Cartagena Part 2, Colombia Dec 2017
Next part of Cartagena to explore was the market; so we took a taxi to Mercado Bazuto
Bazuto market is a large sprawling, haphazard, unorganized, crowded, relatively dirty market, where everything from fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, toys, household goods, electronics etc etc is sold. There are plenty of people here buying and selling goods, all at very good prices; with a lot of produce being sold wholesale. It felt hot here as there was no breeze blowing like at BocaGrande, as this place is away from the seashore.
Below are some scenes from Bazuto market
We stopped at a nice clean local restaurant, the Manhattan, which was quite busy with locals eating. We ate hearty Sancocho de Pollo (soup) here with Pastel de Pollo, and fresh Passion Fruit juice.
We came across this fruit below that we have not seen before; it was pulpy, very tart/sour in taste with few small seeds; taste was kind of passion fruit.
Back at the hotel, we relaxed at Bocagrande beach and watched a great sunset
At night, we went back to the old Walled City and walked around on the city walls and other squares.
Since it was Xmas eve, we decided to attend midnight mass at St Petrus Claver church, in the Centro area. The church was packed, and the sermon/ceremony went on for about 45 mins, all in Spanish 🙁 . At the end of the ceremony, the families greeted and hugged each other, and they also greeted and gave blessings to the others around them; very similar to what we do. A very nice experience.
We also explored the Getsemani barrio of the Walled City over a couple of days/nights. This neighborhood is much more “local” than Centro, which is very gentrified and touristy. Getsemani had locals living there and was much livelier with local flavor than the Centro area. In the evenings; locals would sit outside their homes eating, chatting with neighbors, playing cards, listening to music while the children played on the street. Very nice homely atmosphere. Some parts of Getsemani looked seedier/rougher than others, so we avoided the rougher looking areas. Some scenes below during the day and night of Getsemani
Check out the local scene at Iglesia Trinidad in the video below; very nice and lively
Another must we were told to visit in Cartagena is Playa Blanca, on Isla Baru, about 45 minutes ride south of Cartagena. The beach there was supposed to have white sand, with turquoise waters. To get there, one can either take a boat, or a bus, or drive there. We opted to take a shuttle operated by a backpackers hostel (Hostel Mamallena) that we had come across while exploring Getsemani. The shuttle bus took a bunch of us there and back for 50,000 pesos each; about $17. A private taxi would have cost 250,000 pesos.
The Mamallena shuttle took about 1hr to get to Playa Blanca; and then we had a short boat ride to get to a quieter part of the beach; as where the shuttles park, there are many vendors who we were told, could be quite bothersome. Going to the quieter part of the beach made the experience better. The beach was indeed very nice with soft white sand and turquoise waters. Well worth the outing for a day.
Some scenes from Playa Blanca below
All in all, a very nice experience in Cartagena; highly recommended.
To get back to Dallas, we flew from Cartagena to Bogota on Avianca airlines, the local carrier. When we got off the Avianca plane in Bogota, Dilshad noticed that the pilot, also leaving the plane, looked rather young. So she started chatting with him. Turns out he was only 24 yrs old; he had gotten his Private Pilot’s license at 18, his Commercial Pilot’s license at 19 and started flying Avianca jets at age 20 and so had been flying commercial aircraft including our 200 passenger plane for 4 yrs now. Very impressive. I don’t imagine too many 20yr olds that are that focused.
Flight back from Bogota to Dallas was a direct flight with American airlines.
Another place checked off the bucket list 🙂This entry was posted in Cartagena Dec 2017, Colombia, South America
20 thoughts on “Cartagena Part 2, Colombia”
Pingback: Cartagena Part 1, Colombia - Ali Karim Travelog
I really love the fact that you guys went to Mercado Bazuto and got a chance to see the real Cartagena. Also enjoyed reading about how you enjoyed these cheap lunches which we call “corrientazos” Big props for doing things just the way the locals do and getting a taste of the real Colombia which many tourists fail to experience when they come here.
Thanks Carlos, for the feedback. A question: I thought the cheap local lunch/meals were called “AlMuerzos” Am I incorrect?
We love to go “local” where we can to get the real authentic experience of the culture of the locals; that is the only real way to experience a country.
We also spent too much time in the Cartagena in the touristy part of the historico centro; and felt much better when we discovered Getsemani barrio of the Old City; this was so much more authentic and enjoyable.
We went to Cafe Havana in Getsemani, but it started to get lively too late in the night, past our bedtime 🙂
Thanks for sharing Ali!
I was in Cartagena few years ago and I found the people very kind and
There was lot of poverty. Hope they have better times ahead of them.
Hi Hamida, we did not see much poverty on our trip; so hopefully, times have improved and continue to do so.
THanks for your feedback
Hi Ali & Dilshad,
I have just subscribed to your travelog. It is very interesting, descriptive, informative with beautiful pictures & a sense of humour!
Enjoy all your upcoming travels!
Thanks Azizeh, for the kind words; really appreciate that.
Oh what a fun filled visit that was…there were some reminders of East African Markets too and those brought back nostalgic memories…have fun and live life to the fullest! Zubeda V
Thanks Zubeida; we try our best 🙂
Thanks for your encouragement
Sounds like an awesome place.the market looked like a lot of fun as did the plaza at the walled city with all those diners.the secluded beach looked awesome. I may just go there. Proud of that 24 year old pilot.good for him.
thanks for sharing so Sicily and Cartagena are now on the list.
It was a wonderful place; it has the culture, history, architecture, weather, beaches, cheap…..
What more can one want?
looks like paradise The beach looks beautiful Good job Mr Ali
love what you do
Thanks Mr. Nick for always encouraging me; really appreciate that
Love your articles!!!
Thanks Tazim; so glad you are enjoying them 🙂
I think the media has brainwashed us to believe COlumbia is drug capital of the word…
I totally agree
keep up the sharing!!
hope sanjay, you are on the mailing list too:)
if not adding…
have a wonderful day