Cartagena, Colombia: Rosario islands, Playa Blanca & Getsemani

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

We begun our second day in Cartagena by exploring Getsemani, the neighborhood our hotel was in.

As I mentioned before, we found Getsemani much more alive & authentic than the city centre. Of course, Gestamni is less renovated, some buildings are old and crumbling, the streets are less clean… But it looked more real.

We marveled at the cute colorful houses & watched people starting their days…

Getsemani, Cartagena

Getsemani, Cartagena

Getsemani, Cartagena

Getsemani, Cartagena

Getsemani, Cartagena

Getsemani, Cartagena

Colorful houses in Getsemani, Cartagena, Colombia

While walking to the port.

Cartagena port, Colombia

To escape the heat, we decided to spend the day at the nearby Rosario islands.

We didn’t book in advance, but when we arrived at the port, there were several tour operators, all offering more or less the same tour: a first stop at Rosario islands for snorkeling, a second stop at Playa Blanca beach & a last stop at Bocachica, where there’s the San Fernando fortress and lunch is served.

We weren’t interested in the last stop in Bocachica, so we searched for a tour that didn’t stop there. We thought we found one, but we actually stopped there anyway.

The things is that in Cartagena there are a lot of tourists & well, tourist operators at the port are after tourists’ money. So they lied about the tour ; they asked us for money for snorkeling even though we had our own mask & fins & we didn’t need to rent equipment (we obviously refused to pay) ; & accordingly to the other people who had lunch in Bocachica, the food was disgusting.

Anyway, once you know that & you’re prepared, we had a very good day!

Waiting for the boat, we had a nice view over the modern city.

Cartagena modern city, Colombia

We then jumped on the boat & off we went!

At the beginning, we stopped in the suburbs to take a second guide & discovered the real city, the one where usually tourists don’t go.

The difference between the neat & rich old city centre & the suburbs is shocking. But I think it’s important to show also this part of Cartagena, that is so far away from the postcard image everyone has in mind.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

We were a little group on a small speed boat, so even the trip to arrive at Rosario islands was fun!

The view when you arrive… well it’s simply stunning.

Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Snorkeling at Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Just look at this blue water…!!

Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

We had a nice snorkeling session among colorful fishes & corals 🙂

Snorkeling in Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Snorkeling in Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Snorkeling in Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Snorkeling in Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

Snorkeling in Rosario islands, Cartagena, Colombia

We then continued our way to Playa Blanca, a beautiful, long sandy beach, full of colorful little huts that house bars & restaurants.

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

The contrast between the white sand & the colorful wooden little houses is super nice, so it’s really not disturbing that there are so many constructions on the beach.

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

We played for a while in an incredible warm & clear water.

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

Before resting in the shadow

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

As local inhabitants use to do…

Dog in Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

We enjoyed a yummy meal in front of a wonderful view.

Lunch in Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

& we had a walk along the beach.

Playa Blanca, Cartagena, Colombia

Too soon, it was time to take the boat again to Bocachica.

This was the less nice part of the trip. There’s a fortress to visit, but that’s all.

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

There’s a beach a bit dirty…

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

…& a little village not particularly nice.

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

Bocachica, Cartagena, Colombia

We finally went back to the boat to go back to Cartagena

Cartagena, Colombia

We stopped again in Cartagena suburbs & little children jumped in the water to come near the boat & ask for money.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

I know there are many cities where there’s a huge gap between rich & poor people, but I really didn’t like Cartagena as I felt like poor people were hidden & a fake, cute city was built for tourists…

We walked from the port to the hotel, discovering new views of Cartagena…

Cartagena, Colombia

Teatro Colon, Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena Colombia

In the evening we decided to stay in Getsemani & not to go back in the city centre.

We started the evening in Trinidad square, which after sunset is full of food & drink stalls & it’s like a meeting point for local people & tourists.

Trinidad square in Cartagena, Colombia

Trinidad square in Cartagena, Colombia

We wandered around to look for a local restaurant, but the majority of the restaurants nearby were Italian, American,…

We were almost giving up, when one of the waiters from a pizza place suggested a nearby Colombian restaurant, La Casa de Socorro, where apparently even the Colombian president goes for dinner when in Cartagena.

La Casa del Socorro restaurant in Cartagena, Colombia

That I don’t know if it’s true, but we had a delicious grilled fish & a beautiful last night in Cartagena!

La Casa del Socorro restaurant in Cartagena, Colombia

The morning after it was time to go to Salento & the coffee triangle! But that’s for next post!

Btw, I’m going away for NYE, I’ll spend one week sailing the Grenadines islands with hubby & some friends. I’ll probably have poor to inexistent internet connection… so I guess the following Colombian adventure will be in 2017!!

In the meantime, I wish you all wonderful NYE & a happy new year!!

& if you wanna know about the grenadines in direct live, you can follow me on Instagram!

You may also like

12 Comments

    1. I hope you’ll have the chance to visit it one day as it’s really pretty!! But don’t forget to also go outside the historical centre to see both side of the city! 😉

  1. It’s really interesting to read what it’s really like here – the colourful buildings are beautiful and the sea is amazing but it’s always a shame when you’re seen as an easy source of money or that tourists are given a perception of the place which isn’t real. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    1. Hi Cathy, what is a pity too is when people go to a place & only see one side of it. But it’s interesting to be able to see & try to understand the different sides of a place. It’s one of the thing that make travel so beautiful & worthful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *