Travel Thursday: Out in Cartagena, Colombia

Recently when exploring a new city, a new destination, I’ve started to think, could I move here? now? or retire here? And I honestly think that is a great way to look at cities as since I’ve been in that mind set, my eyes are more open and my heart more excited to experience what this new place has to offer. One such trip found me touching down in Cartegena, Colombia

Walk and See – 

For me to live in a city, I need it to be walkable, or at least have some spots where I can walk and enjoy architecture, nature, the beauty of the city. Cartagena is known as a colonial city.

What makes a colonial city? – The two basic characteristics of colonial cities built by Europeans from about 1500 to 1950 were that they were established at a distance from the metropole, and in a very different environment in terms of economy, society, polity, and culture. – jstor.org
The city had areas that were more modern with 15+ story buildings but also has a great historical district where 2 and 3-story buildings were more common. I was trigger happy on my phone’s camera so flip through the many pictures I snapped while walking around.

 

Stay Safe and Well – 

Where to stay is always a choice not to be taken lightly.  We did find a gay owned luxury collection hotel in the Getemani area of Cartagena. Casa Lola was a great central point to see what we desired and a little more.  Breakfast was had in its internal courtyard where we were introduced to some local and Colombian traditional offerings. In my bedroom, I felt like the princess in the pea, but instead of extra mattresses, I had extra headboards adorning my room.  Relaxation on the rooftop with poolside service and one of their multiple pools and hot tubs was glorious.
 

Drink Like the Locals – 

We had two chances to drink like the locals while in Cartagena.  Per usual, it seems tourists usually try to tie one one immediately and that’s what we did. Rum tasting at Local Colombia (@localcolombia.col), yes chocolate was had, too, was a great experience. Between the hot men and the lovely liquor, this being our first activity in Colombia, well, we were going to be in trouble and very soon. And I just noticed, I did snap more pics of the men than I did the alcohol, but both were equally yummy.

Break Out And Enjoy – 

Dinner out first night was while on a catamaran ride in the harbor. What more can I say. It was once again a time where I wish I had someone to be all romantical with, but the group of friends and fellow travelers made the evening special. Videos were taken (not shared here) of the great time we had. This was something that I probably would not splurge for while at home, but now that I have done it in a foreign country, maybe I will take the plunge and try something unique more often.

Splurge Like a Local – 

Private Island you say? Cartagena is a hot city, think Little Miami, a very tropical climate that makes you gravitate to the water. Locals that are fortunate enough to know someone with a boat are able to escape the concrete and relax in the sand and tropical waters. Sometimes that water needs to be enjoyed while on a private island resort.  Las Islas was our destination and relaxation and cooling off was the goal. The 20 minute or so speed boat ride from Cartagena’s harbor was all we needed to transport us to infinity pools attached to your private villa, treehouse suites scattered across the top of the flora. And the views from the top, breathtaking. 

Fill Up With Local Cuisine – 

My tongue was tantalized while in Cartagena, all thanks to local restaurants and the creative minds present. Who knew that when we we dined at Celele, it would soon be named as one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Chefs Jaime Rodríguez and Sebastián Pinzón spent years exploring the Caribbean coast of Colombia to perfect their proposition before opening, meeting indigenous people and discovering flavours and ingredients they had no idea existed. They researched techniques and documented recipes that were in danger of being lost in a bid to capture the authentic identity of the region – the research initiative was dubbed Proyecto Caribe Lab. – theWorldsBest.com

The flavors I had on my tongue that night, I may never experience again. What was created for us, I feel, you would not be able to find elsewhere. The space was small, but the food was bold and creative, and the staff was proud of what they were providing. Yes, I am saying Celele is a must when you visit Cartagena. 

Oh, I had so many more pictures to share and many more experience in Cartagena and in Colombia as a whole. I did post last Fall Travel Thursday: Being Out In Colombia Was The Thrill Of The Year – We Can’t Wait To Get Back To The City Of Eternal Spring. I will most definitely return to Colombia for more experiences as the money exchange was great, the food was a delight (this is from a picky eater), the men are some of the most beautiful in the world, the people are welcoming and kind, and it is a very easy jaunt from the United States on air carriers like Jet Blue and others. 

We did not do much of the planning for our trip. Next time I go, I will definitely reach out again to our new friends at Out in Colombia as giving them our wishes, likes, and other parameters, they put together for this journey a great list of activities, restaurants, and accommodations that were very gay friendly and welcoming. There were zero worries and effort on our part to have one of the best experiences in travel I have had. 

 

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