Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 6, 7 and 8 - Cartagena!

Oct 10th, 11th & 12th.

We are off to Cartagena!

Monday the 12th is a holiday in Colombia (Dia de la Raza), so before we came to Colombia we decided to spend the long weekend in Cartagena. It took hours of planning but it was definitely worth it! So for the next 3 days we explore Cartagena and enjoy it's many different faces..

We left the hotel at 5:30am on Saturday Oct 10th to catch a 8am flight out of Bogota. Went through security pretty fast.

Bogota Orchids
Landed in Cartagena at around 9:45am but had to wait a while for the tour driver to pick us up. Cartagena is pretty hot and humid, we have definitely arrived to the Caribbean! While bogota weather is a bit like Europe in the fall, Cartagena weather is very much Caribbean weather.

Cartagena is a city in the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast Region (Cartagena De Indias).

We arrived at the hotel and had only an hour to freshen up and get ready for day 1 of our tour. Our tour guide from Destino Bogota arrived on time (shocking!) and we were on our way to explore the city! Cartagena's old city is by far it's principal attraction, especially the inner walled town, consisting of historical districts of El Centro and San Diego. We walked around and explored the hidden gem that is Cartagena.

The table is turned and we get to take a picture of Steffan

Lucky for us, we have a professional photographer and videographer in our group (Steffan), who was kind enough to capture every moment of our trip.

Team Spirit!!

We also visited the Convento de la Popa (Link) which is really beautiful! The Views from here are outstanding and stretch all over the city.

We ended the day back in the old city, watched a dance performance (Cumbia) in the square and headed back to the hotel for the night. Some went back to the old city later on for Dinner while some had dinner at a nearby restaurant close to the hotel.

Day 2 in Cartagena.

Another early morning start at 8:30am, we were picked up in a Chiva (Colombian Bus) and arrived at the port to board the boat for Rosario Islands.  

Rosario Island is reachable only by boat and is known for it's coral reefs and scuba diving. So beautiful and Serene.

Again, there were so many choices of what to do. Scuba diving, visiting the aquarium, hiking into the village/taking a canoe ride and just relaxing by the pool or on the beach or even just laying down on the hammock. 

After the hour of activities, we had some typical food from the area. Fried Fish, rice, fried plantains, friend cassava and salad. In case you didn't notice, fried food is the staple in Cartagena and Rosario.

Fried Arepa with Egg

Typical Meal on Rosario Island
the last couple of hours were for us to use to either walk around or just hang out until our return to mainland Cartagena. At night for dinner we went back to old city, and the ladies in the group enjoyed a horse and buggy ride around the walled city and of course got a bit of history lessons. What a busy day!

Day 3 - Return to Bogota

Well, the mini vacation is over today. We went to the old city one more time, had lunch and walked around for last minute shopping and sightseeing. We returned to the hotel and boarded the bus to the airport... Goodbye Cartagena! You are definitely special!

Back to Bogota and back to work on Tuesday (the real reason we are in Bogota!!)

As I write this, I reflect on what an honor it is for us to be a part of this adventure with other team members (who we've mostly never met and didn't even know existed until a couple of months ago). To be here together in Colombia working for various non profits while really experiencing and exploring a new culture/food/people etc. Words are not enough to describe what we are feeling and experiencing.. Thank you SAP CSR and Pyxera for this adventure!

With that.. I say good night... Buenas Noches!

No comments:

Post a Comment