8 Things that Make Cartagena, CARTAGENA!

Posted: 05 Nov, 2015


Once you’ve clambered on top of the wall and oohed and awwed at the colonial chocolate box perfection of it all, you’ll start to notice other city quirks that you won’t find in any guide books.

Here’s our top 10 list of things that make any non-cartagenero scratch their head, laugh out loud and fall in love with the city all over again.


1. Sleeping Beauties


Cartagena takes the siesta to a whole new level. Their ability to sleep ANYWHERE will stump any foreigner who can’t catch 40 winks in their air-conditioned 5*star hotels because of the city heat. Maybe we should take a leaf out of this guy’s book and lay our head on a stool.

2. Bag it Up


Fizzy drinks, milk and water. If it’s not a solid, pop it in a bag and suck away. One of the strangest things for Gringos to comprehend. FYI: They’re called Bolis. 



Psssssst, pssssssst!!!” “Aye Mamicita.

Sound familiar? The city’s cat calling masses simultaneously make you boil with frustration and burst out with laughter. Oh, and this muchacha is on a ‘moto taxi’, and they’re a frickin strange concept too.

4. WOOF!


For better or worse, Cartagena’s furry friends are integral to the city’s landscape. Bow down to the canine crew that truly run this town, and If you do happen to run into Pacha outside Juan Valdez, give her a frito from us.

5. Pimp my Ride


Here, taxis have a bit of a fur fetish. Teddies, miniature dogs and hanging trinkets are part and parcel of your ride into town.


6. Get on the Bus

Captura de pantalla 2015-08-18 a las 4.11.06 p.m.

Those guys that try and convince you to hop on their bus, even if you don’t need to go anywhere. Oh, and they can roll a million neighbourhoods off their tongue in a millisecond. Talk about a party trick.


7. It’s Chiva Time


If you thought the normal bus journey to work was weird, now try doing the same route at midnight while cradling a bottle of aguardiente and swaying to the Vallenato beats of a 50 year old crooner. The Chiva is like a party bus on acid. Still, every trip is an experience.


8. A Close Shave


In Cartagena, the world is your oyster…and your portable hairdresser. Pop up salons sans hipster beards were here before Brooklyn and excess facial hair even crept into your consciousness. And guys, in case you were wondering, going for anything less than a 1 is seriously sneered at.







Written by: Clementyne Chambers
Photography by:
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