Here is another tip on Cartagena.
The ancient entrance to the walled city since the Colony is called the Torre del Reloj (The Clock Tower) which leads to a wide open space named Plaza de la Aduana (Customs Plaza. Keep in mind that in the colonies, there is nothing more important that ruling and collecting taxes on everything.
OK, now to the point. Right on one side of the Plaza, is the Portal de los Dulces (Portal of Candies) where you will find the largest variety of sweets made from anything from guava to coconut, from tamarind to papaya, from guanábana (sour sop) to combinations of guava and coconut, coconut and sesame. No end to the selection.
This city was under siege by pirates and by the British fleet in many occasions in the 1600s and 1700s. To defend the city, the Spaniards blocked the main entrance to the bay (Bocagrande = WideMouth) with a breakwater, by dumping rocks on the sea bottom but only to a certain level, so it could not be seen from the ships and, whoever attempted to sail in that way, would run aground. Then on Bocachica (NarrowMouth), the other entrance to the bay, they set up one fort on each side with cannons aiming from one fort to the floating line of the ships and, from the other fort, to the masts. Between March and May 1741 Admiral Edward Vernon besieged the city; battles were fierce and hundreds in the city died of hunger, but in the end, the British were defeated.
Nowadays, the city has several five-star hotels, many high-rise apartment buildings and lots of gourmet restaurants.
While in Cartagena, it is mandatory to take the tour to the Islas del Rosario Archipelago: pristine waters, beautiful islands and a few hotels where you can stay overnight in the most quiet and idyllic environment.
C’mon, start packing.
PS: We'll get back to coffee soon.
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