I am one month into my 3-month period of remote work. While my base is Medellín, I decided make the 1-hour plane ride to explore the historic city of Cartagena. I took a Friday evening flight and arrived at my hostel a couple of hours later! I spent my weekend “days off” at a hostel in hopes of meeting fellow travelers, but sadly, I arrived too late to actually pull this off. By the time I arrived, everyone was out and about and I hit the neighborhood solo.
It’s really intimidating for me to go out to a bar alone, but I was glad I did it. I didn’t chat with anyone that first night but I enjoyed taking in the wifi and catching up with my friends back home over a cocktail.
Day 1 – The Walled City
Cartagena is a beautiful costal city full of history! My first two nights I stayed in the Old Town which is where all the action is at, filled with cobblestone streets and vibrant colors everywhere.
I had no idea where I was going and it’s small and cute enough to just enjoy getting lost, snapping photos along the way. The castle (Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas) is a huge tourist spot, but I opted to not actually go in. I hear great things but I was more in a “walk around and chill” kind of mood and saw the castle from afar.
Day 2 – Beach Bumming in Bocagrande & Sunset from the walls of the Old City
I know there are beautiful beaches in the area (Play Blanca got talked up) but since I did only have a few days and really wanted to soak up R.E.L.A.X.A.T.I.O.N. vibes, I took a 10-minute cab to the Bocagrande neighborhood. Being from Northern California, I’m a fan of any beach warm enough to jump into in winter, and this water was warm! Some might call it mediocre, I call it easy “vacation-mode.” I enjoyed a nice beach massage which I had to haggle hard for and apparently I still got way ripped off according to my Colombian friends 🙂
One thing I noticed quickly here is that it is HOT. I was literally drenched in sweat the entire trip and this is during the June winter. There is zero reason to ever consider wearing makeup here so enjoy the natural life.
In the evening I went back to the wall and sat there for a couple hours by my lonesome enjoying a beautiful sunset and the view of the Caribbean ocean.
Day 3- NBA Finals. Enough said, right?
Again, this was a wandering trip for me so I got up early and visited a local Crossfit box, before going back to wander the colorful Old City again!
In the evening, I had nothing on my mind but watching Game 7 of the NBA finals and cheering on my Warriors. It was easy to spot fans on the street and I made some buddies this way. After the loss, I brushed it off and kept enjoying the beautiful night.
Day 4- Snorkeling at Islas del Rosario
Luckily, I got Monday off so I got to make a nice, long weekend out of this trip. I woke up bright and early for snorkeling. This place was absolutely gorgeous and I have never been surrounded by so many fish on a snorkeling trip! The divers mentioned the visibility wasn’t great for them, but I honestly loved it and worked up quite the tan.
Since I did have to be ready to hit the ticket queue come Tuesday morning, I opted to “work from hotel” for my actual “non-vacation days.” I didn’t want to be that awkward person on the computer at the hostel all day and I was ready for privacy, solid, fast wifi, and A/C. Doing my work from “hotel rooftop” was refreshing and I learned I can pull of the travel trip well.