I’m not much of a big-scenery photographer; if you want a panoramic view of the remarkable Spanish colonial town of Cartagena, Google images has photos much better than mine. But here are a few vignettes.
One—especially one who, like me, travels on his stomach—could easily suppose that the main industry of Cartagena is snacking and selling snacks to others. The streets are filled with life, and most of that life seems to be eating or purveying food. In the background is always raucous music. It’s paradise.
Forget the overpriced haunts of the Caribbean; this is a real multicultural town, with mestizos, blacks, and Hispanics all stewed together, and a merciful dearth of tourists. It’s hot and humid and loud and beautiful; a UNESCO World Heritage City. If someone asked me where to vacation in the Caribbean, I’d immediately tell them, “Cartagena—but don’t tell anyone else.” I haz a sadz because I’m leaving this morning.
I spent most of my time in the old walled city, though there are plenty of modern parts of Cartagena. This is the old town from afar, with a few newer buildings in the foreground (building more of these is now forbidden):
The old Spanish fort, Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas (begun 1657), the greatest fortress ever built in any Spanish colony: