On Thursday, the 27th, we set off from the coffee farm for Pereira and our flight to Cartagena via Bogota.   First mode of transport was  a Willys Jeep across a river, next a bus we caught on the side of the highway, (stop shown below) followed by a taxi, then a plane to Bogota and another plane to Cartagena.  It was a long day.

Cartagena has the historic walled city, a large deep water port and lots of highrise apartment buildings surrounding the port – making it a bit like Miami.  It is relatively small though, only about 900,000 people.

Cartagena is a bit touristy and pricey for our taste, but that issue was quickly mitigated when we realized there was a Bienal International de Arte Contemporaneo Cartagena de Indias (“BIACI”) here from February 7th to April 7th and we connected with 6 friends from Seattle, all 2014 Affiliate Fellows from the Runstad School.  They were touring Columbia with Luis Borrero, our friend from Seattle who grew up  here.  Not only has Luis been invaluable setting us up with connections through out Columbia, but he let us tag along to a meeting with an architect/urban planner here in Cartagena.  Ricardo gave us a recap of the development of the city and its current planning, infrastructure challenges.

Here’s some of the Contemporary Art together with some street art.  There was a lot more to the BIACI show than we can capture here.  If you want to see more, go to


To finish off a fun week, on the weekend, Luis organized  renting a boat and we headed out to the Islas de Rosario, about 30 miles from Cartagena with some stops for swimming, snorkeling and lunch along the way.  It was a blast.  The pictures don’t do the experience justice.

Next, we are headed further east along the coast to Santa Marta and then a place right on the beach just outside Tayrona National Park.  More later.


4 thoughts on “Cartagena”

  1. I’ve ENJOYED and LOVED every single one of your blogs. It certainly has to be the trip of a lifetime!! Hope all the rest will be as memorable
    and I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. Polly and Butch

    1. We are so glad you have enjoyed the blog. Everyday we pinch ourselves when we realize how lucky we are to take this trip. Each day is a new opportunity to explore, an attitude we hope to bring back with us. Lots of love

  2. It looks like you worked hard to get to Cartagena but were rewarded with great artwork and a fantastic outing to the Rosario Islands! Have you had arepas yet? xo

    1. Next time to the Columbian coast, we would spend more time further east, though. Cartagena was a bit too touristy. We have become experts on arepas, ever since the first one we had at a roadside stand outside of Bogota on our way north to Villa de Leyva. I’ve got all sorts of new recipes.

      We are now in Lima, and loving it – much to our surprise. More later.

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