Cartagena is a Caribbean destination filled with historical sights and 400 years of stories to tell. History never gets old, but is time to take a gaze at the modern Cartagena, its urban development and the beautiful Caribbean ocean.
You will feel in a completely different city. A big red double-decker, hop-on hop-off bus is the perfect method of transportation to drive through El Laquito, Castillogrande, and Bocagrande; the main prosperous neighborhoods surrounded by the most beautiful Caribbean bay and ocean.
10 minutes away from the city you will find nature’s creations; labyrinths of mangrove tunnels filled with many different animals, and that represent a natural treasure for the region; Los Manglares (the Mangroves), a place which not only oxygenate the water, but your mind. Discover its incomparable beauty and stunning wildlife; Birds that have formed their hidden place in those forests as well as numerous fish.
Just 45 minutes by car discover the therapeutic powers of a rustic mud baths in Volcan del Totumo (Totumo Volcano). Take your water shoes and a swimming suit if you are willing to be healed. Hike up the handmade stairs of the steep volcano and dive in the nature’s most pleasant feeling. At first you’ll feel kid for dirty, but remember, it is just mud. Let your body loose in it, and don’t try to swim, there is no need to. The mud is thick and supports your whole body in a way that you will feel literally out of space; gravity free. Feel your skin revitalizing and the incredible view evaporating your thoughts. Play with the mud and go back couple of years… Let your inner child out.
The experience do not ends there. When you are ready and the mud is getting stuck to your body descent down the stairs. A native from the region will be waiting for you to give you a bath. Remember, you already left your shame inside the volcano, is time to get pampered. Be ready for the most extreme bath inside the ocean that you have ever taken.
In the Caribbean Ocean
Start with Isla Tierra Bomba, just 5 minutes away from the city. You would be amazed by the Castillo San Fernando de Bocachica (San Fernando de Bocachica watchtower), once destroyed by British troops who attacked the Spaniards, and rebuilt in 1753, on the ruins of the Castle of San Luis de Bocachica.
Archipielago de Barú (Barú Archipelago) has beautiful white sand beaches, clear waters, passageways surrounded by mangroves and coral colored. It can be reached by land across the Canal del Dique (Dique Canal) from Pasacaballos, or as for a better experience of the never ending Caribbean ocean, travel by water across the Bay of Cartagena.
Time to eat; my menu suggestion for a characteristic Caribbean lunch is fresh fish, coconut rice, fried plantains and a typical coconut dissert.
I cannot stop recommending a at list a full day trip to the as Islas del Rosario national park (Rosario Island). Book a boat ride and just 28 miles you will be delighted by coral reefs, crystalline waters, and beautiful beaches. For a complete experience tell the pilot to take you for a drive through the small islands surrounding the Rosario Island.
Make a last stop at the Isla San Martín de Pajarales you will find El Acuario San Martín (the Aquarium), swim with a dolphin or enjoy its show and look down the surrounding dock, where you are standing, and witness multiple marine species.
These are two full days of waterfront sightseeing of the Caribbean ocean surrounding Cartagena, and its healing, and peaceful experiences.