"Love in the time of Cartagena" Top 5 Page for this destination Cartagena by richiecdisc

Cartagena Travel Guide: 573 reviews and 1,596 photos

Immortalized though admittedly not referred to directly by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in ?Love in the time of Cholera,? Cartagena de Indias may not be immediately recognized by those who come expecting the dilapidated colonial architecture, colorful slave quarters, and rat-infested sewers of the author's time. But make no mistake, despite a restoration that would make the destroyed WWII countries of Europe proud, it manages to ooze at least some of the sensuality and still much of the vitality of Marquez's novel. As romantic as a less pristine vision of Cartagena may be, there is little denying just how gorgeous a city it has grown to be. It is heralded as the most beautiful in all of South America and it is easy to see why, with fairy tale balconied colonial gems strewn with bougainvilleas at every turn. It's no wonder it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cartagena is no Disney recreation

This is however no Disney recreation of another era but a real thriving South American metropolis with all the grime and crime associated with such things. The bus ride from wherever you came from will give you a glimpse of life outside the walled oasis that tourists will likely confine themselves to and even this small area will easily fill quite a few days of leisurely sightseeing. Languid might be a better word in this sometimes stifling heat. An afternoon siesta is a delightful local ritual best observed as well by those who come to pay homage to a city made famous by a novel with love in the title.

a love in the name of Cartagena

As with all restored places that beg to cater to the well-to-do, Cartagena has its share of upscale eateries, bars, and boutique hotels. Thankfully, it remains a true city with many options. There are budget places to stay in parts of town less perfect but possibly more in tune with the steamy side of a romance novel. Many local delicacies are available in small economical neighborhood restaurants and by colorful street vendors that will bring you back to another time, a time perhaps that you came to see in the first place. A time not of cholera, but still of love in a place built for and of romance.

  • Last visit to Cartagena: Feb 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (50)

Comments (6)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    You're right - JUST my sort of place! Love it! Fantastic photos, gorgeous light, but what a canvas to work with :-) Plaza de la Aduana, Parque de Bolivar, Cathedral, Parque Fernando de Madrid, the details of balconies & door knockers - all look amazing!!

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    What an amazing page about a very interesting place. It's going to take me a while to get thru all the tips. But I'm captivated!!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    Oh what a wonderful Sunday morning trip! Your photos are fantastic!!! Colour feast to the fullest!! LOve that San Diego neighbourhood and the balconies of course, and the door knockers!! And crave (=CRAVE) for their lemonada!

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2010 at 10:12 PM

    I replied on your homepage but don't see my reply. So maybe you'll get it later if you haven't seen it either... now I *am* going to bed. Ciao! or Tschuss! I'm learnin! :)

  • Nov 8, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    i think i have just found a place that has called to me. cartagena looks simply magnificent, and as usual, your photos are amazing and entice me to go there even more so now! well done on a stunning page!

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    I LOVED this page with stunning pictures + nice descriptions and comments. You did a great job here, Bravo!


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