Cartagena Colombia

Posted by Fatimah Imah Selasa, 09 Agustus 2011 0 comments
Cartagena Colombia: The only risk is wanting to stay Kay Hyde goes in search of emeralds, iguanas, peaceful havens and bustling streets-and finds them all in and around the historic port of Cartagena . . .! There are plenty of activities on offer including salsa dancing

Arriving at the Isla Grande, the scene was just as I had imagined -pure white sandy beaches, a tiny palm-thatched beach bar and hammocks strewn between coconut trees.

There are plenty of activities on offer here-diving or snorkelling on the coral reefs and cycling and walking around the island. I joined a Mexican couple and booked an escorted canoe trip which took us into shallow freshwater lagoons and through deep mangrove forests.

Our guide pointed out starfish, lobster and poisonous plants in the sand below and just above us in an overhanging tree we spotted a motionless iguana lazing in the sun.

Back in Cartagena, I quizzed a local shopkeeper about why he thought Colombia has such a bad reputation. “It’s ignorance,” he said, “people don’t know the truth. The country has changed and we need to invest in good publicity. Yes, our country still has problems, but where doesn’t?  You don’t realise it, but we are taking care of you. We can’t afford for visitors to get into difficulty here, our livelihoods depend on tourism.”

So how about it?  As well as historic Cartagena and its islands there’s the Tayrona national park a few hours north-set on the jungle-covered Caribbean coast at the foot of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta- with some of the loveliest bays in Colombia.

If only I’d had the time to go . . .! In the words of the tourist board, I can most definitely affirm: “Colombia-the only risk is wanting to stay”.


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