Why the Colombian Caribbean coast is not made for me ?
After a month and a half in Medellin, it was finally the time to leave the city in order to discover a new and famous side of Colombia : the Caribbean coast ! On paper, it clearly doesn’t not attract me at all … By reading now and there other traveller’s reviews, I quickly understood this region is not made for me. The « partying » theme and everything, this is not my style of travelling. And yet, I wasn’t going to be stopped by some reviews online. That’s why I decided to go to Cartagena and then to Rincon del Mar.
Cartagena or the biggest disappointment of my journey
I took a Medellin-Cartagena flight which lasted only 1h. When you land, you will immediately be hit by the oppressing heat and humidity of the city (and all the region). I take a taxi to go to my hostel where I will be staying 3 nights … too much !
I did a free walking tour of the historical center. This is the most famous, the most touristy and beautiful part of Cartagena. The tour itself was not the best I made but I walked through all the center. In itself, this is very cute and very colorful ! But … this is soooo small and you quickly done it !
Getsemani is a neighborhood becoming more and more trendy. We can feel it will be an extension of the historical center. We find there nice cafés and restaurants and some street arts as well.
And unfortunately, beside those 2 neighborhoods, Cartagena is 80 % of poverty. And I found it out by heading to the bus terminal for Rincon del Mar. Everything is a bit chaotic, the traffic is horrible, the people is poor, the streets are dirty and messy … and you have all the opposite inside the ramparts of the historical center ! What a choc !
Anyway, you’ll guess it … Cartagena will have been a huge disappointment for me. And I don’t understand how people love it so much. And if it is to say « but it is so colorful, so cute bla bla … », well no .. You only like the historical center but the true real Cartagena, you have not been there !
Rincon del Mar or the beautiful surprise of my journey
I took a 2 hours and a half bus ride to get to a fisherman village called Rincon del Mar. To get there, you need to take the bus to San Onofre. Then a moto-taxi or a car until Rincon del Mar.
Tip : when you are about to take the moto or the car, ask to see it before !!! Because I said « yes » to a lovely man for his car (shared with a buddy) and OMG … the thing was a wreck ! But literally a WRECK ! It smelled gasoline during the whole ride, it was barely moving, at some point I really thought he was taking us I-don’t-know-where but not to Rincon. Until I saw the sign Rincon !! Whew !
Rincon del Mar is a small fisherman village located by the seaside. Perfect for a quiet break.
But the true gem of this village, it was my accomodation : Dos Aguas Lodge ! A true paradise ! One of the best accomodation of my whole life. The lodge was made with local recyclable sustainable materials. It has an eco-friendly mindset. In each dorm, each bed has its own mosquito nets and a mini fan. In each of those rooms, you will find a shower and private separate toilet, small and big lockers. A big commun space is located at the main entrance and opened to the beach and the sea. Deck chairs had been installed on the beach by the owners. They are lovely and did everything so I can feel at home. The sea is nice and beautiful … and warm !!
The lodge has many activities to offer which the cost is going directly to the local people who organize it ! Anyway … I have to say it really was perfect ! Excepting the wifi who sometimes was a little bit capricious, but when you get yourself to this kind of place … this is not so bad if you can be disconnected to the real world ! I spent 4 nights over there and I felt like the time has gone away so fast …
To sum this up, the Caribbean coast hasn’t left me such a good impression. I know that those two cities do not represent the whole coast. Even if the lodge in Rincon was a true favorite, I must say that the oppressing heat, humidity and mosquitoes were not my best friends !
And you, what did you think about Colombia Caribbean coast ? Any future suggestions ?