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Cartagena Colombia

Cartagena de Indias is one of the Spanish-American cities that best preserves the colonial

The privileged location of the bay where it is located, favored its development and made it
one of the main ports of communication between Spain and its American colonies.

It is also true that the key to its prosperity was due to another, not insignificant factor; the
gold of the tombs of the Sinú culture that Pedro de Heredia discovered in the valleys near
its rivers.



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The people of Cartagena eat very often the "arepas de huevos", yucca, "donuts of beans or
corn", "empanadas", "sancocho", patacón, coconut rice, "cassava with whey", "butifarra" ,
etc. Several small fast food restaurants are present everywhere.

Seafood and fish are obviously excellent, some are snapper, bocachico, sierra, legs of crabs,
shrimps, squids, etc.

In the historic center, in the Portal de Los Dulces, you can try typical Cartagena delicacies
made with coconut, pineapple, papaya, grapefruit and some also with milk.

Drinks or soft drinks

Fruit juices are in great variety, but it is very difficult to find them in non-tourist
neighborhoods since Colombians prefer soft drinks and beer. The most popular is Águila
beer followed by Club Colombia. Wine is not a great practice among residents.

The most popular alcoholic beverages in the country are brandy, which resembles pernod,
and dark rum.

If you come on vacation to Cartagena de Indias, you may enjoy the music of Colombia
which is one of the most appreciated in the whole world. With their salsa, their vallenato,
their cumbia, their merengue and their papayera, they will be delighted


Located in the heart of Cartagena, this ‘walled city’, protected by a fortress, was once used
to shelter the city from pirates and storms. Within this small sector you will find an
incredible array of bars, restaurants, shops and some beautiful (and rather expensive)
hotels. Despite it being filled with tourists pretty much all year round, this historic corner of
the city has not lost its charm.


Playa Blanca is undoubtedly one of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches. Located on Baru
island, it is 45 minutes by boat from Cartagena port, or around a two-hour car journey from
the main city. Crystal-clear waters lap the perfectly white sand and visitors have the option
to spend a day relaxing on this incredible beach or, should that not be enough, you can also
stay over night. Come for the day and make the most of some delicious fresh fish served
alongside coconut rice. Stay the night and you can appreciate the beach in complete
stillness and silence once all the day trippers leave. Either way, a visit to this beach is a
must for anyone spending more than a day in Cartagena.


Almost every large Colombia city has a gold museum, and Cartagena is no exception.
Although it is small, the Museo de Oro hosts a fantastic collection of the gold and pottery of
the Zenú (also known as Sinú) people, who inhabited the departments of Bolívar, Córdoba,
Sucre and northern Antioquia before the Spanish Conquest. Look out for special exhibitions
and the guided tours, offered in both English and Spanish.


It’s loud, busy and pretty overwhelming, but for those travelers looking to experience the
real Cartagena, a visit to Mercado de Bazurto is a must. This food market sells everything
from fresh fruit to cooked turtle (which is discouraged by authorities but considered a
traditional meal in many indigenous communities). You are sure to revel in the sheer array
of produce and food on offer at Mercado de Bazurto and you’ll be stunned by the prices
too: expect a two-course lunch to set you back no more than about £2 ($2.82). Remember
to be mindful of your belongings as you wander through the market.


A night spent on a chiva (party bus) is a very Colombian activity—expect live musicians
playing Vallenato, an open bar with local liquor and a lot of dancing. While the party starts
on the bus, you’ll then be dropped off at various bars around the city, ending in a larger
club where your chiva will leave you to dance the night away. Most of the hostels in the city
arrange chiva tours, and for those travelling alone this is a great way to meet new people.
Just make sure you’re ready to have fun!


Regarded as one of the best ceviche and fish restaurants in the whole city, head to La
Cevichería for a break from all the fritos (fried food) you’ve been eating and experience
some incredible Peruvian-Colombian fusion food. Expect fresh fish, exciting flavors, lots of
lime and some seriously good cocktails. The place is eternally busy and you’ll have to wait
for a table.


Café Havana is the place to be if you like listening or dancing to salsa music. Even if you’ve
never danced it in your life, it’s still worth heading to the city’s cultural and party center,
Getsemani, to try out this Cuban-style bar. Café Havana draws a mixed crowd of locals and
ex-pats and welcomes talented live salsa bands who keep the crowd entertained until the
early hours. Even if you’ve two left feet, head on down for some perfectly mixed cocktails,
enjoy the music and watch others take to the dance floor.


La Boquilla is a fishing village on the outskirts of Cartagena. What it lacks in aesthetics it

makes up for in character and authenticity, as this is the beach favored by
local cartageneros. If you head down on a weekend you’ll find it heaving with Cartagena
residents who have come to kick back, sip some beer and sunbathe. The food on offer is
fantastic, you can feast on some freshly caught fish and try the local delicacy arroz con
coco (rice with coconut).
Food and Economy
Food in Daily Life.Most middle-class families eat elaborate meals that reflect Spanish and
indigenous traditions. A typical meal is identified by size rather than content, such as a light
breakfast, a substantive midday lunch, and a lighter meal in the early evening. Dinner
consists of fresh fruit, homemade soup, and a main dish with meat or fish accompanied by
rice and/or potatoes. Lower-income people eat a more carbohydrate-rich diet. Meals
usually end with a very sweet dessert, frequently made frompanela,a type of brown sugar.
There are regional differences in foods. In the interior rural regions, a hearty breakfast
consists of a strip of pork, rice and beans, sweet plantains, and a large steak with fried eggs.
Dinner is similar, except for the eggs. In the coastal region, the emphasis is on seafood. In
Cartagena, the typical lunch consists of rice with coconut, fried plantains, and shrimp.
Colombians enjoy a variety of national and international cuisines.
Specialty dishes are eaten during holidays. A dish associated with the capital isajiaco,a stew
with three types of potato, chicken, and corn, that is served with capers, cream, and
avocado. Another dish served during religious holidays ispasteles,while along the coast,
people eatsancocho,a fish or chicken stew. Colombians consume large quantities of beer
and coffee and relatively little milk or wine.Aguardientecombines local rum and a corn of
sugar brandy.