Street food is incredibly popular in the Colombian cities of Bogota and Cartagena (and probably others that I haven’t visited…) but it can be rather intimidating to try as a visitor, especially if you don’t speak Spanish (like me!). A good way to try the street food without feeling intimidated is to sign up for a food tour. Side note – I love food tours and take them anywhere and everywhere. I find food tours particular useful in places where you do not speak the language and/or you are uncertain about the cleanliness of some of the food – Cartagena in my case!
I visited Bogota, Villa de Levya, Cartagena and Islas del Encanto last month and loved every minute of it! Colombia is a fabulous country and an easy vacation destination from the U.S. Located on the Caribbean Sea, Cartagena is one of the MOST popular destinations in Colombia. Here are 10 things that first-time visitors should know before visiting Cartagena, even if its just for a day as part of a cruise ship itinerary!
1. Cartagena is VERY touristy!
I knew that Cartagena is becoming very popular and has been on the Caribbean cruise circuit for years, but I did not expect it to be nearly as crowded and touristy as it was, and it was especially crowded when the cruise ships were in port! Lots and lots and lots of visitors and the entire old town (called “El Centro”) catering to tourists. A good time but not exactly authentic. Keep this in mind if you are looking for an authentic Colombian experience. I recommend pairing Cartagena with a less touristy destination, such as Bogota, to get a more well-rounded Colombian experience.