Crystal blue water, white sand, and Caribbean sun – ours were 2 days of pure vacation on Isla de Baru, off the coast of Cartagena
I’ll start by sharing that it took me half the week to finally start calling this Caribbean city Carta-henna, instead of mispronouncing it as Carta-henYa. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cartagena’s old town is a tourist-friendly spread of colonial Spanish buildings washed in bright colors. Cafes and shops line the streets, shadowed by balconies and enveloped in sprawling, flowering plants. The city is a fascinating blend – somewhere between South American and Caribbean – and the feel and flavor nowhere more wonderful than in the local cuisine.
When I travelled to Colombia over spring break with friends from Columbia Business School, I couldn’t help but wonder how far Colombia had come from the headline-making situation of the last decade. What we saw in Bogota was a sophisticated city with a rich culture and historical district, fascinating museums (see the fat Mona Lisa from the Botero house), and some very trendy and upscale neighborhoods and eateries. Despite grey skies and temperate mountains, the beauty of a city set amongst the mountains, progressive with its clean transportation, and with strong upward momentum was evident all around.