Cartagena de Indias

Cartagena is only about a 5 hour plane ride from NYC.

Being in the city is very inexpensive.

There is Plenty of nightlife.

Interesting to note that 'homosexuality' was made legal in Colombia by an act of congress in 1981.

Just note, this time of year you will sweat all day long as the weather never changes, 90 degrees plus everyday and rarely any cloud cover that lasts more than a minute or two.

The city is, like, 100 yards from the Caribean. So if you are familiar with any island culture out there you will feel a lot of similarities in Cartagena.

Since it is so hot, most daily activities start anywhere around 7AM and go until noon or 1PM. Then like between noon and about 3PM plenty of people get off the street, public buildings and some businesses close. In the evening everyone comes out to relax until late late late as it becomes rather nice outside, comparatively.

I found there are three different Cartagenas.

1. The old city, which is the original Spanish colony and is still largely intact. It is split in to two sections, El Centro and Getsemani. This includes all the major attractions from museums to shops, to great bars and restaurants.

2. Boca Grande, which is a kind of Miami Beach on a smaller scale, for the ricos and touristas. The beaches aren't that great, and everything is a bit overpriced.

3. The rest of the real city of Cartagena, about three quarters of its total size. This is where the vast majority of the population lives and works and you will find essentially nothing written about it at all, no tips on any attractions and no advice for trying to see any of it.

Cartagena is owned by Africa. 500 years ago it was the largest market for Africans in South America. Today that horror translates into the city being so Africanized. If you are a blanco you will be a rare commodity for all the right and wrong people.

A funny thing about the Old City.

In El Centro, which is still encircled by the original fortified wall built about 400 years ago, there are thousands of cops. Almost every single street has a cop. And every public square, of which there are many, has at least two cops. But outside the wall, across the plaza, in the other section of the Old City that is named after the place where Jesus was betrayed, you will find zero cops on the street. So it really is kind of the 'dangerous garden' where the local authorities figure whatever you get yourself in to, you deserve.

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