Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

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Four months ago, my buddy C and I visited Colombia. I’d never been there before, but after visiting Lima two years ago with a friend, I realized that traveling to South America is the best thing ever. From New York City, you can usually get a direct flight, there’s no (or minimal) time difference, and it’s cheaper than flying to San Francisco. EVERYBODY WINS.

Here are some photos but not many because I hate my phone:

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This was one of the many cats we saw around Cartagena. We arrived on October 30 and it was still hot as hell. Poor kitties!

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C and I sat on the wall for a while and took some photos. I WhatsApp’d this to a friend, who responded, “This looks like Connecticut.”

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I liked this color. And the window.

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This street name (Calle de Tumbamuertos) made me laugh.

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There were quite a few parades on this main street. We happened to be in Cartagena right around the time that it was celebrating its independence from Spain (November 11, 1811). I was trying to surreptitiously take some photos of these young girls (like a total CREEPER) but I realized later that they were totally into it and posing for me.

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Here is an awful photo of a delicious (and ridiculously cheap) street arepa that I’m reasonably sure no local would ever eat. The woman sprayed a ton of artificial butter on it before handing it to me and C. We went back a few times. #heaven

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This is another arepa, this time from Green House Coffee. It was good, but the lo-fi one almost tasted better?

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Paletas (local version of ice pops) were such a godsend during our very sweaty walks.

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This sexy little fox—I mean, tiger—was totally mugging for the camera. We, uh, took a lot of photos.

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Our second day in Cartagena was October 31. Apparently, Colombians celebrate Halloween there with nigths horror.

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C and I left Cartagena for two nights at Villa María (“Los Cocos”) in Santa Marta so we could check out the national park in Tayrona. Unfortunately a few days before our arrival, the national park had closed for 30 days. Great.

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It was at least a short walk to the beach, though the waves were too strong for us to swim.

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I tried to make friends with this guy, but he was so not having it.

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About an hour before we checked out, C and I were in our room when we heard a loud thud. And there’s the dead bird that smashed into our glass door.

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On one of our last days, we went to Volcán del Totumo for what was essentially a close-quarters mud orgy, after which we were THOROUGHLY scrubbed by a bunch of local ladies in the nearby stream.

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Back in Cartagena, we holed up at the Allure Chocolat after finding a discount, though I’d really recommend Zana, the no-frills hotel (super clean, frigid air-conditioning, strong wireless, lovely owners) where we stayed before and after Santa Marta. That pool was pretty great, though.

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This guy liked the pool too.

So yeah. That’s it. Apparently I only take photos of food and animals (dead or alive).

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