Bienvenido a Colombia
Summer 2010, Jeroz, my boyfriend at the time, and I went to Cartagena, Colombia. It was our pre-25th birthday trip. Our birthdays are only 3 days apart so even though we didn’t go on our actual birthdays, it was still our birthday trip. It wasn’t a very long trip. I think we were only there for about 5 days. It was supposed to only be 4 days but we’ll get into that later. I wanted to go to Cartagena because I remember learning about the Afro-Colombian population in Cartagena in one of my Spanish classes. I also relish any opportunity where I can speak Spanish.
From the moment we landed in Cartagena, I knew that it was going to be a good time. Everybody that we came across was friendly and it was relatively easy to get around. We ended up getting a taxi from the airport to our hotel. We had a really nice room and the hotel itself was very nice. I was definitely happy with the accommodations. We stayed at the Hotel Caribe.
We spent our fair share of time in the Old City which is where most of the action is. In the old city, there were many restaurants, bars, shops, etc. If I were to return to Cartagena, I would probably get a hotel in the Old City since that’s where we went most days. We didn’t have a plan for each day. We just went with the flow which is my preferred way of traveling. We enjoyed fresh seafood on the beach.
Not your average volcano
One day we went on an excursion to a “volcano”. The name of the volcano is Volcan de Lodo El Totumo (mud volcano). It was definitely not what we were expecting. To get to the top you have to climb a rickety wooden staircase. Then you see a large gray pit filled with mud. The idea is that you just sit there and let the mud’s supposed healing powers take over. Even though being covered in mud is a weird sensation, it was very relaxing. After you get out of the mud, there are ladies waiting that will help you get cleaned up. It rained that day so I remember being really cold and wet. Overall, it was really cool and I’m glad we went.
Read the fine print
Our trip turned into 5 days because we didn’t know that we were supposed to have arrived at the airport 3 hours ahead of our scheduled flight. We definitely dropped the ball on that one. I think we got there 2 hours ahead of time which clearly wasn’t enough time so we were forced to stay another night. It wasn’t the worse thing in the world but it still sucked because we ended up coming out of pocket due to the mishap. Well Jeroz came out of the pocket but that’s neither here nor there. That meant we had to get another hotel room so it wasn’t a good look. But after pleading with the airline employees, we realized that there was no way around it. We would be leaving the next day. Our last day in Colombia we had dinner and just enjoyed Cartagena. Overall, it was a really nice trip. I haven’t been back to Colombia but I would definitely go back to Cartagena in a heartbeat.