When in Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia has quickly become a hotspot for tourists from all over the world. It is probably because it is a stunning, old town with rich history, vibrant and colorful homes, incredible islands, and unbelievable food. I went this past weekend to celebrate the wedding of one of my close friends, but I also took the time to visit all of my favorite places! One of my favorite parts about traveling is definitely trying new foods and getting inspired to create new dishes for all of you, so let me show you what I found in this charming city!
If you visit Cartagena, you must stay in the old town because one can get the feel of the magic of this city. The Hotel Charleston Santa Teresa is my go to, because the location is perfect, the food at the hotel is a MUST, and it is simply gorgeous.
Next stop would be the islands, where one needs to take a little boat to get there. The islands are about a 45 minute boat ride away, but it is definitely worth it because it is one of the most spectacular sights of Cartagena. The waters are a clear blue, there are tropical fruits everywhere, and you get to eat the most fresh fish and arroz con coco you can find! Not to mention the amazing tan that you will get! Visiting the islands of Cartagena is for sure one of my highlights of the trip.
When in Cartagena, one must visit the delicious restaurant called Harry Sasson. This is also why I love staying at the Hotel Santa Teresa, because the restaurant is located in the lobby and they offer the most amazing buffet-style breakfasts, in addition to their wonderful lunch and dinner options! For breakfast, I always get some Arepitas and a big plate of Papaya because for some reason this fruit tastes way better in Cartagena than in my home! For lunch or dinner, I love to order their Grilled Hearts of Palm, their fresh Ceviches, their Arroz Caldoso, or their Arroz con Coco.
This is one of those typical dishes that left me astonished! This is called "Arroz Caldoso," and it is basically like a mix between a soup and a risotto with fresh fish and asparagus. I never thought I would enjoy it, especially in 90 degree weather, but I came back for more the following day! If you have a chance to visit Harry Sasson in Cartagena, this dish is MUST!
Finally, if you have a chance I totally recommend for you to walk around the old city. Most of the homes and walls are painted in different colors like this gorgeous blue one, which makes it a gorgeous place to take pictures and send them back to your friends and family! Also on the streets you will find fresh coconuts and coconut water, fresh fruit such as papaya, watermelon and pineapple, Pan de Queso right out of the oven, and plenty of arts and crafts that you can take as souvenirs.
At night, I recommend for you to go for dinner to La Vitrola or Don Juan, take a ride on the carriages with the horses, walk around the walls of the city, and go to Cafe del Mar for a coffee or cocktail. I can't wait to come back, and if any of you have any other recommendations I would love to hear about them in the comments section!