Cartagena, Colombia: Colorful, Compelling, Festive
Story and photos by Libor Pospisil.
The flight from the U.S. to Cartagena lasted only three hours, but those were excruciating hours for me. Confined between chattering snowbirds on the one side and excited youngsters on the other—they were headed for either a bachelor or a birthday party—I had difficulty concentrating on my novel by Gabriel García Márquez. Who could blame my wayward passengers for going to Cartagena, though? It is the second oldest Spanish outpost in South America and the most picturesque city in Colombia. Its center is covered with a web of narrow, colorful streets and lively plazas, protected by its iconic defensive walls, which occasionally are whipped by sea waves from across the road. The Caribbean is pleasant to swim in and the locals revel in their luck: “Here, you got only two seasons—summer and hot.” Despite the year-round high temperatures and the seemingly indestructible blue skies, the Caribbean coast of Colombia does have its climatic quirks. Tropical downpours come during rainy seasons, and if you meet a visitor not fond of Cartagena, chances are the extreme humidity was the deal-breaker.
Story and Photos by John Sundsmo
“Welcome to Half Moon Cay population 45, five miles long and 2.5 wide” our Bahamian nature guide said. As she led our small group off the sandy road into the island’s dense shady vegetation, we had periodic glimpses of white sand beaches, lagoons and our cruise ship lying offshore. Walking in the balmy warm weather, we knew we’d made the right decision.
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