prices for hotel, taxis and other things do go a little higher than it would any other time.
Speaking of taxis, if they hear or see you aren’t from Cartagena, they will try and rip you off when it comes to rides. So my main tip here is before getting on a taxi, ask how much they will charge for the destination you wish to go, and always try to ask for a lower price.
Alrighty, back to the fun stuff! Bocagrande, is the main tourist place where many stay. It’s by many beaches and you can enjoy Cartagenas lovely sun and warm water! Seriously back in England, there’s no beaches with warm sea and it just feels amazing to just run to the ocean without the fear of freezing your butt off!

Beautiful sunset, Cartagena Bocagrande.

 
One thing to be aware though, once you arrive to any of the beaches, you will be welcomed with many annoying people offering ‘the deal of the day’ like cheap seating to sunbathe and other things which I will mention in a second, with this, always bargain, ask for more seats for the price they offer or just budge down their prices ( as you can see, you have to bargain a lot here).
If you have a girlfriend or if you’re reading this and you’re a girl.. Guurll you will be bombarded by the locals asking if you want a massage or ‘la trenza’ which they do some braids on you. I personally don’t like being massaged or braided by them and trust me, they will try to insist by touching your shoulders or doing a little massage, just keep repeating no and eventually they’ll go away.
( even though i love my country, there are a couple of annoying things like this. But I got be honest here explaining the good and the bad) 
Right, now the good stuff!!
Even though you do get bombarded by the locals there are some good things here, the warm sea is a mega plus for me, sandy beaches and the amazing heat! One thing you should do is take the opportunity to visit ‘la ciudad amurallada’ there you visit many museums and see many pre-Colombian artefacts!
Tip: if you visit the meuseums at the end of the month eg. The 30th or 31st of the month, some meuseums are free and you save a ton! 
Unfortunately, I only managed to go to two museums that day, the one pictured above, is where they give a history of the cruel slavery made by the spaniards, they show us the horrible tools they used on women and men to torture them ( they had a claw that they used to rip the female slaves breast..seriously wtf.) some items the slaves used to carry with them, and even some witchcraft items they had. All very interesting, even though very cruel and sad, we get to see part of a history.

Some random items from one of the museums including tobacco.

 
After this, there’s some stairs which lead you to modern art of Cartagena, there you,Lloyd see some beautiful works, luckily I got the chance to take pictures of some!

 
As you’re wondering around la ciudad amurallada, you come across this chocolate shop, which calls the,selves the chocolate meuseum, there you’re greeted by a very friendly worker who shows you different chocolates made with cacao, they even let you try all different types of chocolates! From white chocolate, to dark, to chocolate with almonds and chocolate with honey or jam! It may not seem that wow, but if you know me, I am a chocolate lover. And for some reason, these chocolates tastes different to your local newsagents chocolate. So it’s worth a try! Especially when it free! It’s not hard to miss as they’ve got a couple of shops around la ciudad amurallada.
(I would’ve taken pictures but I was too busy stuffing my face with free chocolate, sorry guys!)
There are many beautiful plazas there but my favourite has to be the one near the museum of St. Peter Claver. Within the museum, you’ll be able to see where he slept, and even see his mummified body!

The plaza near the museum de San Peter Claver, there’s many shops around it also a beautiful church.

 
Finally, there’s the islands! Ohh the islands! You’d be able to visit them via boat which is very adventurous, there’s the islands deal Rosario, and Baru island. The one I visited was Baru island, also known as ‘playa blanca’ or white beach.

Playa blanca, Isla de Baru.
 
By far I prefer these beaches! White sand, clear blue water! And obviously the hot sun, because the water is so crystal clear, you can wear your goggles and do your own little scuba diving, you can see different corals and swim with the fish! Without paying to go scuba diving! Just bring your goggles and you’re good to go!
If you buy a package trip which includes the boat ride and food then you’re good to go. Our food had the choice of either fish or chicken. I had to choose the fish since it’s freshly picked.

Coconut rice, patacon and fried fish!
 
You can see a difference between the islands waters and Cartagenas ocean, apparently according to captain chocolate, our boat captain (seriously his name was chocolate!) there Cartagena waters are mixed with the river Magdalena, and that’s why it’s so dark, whilst the islands water are pure ocean water, and that’s why it has it’s beautiful light blue colour.
White sands, clear blue waters, you can swim further and swim with fish! 
 
Tip: beware, captain chocolate told us, and I’m sure the other captains told the people they were taking, you should always remember the captains name and the boats name, so at the end when it’s time to take you back, they will call out the boats/captains name. If you don’t go when it’s time to go. They will leave you. 
 
Hope this helps and gives you a little insight on Cartagena and the beautiful islands!
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