• Amy Sedeno

Cartagena para las Nenas

Beach, shopping, nightclubs, rooftops with too-pretty-to-drink cocktails, Latin culture, there’s a place that has it all and no, it’s not Miami.

Ever heard of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia? I am here to tell you why this city deserves a spot in your Bachelorette or Honeymoon travel list. 

Located on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast, Cartagena is a historic city that boasts a UNESCO Heritage site. Cartagena’s walkable Walled city, with its colorful alleys filled with bougainvilleas and the smell of fresh fruit, is where the action is if you only have a couple of days to visit. However, the trendy neighborhood of Getsemaní peppered with vibrant street art will be the perfect backdrop for your next Insta post. Grab a proper coffee, Colombia has some of the best coffee in the world, and kick off exploring. 

Looking for fun in the sun? While Cartagena beaches leave a lot to be desired, you’ll uncover pool-like pristine waters on a trip to Islas Rosario or Barú. This is a mandatory day-trip for any visitor, so make sure to fit it into your schedule. Many Airbnb rentals come outfitted with a boat and Chef, be on the lookout for those perks. After navigating through crystal waters, have an authentic Colombian lunch at Blue Apple Beach House; their coconut rice had me Googling recipes as soon as I landed home.

Cartagena is also known for its nightlife, and the city is dotted with chic rooftops like Alquimico or Movich Hotel. Insider’s tip? Arrive early to catch the Sun set over the colorful streets that inspired Nobel Laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Finish the night with a Chiva tour, a ride on a party bus filled with music, lights, and, of course, booze. Recipe for disaster or a really fun night out.

Make room in your luggage for shopping because Cartagena has a lot to offer, and I am not talking about magnet souvenirs. The city is home to boutiques like Agua Bendita, Ondademar, Casa Chiqui, and St Dom, featuring bespoke apparel and jewelry. Cartagena’s Boho, sophisticated style is the inspiration behind some of Honey Bee Bride's pieces. 

Where to stay? Depending on your budget, choose from all-inclusive resorts in Boca Grande or boutique hotels or Airbnb in the Walled City. Convert dollars into pesos for street purchases and taxis, most restaurants and bars accept credit cards. Wear a hat and have plenty of sunblock; Cartagena is hot all year round. 

One last bit of information, those fruit basket photos are not free, but they sure make a nice keepsake. 

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