CARTAGENA Colombia travel Different and affordable Vacation

About Cartagena, Colombia

CARTAGENA Colombia travel Different and affordable Vacation

Want something new and different, but they do not want to your credit card spinning? Suggest Cartagena. I love this country.

I think it was the history that hooked me first. As a child I loved tall tales of wooden ships and iron men. My “ good guys” had names like Francis Drake and Henry Morgan. The “ bad guys” were the Spaniards who fought them and hung out in fortresses like Cartagena.
Now many many years later I have walked those same Spanish streets, a number of times standing beside cannons on the same massive ramparts, and letting my imagination run away with itself. On one trip there was even a tall ship anchored in the bay, a windjammer the Colombian navy uses to train cadets.
Colombia has had some difficulties in the past, and even our wholesalers have pulled out from time to time. These days it is a mecca for jet setters.
As the city’s mayor writes in one of the local guidebooks: “ Cartagena is a shrine for historians.
Every street is a tome, which relates the day-to-day anecdotes of men of long ago who have left a bequest in art, architecture and military engineering. “
The mayor’s language may sound a little pretentious but he’s right about the old city. Cartagena was built within massive walls to keep pirates out and treasure in until a fleet of galleons could safely sail it to Spain.
Today the treasures are in the fascinating boutiques in the old city. It has become a hot shopping destination. Vogue has shot covers there; Architectural Digest did a spread on an old city home restored.
The street vendors offer treasures as well, different from the touristy stuff that comes out of a container in other cities. Las Bovedas an old colonial warehouse and sometime prison has been turned into a series of craft shops; a must see. Yes, there are emerald shops, and experts say they are a good buy. Coffee? Did I mention everyone should take some coffee home.
Transat is carrying it again, offering six resorts.
Decameron all Inclusive Hotels and Resorts have three very different properties here all exclusive to Transat. The 3 ½ star Decameron Cartagena across the road from the Bocagrande Beach has always been popular with Canadians. This resort just 1 Klm. from the old city, best described as lively, bordering on a rowdy place to stay.
The rooms on the upper floors are quieter.
There is unlimited all-la-carte including a nice restaurant in the old city that the Decameron owns; the San Pedro Restaurant. For us it was a highlight.
For a quiet time, the Decameron Isla Palma is tiny … It has just 42 rooms on the island, with stunning beaches and no vendors. The first or last night is spent at the Decameron Cartagena, as the transfer is three hours by road and 25 minutes by boat. For the right client it will be magic.
The Royal Decameron Baru Beach Resort Spa and Convention Centre is a 5-star with 366 rooms on a lovely beach 75 minutes by road.
The Caribe is Boca Grande’s oldest hotel, with a pool and lush tropical gardens, home of tiny South American deer and a sloth. At dusk you can see the deer drinking out of the pool, not bothered in the least by the music, bright lights and pace of the beachfront and big hotels that surround their little oasis. And yes, that is where the scandal with the Secret Service took place. It certainly wasn’t that exciting the several times I’ve stayed there.
The Occidental Cartagena is a modern 190 room resort on a dark sand beach. Just 8 km from the airport and a 20 minute free shuttle from the old city, it has a kid’s club for the 4-12 year old children, a kid’s pool as well. It has the flavour of a beach holiday.
A fun tour is the “ Chivas” which is a party animal brightly decorated bus with backseat bands and bongo drums and agile young bartenders who clamber along the buses open sides to reload tourist’s empty glasses. Until you’ve ridden one you haven’t experienced Cartagena’s nightlife. The city is safe after dark, unless tourists do something foolish. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, casinos and discos to choose from. The desk clerks were helpful with suggestions for where to go. Too bad they didn’t tell us how to keep up with the locals on the dance floor. Their energy level is incredible, the Latin music is infectious and human bodies can move in amazing ways.
Transat has two centre holidays: 3 nights in the Decameron Cartagena, and 4 or 11 nights in the Royal Decameron Baru Beach Resort, Spa & Convention Centre.
Combine a city stay in Cartagena, with a beach stay on Isla Palma.3 nights in Decameron Cartagena 4 nights Isla Palma.
Once you sell this destination, you’ll be amazed at the repeat clients you have.

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