Day 254: The M/S Independence

The Darién Gap is the section of thick, undeveloped jungle filled with FARC guerrillas that separates Panama and Colombia.  Not wanting to risk passing the “impassable”, our options to get from Cartagena into Panama were by air or by sea.  We read about the 5 day, 4 night boat journey that is popular with backpackers…

Day 253: Not just an old pair of shoes

The “Old Shoes” monument is a realist sculpture that sits behind the San Felipe Castle and is a tribute to one of Cartagena’s greatest poets, Luis Carlos López.  In his poem, “To My Native City”, he serenades his beloved home, praising and adoring her and her history.  In the last line he describes how the…

Day 252: Big Mouth

Even though the most popular attractions of Cartagena are the Walled City, its historical center, and the streets that remind visitors of the colonial past, Boca Grande is becoming a focal point for visitors and is a stark contrast to the old city.  It is one of the most developed zones around with fancy restaurants, clubs,…

Day 251: Castle on a hill

As one of the most important ports in the West Indies, Cartagena is fortified with an outstanding example of military architecture from the 16th-18th centuries.  It was the most extensive in the New World and one of the most complete which is why the “Old City”, fort, and nearby monuments were recognized as a world…

Day 250: The Walled City

Early on in its history, Cartagena became a city of great importance because its bay was an almost perfect natural harbor.  During the colonial period, the site became one of the main terminals the Spanish used to ship their treasure fleets that moved the plunder of the Americas back to Spain.  For that reason, it soon…