Colorful Caribbean Neighborhood: Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia

By Marina Aagaard, MFT
The exotic Caribbean encompasses the South America north coast including Cartagena. Cartagena de Indias is a port city on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean coastal region and the capital of Bolívar departementos.
The city, “Colombia’s Jewel”, was founded on June 1, 1533. The historians are not sure, but it may have been named after Cartagena in Spain named after Cartago in Tunisia. The city has an area of ​​572 sqm. and approx. 1,001,755 inhabitants.

Cartagena Bay area has been inhabited since 4000 BC. Later, Cartagena became a Spanish colony until its independence; 11 o’clock on the 11.11. 1811. Finally a date that is easy to remember. In 1984, Cartagena’s historic center and fortress became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today’s weather: 29 degrees Celsius and 82% humidity, 8 km/h wind from the south.
Year-round, the average temperature is 28-29 degrees with up to 30-31 degrees. The humidity is 79-82% year-round and in the summer months there is also heavy rainfalls.

Man at work. Body? Letter mounting on Plaza Bocagrande (Bodytech fitness centre).

We choose the easy solution today for a preview of the city: A CartagenaSightseeing “hop-on-hop-off” bus, which departs from right outside our hotel.

After cruising in the Bocagrande beach area, we drive past the naval station and academy, the  Manga island (named after the mango fruit). We hop off at the city’s main square and go for a walk in the Getsemani neighborhood. The area is full of beautiful white colonial-style buildings and colorful houses in various styles.

Never seen before: Beauty bar. To the left hair products. To the right a large selection of spirits. Happy hairdressing, I say.

From the main streets into the back streets, where a colorful world unfolds.


Even the cars are colorful or actually mostly the small, fast-moving yellow taxis: Here one fitted with horns and spotlights … car-spotting is always interesting.

Art by the impressive looking Cartagena Convention Center, where Beauty contests are held (we are told by the voice in our red CartagenaSightseeing bus red earplugs).

When the CitySightseeing Cartagena bus stops, sellers flock around the red double-decker with offers of beverages, ice cream and various souvenirs.

The view from the Getsemani area towards the Bocagrande.

We walk around and snap away for 2-3 hours before we have a siesta (some lunch and a fitness workout).

Then we take the hop-on-hop-off bus back into the city centre again and take more photos. In fact we capture almost anything we see! Only thing forgotten: Selfies …

By 7 pm, when it is already dark, we eat in Getsemani on the rooftop terrace at Hotel Monterrey, a nice meal with salmon for me and filet mignon for husband Henrik – and for both of us creme brulée, a dessert favorite.

At 21 o’clock the last red bus has gone to sleep, so we take a taxi back to the hotel.
A 5-10 minute drive costing 8.000 pesos (~3 EUR / USD). A reasonable price.

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