Cartagena, Colombia the most important port in all of Latin America and the place we chose to spend our Christmas celebrations. Christmas in Cartagena and three blissful nights in the spectacular boutique hotel Bantú in The Walled City and several previous nights in the edgier Getsemani neighbourhood by the backpacker famous Calle Media Luna. A Christmas consisting of Baileys by the rooftop pool on Christmas Day as the festivities echoed the rooftops around us. The city itself during Navidad is drenched in glistening fairy lights and soaked in general Christmas spirit, Cartagena was definitely the place to be for Christmas.
CHRISTMAS IN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
|The iconic Torre del Reloj Público (Clock Tower) is a must see sight in Cartagena and is the main entrance to tourists entering The Walled City from Getsemani and surrounding areas|
CHRISTMAS IN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
|Christmas in Cartagena, Colombia|
|Rooftop antics – Christmas day fun at Hotel Bantu, Cartagena, Colombia|
MAP OF CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
|Cartagena Map – Source: Google Maps|
FLYING TO COLOMBIA – PANAMA TO COLOMBIA
|Fresh fruit seller – Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia|
WHERE TO STAY IN CARTAGENA – THE DELIGHTS OF GETSEMANI
The quirky neighbourhood of Getsemani is the go to place in Cartagena for backpackers. The streets are filled with budget eateries, street food shacks, bargain bars and convenient stores. There’s several snazzier more upmarket restaurants close by if you’re tired of eating pizza slices, pastries and meat on a stick.
|Busy streets of Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia|
|The streets of the Getsemani neighbourhood of Cartagena, Colombia|
|Many of the colonial buildings in Cartagena have extremely photogenic balconies|
The restaurant overlooks the famous Monasterio de San Pedro, many special services are held during the festive period and the churches welcome all.
|Collecting Jamies mum and brother from the airport in time for Christmas Day|
THINGS TO DO IN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA AT CHRISTMAS
|The streets of The Old Walled City of Cartagena|
Another of the great things to do in Cartagena and a must do is a trip to Isla Baru – the other beach of Cartagena which is called Playa Blanca. It’s worth a day trip for the experience but the beach is generally packed and if you don’t like crowds or being reminded you are a tourists then miss this out of your list of things to do in Cartagena.
|Playa Blanca, Isla Baru, Cartagena|
CHRISTMAS IN CARTAGENA’S WALLED CITY
Cartagena old town is a fortified walled city. The Walled City draws tourists from around the globe each year and this is very apparent during the holidays and at Christmas time. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the decorations and celebrations in the streets.
Each narrow street has its own special charm featuring balconies, flowers and salsa. Donde Fidel’s world famous salsa bar is not to be missed in Cartagena’s Walled City. on’t sit outside with the other tourists grab an Aguila and pull up a perch by the bar and watch the locals salsa the night away. If you can dance then good on you, if you can’t then prepare to dance anyway. The vibe is exactly right and you couldn’t really feel any more in South America if you tried.
Besides the festivities and the copious amounts fairy lights that line the main streets of Cartagena. The Walled City is a beautiful city to be. The architecture and coloured buildings compliment each other perfectly and hours of exploring and photographing never seems to be long enough.
The Walled City offers enough shade to not die in the harsh heat of Colombia and the many great bars offer cooling spots and the Aguila is always served cold in Colombia.
|A view from the City Walls of Cartagena|
During the Christmas period Cartagena comes alive with a religious pulse of welcoming charm. Spirits are high and cheer is wide, people are all about celebration which makes Christmas in Cartagena really unforgettable. This is all evident in even the most unlikely of streets in the most unlikely of neighbourhoods – Getsemani for one.
FELIZ NAVIDAD – CHRISTMAS IN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA
Christmas in Cartagena means family and friends, you can see this from the families dressed in their best all white outfits. Christmas in Cartagena means ‘Feliz Navidad’ covering every imaginable surface, wall and shop window. Our Cartagena experience was one filled with kindness and friendly locals and calles filled with life, music and merriness Spending Christmas in Cartagena is festive without being tacky which means you don’t feel tacky about being overly festive.
A 20-something travel blogger based in Liverpool. Covering all things from Latin America to Liverpool local guides and everything in between.