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Why Cartagena, Colombia is an idyllic tourist destination

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Particular historical events along with a popular Netflix series tend to portray Colombia as an unconventional holiday destination, completely bypassing any significant beauty the South-American country has to offer. However, a brief visit to Cartagena and any preconceptions can be turned around into a perfect place for exploring and vacation.

Cartagena plays hosts to a wealth of culture, beaches, plazas, marina, an exotic port and various shopping areas. The Spanish speaking city has an idyllic old town founded in the 16th century and completely forfeits ideologies of 'gangs' and 'violence'; replenished with stunning sites of wonderful architecture and sweet cobblestone streets hugged by visually striking apartments all with balconies - some romanticised by bright overhanging flowers. There is a theme of beautiful coloured buildings throughout the old-town of yellow and orange; portraying a refreshing and happy atmosphere.

Statues of significant historical figures are distributed around the towns giving visitors intriguing Columbian facts when exploring. Torre del Reloj is one of the most recognised architectural sites along with the Muse Naval de Caribe. Museo deck Oro Zenu exhibits the pre-Hispanic metallurgy of Columbia with exceptional collections of real gold and informative talks on regions dating back thousands of years. Totumo mud volcano is also a unique experience and is around 45 minutes from the city centre.

Coffee is an obvious delicious delicacy with strong, aromatic taste - rather dissimilar to commercialised caffeine outlets in Britain. Freshly made lemonade quenches one's thirst in the heat, and both drinks can be enjoyed in sweet cafe’s dotted generously around town for a reasonable price.

Located in the Pie de la Popa neighbourhood is the Caribe Plaza, the second largest shopping mall in the country, offering 198 shops whipped with clothes stores and indigenous products. Bocagrande Plaza consists of residential, commercial and leisure spaces; with a shopping mall, cinema and around 19 restaurants. Street traders tend to haggle with visitors to sell their goods around town but are polite and not too ‘pushy’.

The yellow taxi is the most convenient method to get around and horse-drawn carts are also widely used. The Chiva - a bus painted with bold, colourful designs is a must-do for tourists.

With a warm tropical climate and overwhelming views of a city encased by a beach; Cartagena contains mountains of wanderlust with no sense of danger - but instead a place of fine sunsets, palm trees, fantastic cityscapes and serenity. An ideal holiday destination.

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