Colombia

May 14, 2017

My first solo adventure.

I had it all plan out a month ahead; my schedule, the itinerary per day all written down in a word document, crazy huh? of course non of that happened the way I thought it would. This was actually the best part of traveling alone, things just happen and you just have to go with it, ’cause that is how life is.

I had only 9 days, 6 in Medellin and 3 in Cartagena. Not enough time I can assure you.

MEDELLIN

I arrived at night, around 8pm…when I was done with my stuff I went up to the roof and everyone were in closed groups, so I sat at the bar and started talking to the bartender (very nice dude) ordered a beer and just sat there.. I didn’t know what to do…I knew no one, at that hour I had nowhere to go and it was so early I couldn’t go to bed. What I did? I opened Tinder (2km range) and just hoped for the best! Thankfully I got to meet a great guy who was also new to Medellin and was also traveling alone.  My advice? There’s no shame in using technology when traveling solo, it’s just faster to make friends. Maybe you get lucky or maybe you don’t, but at least you have someone to hang out and the opportunity to meet new people.

Where did I stay?

Los Patios Boutique Hostal , best place ever! I totally recommend it; the staff is great, so polite and friendly; the accommodation was very clean and comfortable; the common areas were great -although I didn´t spent much time there- and the location is perfect, right in the middle of Barrio Manila, near El Poblado -where all the fun happens-.  I shared a mix room of four and I got to meet great people, it was perfect because for my first mixed shared room the beds had these curtains that gives you privacy enough.

Where did I go? 

First night – Parque Lleras  (Bars, clubs, lots of people hanging out)
Second day – Parque Explora (wish I had stayed longer, I ran out of patience and left without seeing much) / Dinner at this indian restaurant – so good – Zaaika Restaurante Hindú
Third day – Pueblito Paisa
Fourth day – Comuna 13 (The Gaffiti Tour – Casa Kolacho) / Dinner at -one of the greatest pizza place in Barrio Manila- Olivia
Fifth day –  Guatapé; El Peñol de Guatapé, Pueblo de Zócalos
Sixth day – Metro Cable, Plaza Botero

How much did I spend? 

I am not even going to tell you  – I am so ashamed haha – I spent way too much. Why? I wanna say it was because it was my first travel (that is what I told my mom of course) but no, it was because I was dumb and believed for a second my credit card had no limits and there was no tomorrow (see? dumb).

Truth is you can spend very little if you know where to eat and avoid taking taxis so much – everything is pretty close – you can just walk or use the public transportation.

CARTAGENA

Even though I left Medellin very deeply sad, arriving to Cartagena was fresh air, salty air. I have to say that my first impression wasn´t very good. Yes it is beautiful, but the people in Medellin are so much nicer -sorry but it is true-. Street sellers are everywhere and pretty much stalking you to sell you hats and other stuff.

Where did I stay? 

At the El Viajero Cartagena, in the historic side. It wasn´t as nice as my first hostel but it was still great, more common areas where you can bump into people all the time. Made great friends there from all over the world and went to cool parties.

First day – Free City Tour, Bocagrande, Getsemaní
Second day – Islas del Rosario (Isla del Encanto)

I took a tour from my hostel to Islas del Rosario, but only spent the day at Isla del Encanta (cause they make you chose only one) and it was very peaceful very nice and not crowded. We arrived at a resort and there I did some scubadiving that didn‘t require previous training ’cause they took us only 12 meters deep. And I gotta tell you…it is not as easy like it seems. It’s hard not to freak out when you’re trying to clean your glasses underwater and you brain fucks up making you swallow water. NOT COOL BRAIN, NOT COOL. How much it cost? Around 150 colombian pesos.

Third day – Isla Barú (Playa Blanca)

How much did I spend? 

I saved up a little bit more, maybe because in Cartagena you don’t need to use so many taxis unless you want to go from the historic side to the modern part. Also, decided not to eat out so much and started asking for menus. And for my good luck I got to make some local friends who took me and my friend for a free ride through Cartagena town and to the beach.

You should be careful to go shopping in Cartagena because it’s waaaaay too expensive. (I  couldn’t afford anything by the time I got there UPS)

Thanks for sharing this experience with me!

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