We are still on vacation in Colombia and last week we were fortunate enough to take a short trip to Cartagena (de Indias) – one of the oldest cities in all of the Americas, officially founded in 1533 .
We spent a lot of time at the hotel pool and beach because the weather was just perfect for that. Cartagena is located on the Carribbean Sea and is quite warm, although while we visited there was also a very refreshing breeze. I cannot say that I was overly impressed with the beach as there was no white sand, few shells, and no azure waters. Interestingly, a local told us that just across the way the sands were pure white and the water was very much blue.
We went into the old city twice, once walking around and once by horse and carriage. The portion of the city within the fortress walls is certainly impressive and definitely transports you back to colonial times. There are a wealth of museums, which I must say that we saw very little of since my toddler boy does not have the attention span for that sort of thing. We casually glanced in on the naval museum and the gold museum. We did go inside the church and monastary of San Pedro Claver, a man that dedicated his life to helping the slaves of Cartagena (quite inspiring). The tour by horse and carriage was wonderful and a helpful tidbit is to know that you can only travel by this mode of transportation in the late afternoon and evening when the Carribbean sun becomes more bearable and is easier on the horses.
Overall, I would say that our trip was too short and I look forward to visiting Cartagena de Indias again when my children are a little older. The naval history of this city is fascinating (pirates and slave trade) and the culture of the area is captivating. Just like the rest of Colombia children are more than welcome everywhere and people will go out of their way to entertain/accomadate the little ones.