The first impression I got from seeing the walled city of Cartagena was like a combination of old San Juan and Key West put together.
As in these places the houses and buildings compete with each other for vibrant coloration and tint. The city fathers have made it a point to avoid hyper commercialization and gaudy neon signage. The same can't be said for the Bocagrande section of Cartagena outside the walled city.
To picture Bocagrande, think of Miami Beach and the strip experience. Here you will find the ubiquitous fast food emporiums and condominium towers preferred by jet setters.
Old Cartagena is best seen on foot , so bring comfortable walking shoes , a wide-brimmed hat , sun tan lotion and bottled water...don't forget the camera!
As one taxi driver told me, Cartagena is bathed in the blood of slaves, pirates and martyrs . Even George Washington's half-brother came here to lay siege to this emerald city. Look closely at the people of Cartagena and you will see history reflected in their faces.
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