Stepping out in Cartagena Colombia’s Centro Historico is like stepping into a fairytale. A hot and potentially humid fairytale, but a fairytale nonetheless. The sweet smell of flowers is in the air. Looking up and around, you see the bunches of bougainvillea hanging from the second floor balconies. Closer to the ground, it’s hard to choose between the pretty doors and colorful walls. Walk along the little streets and a little fruit cart will soon come into focus. The only tough decision you will have to make is choosing between fresh fruit or fresh fruit juice.
For the iconic Cartagena picture (as below), walk on Calle Don Sancho and stop somewhere near Abaco Libros y Cafe.
Of course, you must keep walking so that you can see what the Cathedral is like from close by as well!
In the evenings, theres a lot of hustle and bustle and street shopping near the Cathedral.
I think that the prettiest streets in Cartagena are in the San Diego neighborhood. It’s less crowded, a little less taken over by tourists. Cool little design shops and cute restaurants line the streets.
My favorite street is Calle 37 around Carrera 8. This is the prettiest corner, where a gorgeous garland of bougainvillea is waiting to greet you.
The street near La Cevicheria is also very pretty and looks out to the sea!
The squares are havens for the weary traveler during hot afternoons. Take some shade and observe the life going on around you. Or head to one of the many good coffee shops and sip a cold brew while you wait for dinner.
Walking on the walls is fun, in fact, a must do activity. As a bonus, you also get to see and photograph some very pretty streets in Cartagena!
Photography tip : If you want the prettiest photos, wake up and wander around at 7 am. The sun is not as strong, the shadows are not as harsh. Streets are also a lot emptier, and you can capture all the prettiness without the cars. It’s also the best time to time travel into colonial Cartagena, and pretend you are walking straight into the 16th century!
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