A Travellerspoint blog

March 2018

Taganga - gateway to Tayrona National Park

The weather in Taganga was always better than in Tayrona National Park where the high mountains created frequent cloud cover; Taganga was always much windier though

The weather in Taganga was always better than in Tayrona National Park where the high mountains created frequent cloud cover; Taganga was always much windier though

There is only 1 ATM in Taganga and we were told it often runs out of money; problematic since many places take only cash

There is only 1 ATM in Taganga and we were told it often runs out of money; problematic since many places take only cash

Playa Grande was a nicer beach than Taganga but that isn't saying much; boats bring in hundreds of tourists each day

Playa Grande was a nicer beach than Taganga but that isn't saying much; boats bring in hundreds of tourists each day

Taganga was a 4 hour van ride east of Cartagena and a 10 minute taxi ride from the large city of Santa Marta

Taganga was a 4 hour van ride east of Cartagena and a 10 minute taxi ride from the large city of Santa Marta

The isolated beach at Playa Grande is primarily reached by boat but can also be approached as we did on a steep trail from Taganga

The isolated beach at Playa Grande is primarily reached by boat but can also be approached as we did on a steep trail from Taganga

We enjoyed a nice sunset on Playa Grande; Taganga is one of the oldest remaining settlements in Colombia having been founded in 1525

We enjoyed a nice sunset on Playa Grande; Taganga is one of the oldest remaining settlements in Colombia having been founded in 1525

Standing in front of our hotel looking up the dirt street; looking the other direction you'd see the beach a block away; in the afternoons and evenings the wind just roared down the street from the hills

Standing in front of our hotel looking up the dirt street; looking the other direction you'd see the beach a block away; in the afternoons and evenings the wind just roared down the street from the hills

As recently as 1998 Taganga had only one hotel; fishing is main industry with fishermen returning in late afternoon and displaying/selling their catch off card tables by their boats

As recently as 1998 Taganga had only one hotel; fishing is main industry with fishermen returning in late afternoon and displaying/selling their catch off card tables by their boats

Taganga is the gateway to Tayrona National Park, the most popular in Colombia; drought is a persistent problem with water often having to be trucked in

Taganga is the gateway to Tayrona National Park, the most popular in Colombia; drought is a persistent problem with water often having to be trucked in

We were warned not to take money, phones, cameras or anything of value on our walk over the hill to Playa Grande beach; we did encounter police at a checkpoint on trail; I think they wanted money but we played dumb and had no issue

We were warned not to take money, phones, cameras or anything of value on our walk over the hill to Playa Grande beach; we did encounter police at a checkpoint on trail; I think they wanted money but we played dumb and had no issue

The main church in Taganga is tiny; the small fishing village has a population of 5000 and is very poor with only a couple of badly paved streets

The main church in Taganga is tiny; the small fishing village has a population of 5000 and is very poor with only a couple of badly paved streets

Taganga was photogenic from the sea; you can't see the many stray dogs, dirt streets, litter or poverty

Taganga was photogenic from the sea; you can't see the many stray dogs, dirt streets, litter or poverty

Taganga is a very popular place to get certified to scuba dive due to the low costs here; there are lots of dive centers but go with a larger one with English speaking staff and new equipment

Taganga is a very popular place to get certified to scuba dive due to the low costs here; there are lots of dive centers but go with a larger one with English speaking staff and new equipment

Behind Taganga are the highest mountains (18700 ft) in the world closest to the sea (26 miles); Taganga is on a fault between the South American and Caribbean tectonic plates

Behind Taganga are the highest mountains (18700 ft) in the world closest to the sea (26 miles); Taganga is on a fault between the South American and Caribbean tectonic plates

Fishermen selling their catch by the water; stray dog doing what stray dogs do and right on the beach

Fishermen selling their catch by the water; stray dog doing what stray dogs do and right on the beach

The sunsets from Taganga and Tayrona National Park were magnificent; my photos aren't close to how spectacular they really were

The sunsets from Taganga and Tayrona National Park were magnificent; my photos aren't close to how spectacular they really were

I went twice by boat (Lee once) to Tayrona National Park; the second time was horrendous with the trip resembling riding a mechanical bull for 90 minutes while firemen hose you down

I went twice by boat (Lee once) to Tayrona National Park; the second time was horrendous with the trip resembling riding a mechanical bull for 90 minutes while firemen hose you down

The local Colombian people we met were always polite and helpful; several times we were going the wrong way when locals proactively corrected us

The local Colombian people we met were always polite and helpful; several times we were going the wrong way when locals proactively corrected us

Noisy green parakeets would descend on Taganga every evening; the village was quite sleepy during the day but was lively at night

Noisy green parakeets would descend on Taganga every evening; the village was quite sleepy during the day but was lively at night

Late every afternoon the local fishermen would showcase their daily catch and sell directly; there is no large grocery store in town so fish is a large part of their diet

Late every afternoon the local fishermen would showcase their daily catch and sell directly; there is no large grocery store in town so fish is a large part of their diet

Boarding the boat for Tayrona; just got drenched the entire way; the first 5 minutes people were laughing but for the next hour everyone was quiet and miserable

Boarding the boat for Tayrona; just got drenched the entire way; the first 5 minutes people were laughing but for the next hour everyone was quiet and miserable

The locals we spoke to are not fans of Trump; wonder if this boat is a political statement since Hillary is hardly a Colombian name

The locals we spoke to are not fans of Trump; wonder if this boat is a political statement since Hillary is hardly a Colombian name

Posted by RNRiggins 07:28 Comments (1)

Rocky Cay, San Andres-idyllic Caribbean beach day

There were plenty of stalls to buy local handicrafts and souvenirs but no annoying vendors going along the beach in San Andres

There were plenty of stalls to buy local handicrafts and souvenirs but no annoying vendors going along the beach in San Andres

One of the most accessible shipwrecks to snorkel anywhere; had to be very careful to avoid rusted and sharp metal

One of the most accessible shipwrecks to snorkel anywhere; had to be very careful to avoid rusted and sharp metal

We had been warned not to leave bags unattended on beach; there were lockers where we put our belongings while swimming

We had been warned not to leave bags unattended on beach; there were lockers where we put our belongings while swimming

Cocoplum Beach isn't overcrowded because it's away from main city and most accommodations; everyone must pay a $38 tax before flying to San Andres

Cocoplum Beach isn't overcrowded because it's away from main city and most accommodations; everyone must pay a $38 tax before flying to San Andres

This Greek cargo ship ran aground more than 30 years ago near Rocky Cay; it was easy to swim out and explore; pieces of the ship were scattered on the sea floor

This Greek cargo ship ran aground more than 30 years ago near Rocky Cay; it was easy to swim out and explore; pieces of the ship were scattered on the sea floor

Siesta isn't officially observed but many tourists needed a rest during the hottest part of the day

Siesta isn't officially observed but many tourists needed a rest during the hottest part of the day

Cocoplum beach hosted several weddings while we visited; limited places to stay with most large hotels in the city with its tiny beach

Cocoplum beach hosted several weddings while we visited; limited places to stay with most large hotels in the city with its tiny beach

Spotted porcupinefish; a guide nearby pointed out a large lobster but he stayed hidden with just antennae and claws sticking out

Spotted porcupinefish; a guide nearby pointed out a large lobster but he stayed hidden with just antennae and claws sticking out

Cocoplum Beach was very photogenic; most of the accommodations on the island are small hostels or homestays with a few older, all-inclusive resorts

Cocoplum Beach was very photogenic; most of the accommodations on the island are small hostels or homestays with a few older, all-inclusive resorts

It's possible to show an idyllic Caribbean island but on the ground in San Andres provides an entirely different experience

It's possible to show an idyllic Caribbean island but on the ground in San Andres provides an entirely different experience

The shipwreck off Rocky Cay provided a nursery for several fish species; interestingly almost all of the fish were on one side of the ship

The shipwreck off Rocky Cay provided a nursery for several fish species; interestingly almost all of the fish were on one side of the ship

View of Rocky Cay from Cocoplum Beach; this beach was nice because it wasn't as crowded as the one downtown and had some shade

View of Rocky Cay from Cocoplum Beach; this beach was nice because it wasn't as crowded as the one downtown and had some shade

It was easier to swim to Rocky Cay than wade through the water like some people did; I had nice view of Rocky Cay from my bedroom window

It was easier to swim to Rocky Cay than wade through the water like some people did; I had nice view of Rocky Cay from my bedroom window

During San Andres stay I saw no Americans; mainly Colombian mainlanders, Argentinians, Chileans and Brazilians

During San Andres stay I saw no Americans; mainly Colombian mainlanders, Argentinians, Chileans and Brazilians

Posted by RNRiggins 14:18 Comments (0)

San Andres Island is Caribbean playground for Colombians

Playa Spratt Bight is the most popular beach on San Andres; it's right in the city and has gorgeous views of Johnny Cay

Playa Spratt Bight is the most popular beach on San Andres; it's right in the city and has gorgeous views of Johnny Cay

Several streets in downtown San Andres have been pedestrianized and decorated with cool artwork and mosaic benches

Several streets in downtown San Andres have been pedestrianized and decorated with cool artwork and mosaic benches

It was challenging to take a photo without lots of tourists in it; the island was probably paradise before the airport opened in 1950

It was challenging to take a photo without lots of tourists in it; the island was probably paradise before the airport opened in 1950

We stayed in the pale yellow house; it was 3 stories with kitchen and living space on ground floor, 2 bedrooms on 2nd floor and 3rd bedroom (without AC) on 3rd floor; also had 2 bathrooms

We stayed in the pale yellow house; it was 3 stories with kitchen and living space on ground floor, 2 bedrooms on 2nd floor and 3rd bedroom (without AC) on 3rd floor; also had 2 bathrooms

Most locals get around via scooters; tourists opt for souped up golf carts that could hold four people; buses would yield to neither

Most locals get around via scooters; tourists opt for souped up golf carts that could hold four people; buses would yield to neither

There were a few mini-casinos but I never saw inside; downtown is full of perfume and liquor stores since San Andres is tax free for Colombians

There were a few mini-casinos but I never saw inside; downtown is full of perfume and liquor stores since San Andres is tax free for Colombians

There were isolated pieces of coral and a few sponges; maybe snorkeling here is good for Colombia and South America but there are much better options in the Caribbean

There were isolated pieces of coral and a few sponges; maybe snorkeling here is good for Colombia and South America but there are much better options in the Caribbean

View of San Luis beach (and nearby trash) from Lee's bedroom window; our flight on Wingo leaving island was 3 1/2 hours late

View of San Luis beach (and nearby trash) from Lee's bedroom window; our flight on Wingo leaving island was 3 1/2 hours late

Rare to find an empty stretch of sand; never saw any shells; great weather for the entire stay but mid-day sun was brutal

Rare to find an empty stretch of sand; never saw any shells; great weather for the entire stay but mid-day sun was brutal

No beaches on west side of island; covered with sharp ironshore; visibility seemed better on west side of island where the waves were minimal

No beaches on west side of island; covered with sharp ironshore; visibility seemed better on west side of island where the waves were minimal

Parrotfish; The Natural Pool cost $1.40 to enter and had decent snorkeling; there just aren't many fish in the crystal clear waters

Parrotfish; The Natural Pool cost $1.40 to enter and had decent snorkeling; there just aren't many fish in the crystal clear waters

One of the nicer single family homes with a parcel of land; most houses had tons of trash in the yard along with stray dogs

One of the nicer single family homes with a parcel of land; most houses had tons of trash in the yard along with stray dogs

Only 1 main road which encircles island; bus was great to get around for only $1; several dive shops but never saw a dive boat on the water

Only 1 main road which encircles island; bus was great to get around for only $1; several dive shops but never saw a dive boat on the water

There are few places in the world now that don't have Frito-Lay snacks; here they are distributed from a small trailer pulled by a scooter

There are few places in the world now that don't have Frito-Lay snacks; here they are distributed from a small trailer pulled by a scooter

This strange fish had wings but also claws and pulled itself along the sea floor; my best guess is that it is a sea robin (we saw 2 of them)

This strange fish had wings but also claws and pulled itself along the sea floor; my best guess is that it is a sea robin (we saw 2 of them)

Expensive 4 mile cab ride from airport to our house; buses stop every night at 9 pm; saw some efforts to address terrible litter problem

Expensive 4 mile cab ride from airport to our house; buses stop every night at 9 pm; saw some efforts to address terrible litter problem

The blue tang was one of the more colorful fish species; our host explained that the waters around the island had been overfished for generations

The blue tang was one of the more colorful fish species; our host explained that the waters around the island had been overfished for generations

The fish at Westview were totally spoiled by all the tourists feeding them bread; it was the most popular tourist stop on the west side of the island

The fish at Westview were totally spoiled by all the tourists feeding them bread; it was the most popular tourist stop on the west side of the island

At Westview you could pay to go for an Aquanauts ride; the guys working it were great and could do all sorts of acrobatics and dives

At Westview you could pay to go for an Aquanauts ride; the guys working it were great and could do all sorts of acrobatics and dives

Pufferfish; not a wide variety of fish species seen here; surprised we didn't see more trash in the water given all the trash on land

Pufferfish; not a wide variety of fish species seen here; surprised we didn't see more trash in the water given all the trash on land

At Westview there is a statue of Poseidon; scuba divers would get their photo taken but it seemed more of a tourist trap

At Westview there is a statue of Poseidon; scuba divers would get their photo taken but it seemed more of a tourist trap

At Westview you could see the fish in the water;  people would toss pieces of bread in the water which were immediately attacked by the nearby fish

At Westview you could see the fish in the water; people would toss pieces of bread in the water which were immediately attacked by the nearby fish

We walked across the island to Westview; entrance cost $1.40 and included half a slice of bread to feed the fish

We walked across the island to Westview; entrance cost $1.40 and included half a slice of bread to feed the fish

Posted by RNRiggins 20:48 Comments (0)

Overcrowded Johnny Cay-most popular San Andres excursion

The sunshine and tropical waters paint an inviting picture for Johnny Cay but the crowds made it anything but relaxing

The sunshine and tropical waters paint an inviting picture for Johnny Cay but the crowds made it anything but relaxing

Beautiful island is just overwhelmed by too many tourists; the few quality attractions on the island are small and can't physically handle the numbers wanting to visit

Beautiful island is just overwhelmed by too many tourists; the few quality attractions on the island are small and can't physically handle the numbers wanting to visit

Large iguanas call Johnny Cay home; March is the driest month of the year here; the lowest temperature ever recorded on the island was 65 degrees

Large iguanas call Johnny Cay home; March is the driest month of the year here; the lowest temperature ever recorded on the island was 65 degrees

Johnny Cay is across from the main city on the island of San Andres as well as the airport; official languages here are Spanish, Creole and English

Johnny Cay is across from the main city on the island of San Andres as well as the airport; official languages here are Spanish, Creole and English

Johnny Cay is also called Islote Sucre, island of sugar because of its white sand beaches; the challenge was finding space on the white sand to put your beach towel

Johnny Cay is also called Islote Sucre, island of sugar because of its white sand beaches; the challenge was finding space on the white sand to put your beach towel

By venturing far away from the designated swimming area you could find a few coral species that had not been destroyed by tourists

By venturing far away from the designated swimming area you could find a few coral species that had not been destroyed by tourists

Our tour was completely in Spanish; we were the only non-Spanish speakers I saw all day; food on island was expensive and not very good

Our tour was completely in Spanish; we were the only non-Spanish speakers I saw all day; food on island was expensive and not very good

It only takes 15 minutes to walk around the island (slowly); Colombian tourism websites and guide books make the cay sound like a tropical paradise

It only takes 15 minutes to walk around the island (slowly); Colombian tourism websites and guide books make the cay sound like a tropical paradise

Our cost to visit Johnny Cay along with the Acuario/Haynes Cay was $12 each; lots of places to eat, drink and buy souvenirs on the island

Our cost to visit Johnny Cay along with the Acuario/Haynes Cay was $12 each; lots of places to eat, drink and buy souvenirs on the island

Johnny Cay was temporarily closed last year due to ecological damage; another cay further away remains closed; just too many tourists for such tiny islets

Johnny Cay was temporarily closed last year due to ecological damage; another cay further away remains closed; just too many tourists for such tiny islets

The most popular local drink is the coco loco; it's rum, vodka, tequila, coconut cream, coconut water and lime juice served in a coconut

The most popular local drink is the coco loco; it's rum, vodka, tequila, coconut cream, coconut water and lime juice served in a coconut

A couple of banded butterflyfish; visibility was great but there were very few fish to see

A couple of banded butterflyfish; visibility was great but there were very few fish to see

The sun was intense so Lee and I wore shirts all day, including in the water; saw two large Napoleon wrasse but too far away to photograph

The sun was intense so Lee and I wore shirts all day, including in the water; saw two large Napoleon wrasse but too far away to photograph

Johnny Cay (Islota Sucre) lies 1.5 km offshore from the main beach of San Andres; supposedly the number of daily tourists is capped at 1600 but I think that is ignored

Johnny Cay (Islota Sucre) lies 1.5 km offshore from the main beach of San Andres; supposedly the number of daily tourists is capped at 1600 but I think that is ignored

This scene made me think of the overloaded migrant boats heading to Europe or leaving Cuba; they did hand out life jackets to us though

This scene made me think of the overloaded migrant boats heading to Europe or leaving Cuba; they did hand out life jackets to us though

Posted by RNRiggins 21:09 Comments (0)

Colorful, old Cartagena highlights Spanish colonialism

San Felipe de Barajas Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the old city of Cartagena; it's the most formidable defensive complex of Spanish military architecture

San Felipe de Barajas Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the old city of Cartagena; it's the most formidable defensive complex of Spanish military architecture

Cartagena was founded in 1533 and by 1540 was the main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire; it was named for Cartagena, Spain which was named after Carthage, Tunisia

Cartagena was founded in 1533 and by 1540 was the main port for trade between Spain and its overseas empire; it was named for Cartagena, Spain which was named after Carthage, Tunisia

Outside of the Modern Art Museum were more than a dozen small pieces depicting typical Colombians; artwork helped compensate for the lack of green space

Outside of the Modern Art Museum were more than a dozen small pieces depicting typical Colombians; artwork helped compensate for the lack of green space

On left, Iglesia San Pedro Claver; Claver was the first person to be canonized in the New World; he is remembered for his compassion towards newly arrived slaves from Africa

On left, Iglesia San Pedro Claver; Claver was the first person to be canonized in the New World; he is remembered for his compassion towards newly arrived slaves from Africa

The dress mirrors the colors of the Colombian flag; these ladies sold fresh fruit on the streets that they would cut in front of you

The dress mirrors the colors of the Colombian flag; these ladies sold fresh fruit on the streets that they would cut in front of you

The Puerta del Reloj was the original entrance to the fortified city; this gate was constructed in 1704 with the clock tower being added in 1874

The Puerta del Reloj was the original entrance to the fortified city; this gate was constructed in 1704 with the clock tower being added in 1874

Life imitating art; everyone was appreciative that I kept my clothes on!

Life imitating art; everyone was appreciative that I kept my clothes on!

Heredia Theater (1911) was named for the founder of the city and was modeled after a theater in Havana; it has a beautiful interior and continues to be a cultural center for the neighborhood

Heredia Theater (1911) was named for the founder of the city and was modeled after a theater in Havana; it has a beautiful interior and continues to be a cultural center for the neighborhood

Old city walls built mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries; today, a walk along the top of the walls is the quintessential Cartagena experience

Old city walls built mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries; today, a walk along the top of the walls is the quintessential Cartagena experience

San Felipe de Barajas Castle was the largest Spanish fort in the New World; the detailed audioguide provides more information than you probably want on the fort

San Felipe de Barajas Castle was the largest Spanish fort in the New World; the detailed audioguide provides more information than you probably want on the fort

Bocagrande is the most exclusive suburb of Cartagena with expensive hotels and upscale apartments; it sits on a narrow peninsula with only one road in and out

Bocagrande is the most exclusive suburb of Cartagena with expensive hotels and upscale apartments; it sits on a narrow peninsula with only one road in and out

My first visit to Colombia; San Felipe de Barajas fell into disrepair after independence in 1821 but preservation efforts took over in 1928

My first visit to Colombia; San Felipe de Barajas fell into disrepair after independence in 1821 but preservation efforts took over in 1928

The Colombian currency is the peso with the current exchange rate roughly 2850 pesos for 1 USD; electricity in Colombia runs at 110 volts so no converters are needed

The Colombian currency is the peso with the current exchange rate roughly 2850 pesos for 1 USD; electricity in Colombia runs at 110 volts so no converters are needed

Cartagena today has a population of almost one million; Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is set in an unnamed city modeled after Cartagena

Cartagena today has a population of almost one million; Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is set in an unnamed city modeled after Cartagena

Simon Bolivar bestowed the title Heroic City on Cartagena in 1821 after troops defeated the Spanish to win the city its independence; Bolivar spent 18 days here in July 1827

Simon Bolivar bestowed the title Heroic City on Cartagena in 1821 after troops defeated the Spanish to win the city its independence; Bolivar spent 18 days here in July 1827

I didn't expect Cartagena to have such a modern skyline; in outlying areas new buildings often are right next to dilapidated houses with trash everywhere

I didn't expect Cartagena to have such a modern skyline; in outlying areas new buildings often are right next to dilapidated houses with trash everywhere

Castillo de San Felipe influenced future Spanish forts such as Castillo San Cristobal in Old San Juan which was started 100 years later

Castillo de San Felipe influenced future Spanish forts such as Castillo San Cristobal in Old San Juan which was started 100 years later

Modern architecture; on the right side of the hill is Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria Convent which Pope John Paul II visited in 1986

Modern architecture; on the right side of the hill is Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria Convent which Pope John Paul II visited in 1986

Iglesia Santo Toribio was built in the early 18th century and was one of the last colonial buildings constructed here; it houses the only Baroque altarpiece in the city

Iglesia Santo Toribio was built in the early 18th century and was one of the last colonial buildings constructed here; it houses the only Baroque altarpiece in the city

Our hotel in Cartagena was conveniently located in the heart of the old city; occasionally mule-drawn carts would clatter down the street

Our hotel in Cartagena was conveniently located in the heart of the old city; occasionally mule-drawn carts would clatter down the street

Gabriel Garcia Marquez statue in Convent of Our Lady of Mercy courtyard; Garcia Marquez won the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature

Gabriel Garcia Marquez statue in Convent of Our Lady of Mercy courtyard; Garcia Marquez won the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature

Cartagena uses a submarine emissary (third largest in the world) to discharge its wastewater directly to the sea; it has resulted in a cleaner bay but still doesn't sound very appealing to a swimmer

Cartagena uses a submarine emissary (third largest in the world) to discharge its wastewater directly to the sea; it has resulted in a cleaner bay but still doesn't sound very appealing to a swimmer

The geometry used at San Felipe de Barajas Castle was 50 years ahead of that used in Europe; the castle was truly impregnable and was never taken by the enemy despite numerous attempts

The geometry used at San Felipe de Barajas Castle was 50 years ahead of that used in Europe; the castle was truly impregnable and was never taken by the enemy despite numerous attempts

Military engineers continued to expand San Felipe de Barajas Castle until the late 1700s; the strategic site is on a hill 41 meters above sea level

Military engineers continued to expand San Felipe de Barajas Castle until the late 1700s; the strategic site is on a hill 41 meters above sea level

Iglesia Santo Domingo (1551) is the oldest church in Cartagena; the city lies 2 hours to the west of the larger city of Barranquilla

Iglesia Santo Domingo (1551) is the oldest church in Cartagena; the city lies 2 hours to the west of the larger city of Barranquilla

Palacio de la Inquisition; this 18th century building is one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in the city; the most common punishable crime was witchcraft

Palacio de la Inquisition; this 18th century building is one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in the city; the most common punishable crime was witchcraft

San Felipe de Barajas Castle was named for King Philip IV of Spain and the ancestors of the Spanish Governor Pedro Zapata, the Counts of Barajas

San Felipe de Barajas Castle was named for King Philip IV of Spain and the ancestors of the Spanish Governor Pedro Zapata, the Counts of Barajas

The Battle of Cartagena was fought in 1741 when Britain sent 23,000 men and 200 ships to take the city; the Spanish had only 6 ships and 3000 soldiers at the Castillo de San Felipe but repelled the Brits

The Battle of Cartagena was fought in 1741 when Britain sent 23,000 men and 200 ships to take the city; the Spanish had only 6 ships and 3000 soldiers at the Castillo de San Felipe but repelled the Brits

Cartagena, along with Veracruz, Mexico, were the two ports where Spain brought slaves from Africa to be sold; auctions for slaves were held in this square

Cartagena, along with Veracruz, Mexico, were the two ports where Spain brought slaves from Africa to be sold; auctions for slaves were held in this square

16th century Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandria doubled as a fortress; it was attacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1586

16th century Catedral de Santa Catalina de Alejandria doubled as a fortress; it was attacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1586

Actors were outside Iglesia San Pedro Claver filming a production; Claver personally baptized more then 300,000 people, many of them slaves; he's the patron saint of slaves and of Colombia

Actors were outside Iglesia San Pedro Claver filming a production; Claver personally baptized more then 300,000 people, many of them slaves; he's the patron saint of slaves and of Colombia

Despite being in South America, Cartagena lies north of Panama City, Panama; we changed planes in Panama City which has a large, modern airport where Copa Airlines is based

Despite being in South America, Cartagena lies north of Panama City, Panama; we changed planes in Panama City which has a large, modern airport where Copa Airlines is based

San Felipe de Barajas Castle is striking for its grand entrance and complex maze of tunnels; wonder if the street in Houston is named after the same person

San Felipe de Barajas Castle is striking for its grand entrance and complex maze of tunnels; wonder if the street in Houston is named after the same person

Temperatures vary little in Cartagena during the year; average highs of 88 degrees and lows of 76 degrees regardless of month; rain is rare in winter but common in May-June and October-November

Temperatures vary little in Cartagena during the year; average highs of 88 degrees and lows of 76 degrees regardless of month; rain is rare in winter but common in May-June and October-November

Plaza de la Aduana is the largest and oldest square in the old city; it was used as a parade ground in colonial times

Plaza de la Aduana is the largest and oldest square in the old city; it was used as a parade ground in colonial times

The historic city is surrounded by 11 kilometers of defensive walls built starting in 1586; the walls were complemented by fortresses making the city impenetrable

The historic city is surrounded by 11 kilometers of defensive walls built starting in 1586; the walls were complemented by fortresses making the city impenetrable

Late 18th century Las Bovedas are attached to the city walls; they were built as dungeons but now house tourist shops and boutiques;

Late 18th century Las Bovedas are attached to the city walls; they were built as dungeons but now house tourist shops and boutiques;

Posted by RNRiggins 06:31 Comments (0)

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