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January in Colombia: Cartagena

Lyks • 6 minutes read • October 26th, 2015
It is nice in Colombia in January - 95 degrees (+35C). To get a heat stroke on the second day of arrival - done!
Complete with the change of time zones and unknown to the body food, it turned out 'quite well'.
We flew Lufthansa Airlines through the city airport in Frankfurt, we got cheap tickets. To get to 


we had to fly again from Bogota on a local small plane, very tolerable.
Practice makes perfect: Colombia is in South America. It is further than Anapa, Antalya, and even the edge of the world - Sharm El Sheikh.
It is impossible to get to Colombia by a charter flight. So in Colombia, you can fly only at your own risk.
They don't speak English in Colombia. At all. They don't need it, they have their own language, Colombian, similar to Spanish. However, the Hispanic people do not believe the myth and laugh at it.

There are several options to stay in Colombia. The easiest is to book a hotel on the first line. There will be a shower, jacuzzi, couple hundred feet to the beach and an all-inclusive. But there you won't see Colombia but only the Caribbean Sea and sellers of all kind of unnecessary things like sunglasses, creams, and Pina Colada.
If someone wants to go outside 


 and do something extreme like Safari in wildlife, then they should get out of the hotel and sit in the bus leading deep into the country. You have to be ready that the bus will not have a tour guide, and breakfast, and the guarantee of returning to the hotel. There will be only a horrific air-conditioner and Latin American soap operas several hours in a row without translation.
Immediately after Cartagena a real wild Colombia begins. Don't laugh when you get the bill for a lunch in these places, and don't look for a catch. 2-3 dollars for soup, salad, and meat with garnish - it's real. 
Don't try to frantically dial 911 when in the hotel outside of Cartagena you will get the bill of 6 dollars per night - they really do not need more from you! However, you have to forget about 'all inclusive'. They will not understand. I know, it's hard. But then there was no reason to get out of the hotel.

Outside of Cartagena, you will find amazing places. There are volcanoes to the South-East of the hotel. They are called 'Los Nevados'.
If you drive farther, you'll find a strange place called "Zona Cafetera". You will laugh but they produce coffee from scratch. They grow it up and dry it on their own. And fry. And cook, if necessary. 
Also to the East, there is a selva. This is a completely inexplicable place, there are no hotels on the first line and animation, but a lot of malarial mosquitoes, snakes, rivers and Indians. They say there are also bloodthirsty guerrillas. 
In Colombia, there are also drug lords and cocaine. They are everywhere. As soon as you exit the hotel, be prepared for the fact that you have only two lines. And none of them leads back. Only forward and consistently.
The most important thing in Colombia is to survive everything mentioned above and go home. And then to return, despite the transatlantic flight and jet leg.
At least three times.

Monument to the bird.

Spanish Fort

Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

 to protect the gold.

And, in general, it's like Miami, only cheap prices and less people speak English. One hundred percent less. I had to learn Spanish for a couple of days not to die from hunger.

Cartagena is one big beach. 

The naval base has its own road sign. You can't take photos of the base, they threaten with a submachine gun. We got it.

Middle of the day. There are no tourists, buses stand empty.

Street food is cheap and dangerous. Russian body used to potatoes and pickles will be greatly surprised, and for a couple of days will surprise the owner. Take the first-aid kit with you. We took a couple lbs of meds and in a few weeks ate them all.

Local bums.

Dollar for bottle of water. 

And this is our hotel. Don't remember how much it costs, something about $10. Songs and dances of Cartagena all night long are included in the price.

In general, there is nothing to do in Cartagena for longer than two-three days. But it is worth visiting, for the contrast. 
Author: lyks
Source: lyks.livejournal.com
Translated by: Gian Luka

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