Colombia Photo Diary + Tips

by - 6:48 AM

Happy Monday everyone!
Okay so before I can move on with my life and transition into Fall mode I wanted to share another trip we took this summer to Colombia. If you didn't know I'm actually from Colombia, I was born in Barranquilla. Ever since I married Chase I wanted to experience it together and I'm so happy we did because who know when we'll have the chance again to go back. Yes we went during the Zika epidemic but we were living in Miami and honestly I could have gotten it there, I can't stop living life. We went with my mom so she could show us around. We arrived in Cartagena picked up our rental car and left to Barranquilla immediately because we didn't want it to get to dark while we made our way there since we weren't sure of the street conditions or traffic. The drive from Cartagena  to Barranquilla was about two hours if I recall. There isn't anything to see while you're on your way. Its extremely small and poor farming communities.
 This hotel was like a time turner, we felt like we were in the grand Budapest hotel to be honest but in kind of a good way. The hotel in its hay day was the best in Barranquilla, I probably wouldn't stay there again if I'm being honest because of the actual rooms. However the lobby area was very charming. They have different rooms each having a theme for decoration purposes like the Moroccan and Athens room. Breakfast was included each day and was served in the dining hall which was beautiful and quite fun.
In Barranquilla we went with the purpose of just visiting family we didn't really explore the city to much because we had our car with us and the city is extremely populated with people and cars so there was absolutely no place to park. I do have to mention how inexpensive the Colombian peso is compared to the dollar. If you want to buy anything I would recommend to purchase it in Barranquilla since it is cheaper than Cartagena because its not sure a tourist destination.
This hotel lives up to its name, we stayed here only one night because we were actually suppose to make our way to Santa Marta but we decided not to and I regret it. Anyways this hotel is located right at the end of Cartagena as if your making your way towards Barranquilla. Its more of a resort so it does have resort fees but if you are staying in Cartagena a while I would recommend this hotel since it has a whole kitchen and even washer and dryer.
CONS: The only downside was it was far from the old city so we couldn't really go anywhere to eat. The other con was that they only take cash which I found strange since you book it with your card. The resort is very modern and beautiful so it was surprising to us but I guess because the rooms are independently owned its easier this way for them.
PROS: The hotel had several pools about six I believe and they were absolutely beautiful.
The hotel was located right on the beach, honestly you walk out and there it was, it made for a fantastic view.
CONS: I have none, I'm sure people can always improve and all that jazz and I'm sure if you look deep into it but it was an excellent hotel.
PROS: I loved this hotel there aren't enough good things to say about it.
  •  Its extremely close to the airport
  • They have activities every night they had karaoke, movie night even have a trolley come and give a tour of Cartagena for free- we really enjoyed that
  • Breakfast is included and this isn't your basic breakfast they give you a delicious Peruvian and Colombian based breakfast at the hotel restaurant which was very elegant
  • Taxis are always on hand
  • Private and safe underground parking
  • On sight excursions 
  • The view is amazing
Old City of Cartagena
Isles De Rosario
Castillo de San Felipe
Okay I always guide myself with YELP when it comes to food because its an amazing app however Colombia doesn't have YELP. Yeah I was in shock so a lot of the food we ate we came across it or by recommendations. The only place I can recommend to you will be Casa de Rosario located in Getsemanni. The service wasn't the best and you'll notice quickly that restaurant service in Colombia or Colombian restaurants are horrible. I really mean it they are just terrible, every single one of them and I really don't know why. I would also recommend not to try food on the street to much even though it smells delicious and you might be hungry fight it. Especially if you aren't use to the type of food.
We made a huge mistake of having the rental car for too long. If you need to make your way through different cities and need a car then yes rent it but you don't need one in Cartagena. There is no where to park and you'll be walking pretty much everywhere. On another note Colombia has a system in place called the picky placa. When I was doing my research about the country no one ever mentioned it so we were really surprised to find we couldn't drive in certain cities on cert in days. Its a system to keep traffic a little more regulated since the streets are really congested and its all based on our license plate. For example if your plate ends with the number 6 everyone with their plate ending in 6 can't drive in Cartagena from 8am-12pm. Every city has this in place and with different times, if you get caught you'll have to pay a fine.
All in all I would return to Cartagena in a heartbeat! Thanks for reading hopefully this can help you if you ever make your way to beautiful Colombia. I hope you enjoy some of our pictures for a little Monday inspiration.
xx Joan
White dress: Similar Here
Lace up sandals: Similar Here
White shorts: Similar Here
Espadrille sandals: Similar Here
Blue Top: H&M






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