Greater Than a Tourist- Cartagena de Indias
50 Travel Tips from a Local
By Simón Cartagena Sevillano
Are you excited about planning your next trip? Do you want to try
something new? Would you like some guidance from a local? If
you answered yes to any of these questions, then this Greater Than
a Tourist book is for you. Greater Than a Tourist- Cartagena de
Indias, Bolivar, Colombia by Simón Cartagena Sevillano offers the
inside scoop on Cartagena. Most travel books tell you how to
travel like a tourist. Although there is nothing wrong with that, as
part of the Greater Than a Tourist series, this book will give you
travel tips from someone who has lived at your next travel
In these pages, you will discover advice that will help you
throughout your stay. This book will not tell you exact addresses
or store hours but instead will give you excitement and knowledge
from a local that you may not find in other smaller print travel
Travel like a local. Slow down, stay in one place, and get to
know the people and culture. By the time you finish this book, you
will be eager and prepared to travel to your next destination.
Inside this travel guide book you will find:
- Insider tips from a local.
- Packing and planning list.
- List of travel questions to ask yourself or others
- A place to write your travel bucket list.
"As the dark of the night settled,
thunder began to zigzag above the
sea, the devout crossed themselves
before the gruff crack of thunder, a
burst of saltwater, lifted by the wind,
forced to close the windows…"
- Germán Espinosa, The Weaver of Crowns
Cartagena is a fascinating city for many different
aspects. It is home to one of the most important ports in
all of South America. Colombia being a country that
relies heavily on its exportation businesses, naturally
has a lot of dependence on the city of Cartagena. But
this isn't just based on the role the city plays in local
product exportation, but also for the role it plays in
logistics and transportation services for other South
American countries that do not have a port in the
Atlantic. Rightly so, Cartagena is a small but very
important city to Colombia.
Now on to the good stuff. Cartagena is a part of the
coastal region of Colombia, more precisely in the
department (our version of states) of Bolivar. This
means it is home to around 200,000 Colombians
popularly referred to as "Costeños", which literally
translates "Coastal People" Costeños are known
nation-wide to be one of the most enjoyable and kind
group of people in the country. Filled with energy and
love like you have never encountered before.
"Costeños" will make you laugh and have a good time,
ALWAYS. Being "Costeño" also means that you know
how to dance and if you are somebody that enjoys
nightlife then you will get your fair share of partying
done in Cartagena. In short, Cartagena is a fun city.
On the other hand, the food offered in the city may
be one of the best in the country. Ranging from fresh
seafood to pizzerias and high-end restaurants to fried
local street food commonly referred to as "Fritos".
There is a place for every type of traveler, however,
compared to other cities in Colombia, Cartagena is
more on the expensive side when it comes to hotel
lodgings and restaurants as it is a touristic destination,
but if you earn in a more valuable currency like Euros,
USD or British Pounds then you will be favored by the
exchange rate and find a mighty bang for your buck.
Nevertheless, there is a place for every type of traveler
as the city is filled with budget-friendly safe hostels and
it is not short on offers for romantic getaway hotels and
other 5-star accommodations.
Regardless of what your holiday goals are,
Cartagena is a city that will captivate you. Hopefully,
this book provides valuable tips for you and you allow
me to play a role planning for your next vacation.
1. ARRIVING AT THE AIRPORT
Rafael Núñez International Airport is a very small
building, finding your way out will not prove a difficult
task, just follow the signs and if you cannot read
Spanish, awesome, this might be your first chance to
experience the hospitality of the locals! If you require
to ask for directions at the airport (even if you don´t
know a word of Spanish), try asking the airport staff or
police officers outside the baggage pick-up area. You
only need to know one word and luckily it carries the
same pronunciation in Spanish as it does in English:
Outside the building there should be a taxi line
waiting for inbound travelers, this is you, my friend. If
there are no taxis don´t panic, they will be there soon.
Once you find yourself at the taxi line the only thing
that´s left is for you to have the address of your
accommodation ready to show your driver and you´re
set to go. PS: You will also understand the true
meaning of heat and humidity when you are waiting in
line for a cab.
2. POLICE IN COLOMBIA
As mentioned in the previous tip, police are
generally a good source of information to get around.
The reason being: police found inside the cities are
usually young men often from the city where they are
based, which means they know their way around and
will almost always be able to point you in the right
direction. If you find yourself asking a police officer for
directions and have the off chance of talking to a
recently transferred member from another city, don´t
worry, police tend to be very kind and have a good
attitude when approached for directions.
As an FYI, police force in Colombia wear a dark
green uniform with bright green letters that say
“Policía" and carry batons or handguns. They are easy
to distinguish from military officers who usually wear
camouflage gear and carry long-range firearms.
Read all 50 Tips in the book
Greater Than a Tourist- Cartagena de Indias Bolivar Colombia
available at Amazon.
TOP REASONS TO BOOK THIS TRIP
Culture: Somebody once said to me; "you will never
know Colombian culture entirely, even if you´re
Colombian". The context of this is simple, Colombia
ranges immensely in climate, culture, and food from
one region to the next. And Cartagena happens to be
one with hospitable people, great food, sunny weather
and suitable for beach escapes.
History: If you are a history buff then this is your
city. You will find constructions that have stood the test
of time for over 500 years, still standing and accessible
for the curious.
Uniqueness: You´re bound to have an eye-opening
experience. Most people that visit Colombia find a
country that is far from what they initially expected, in
many aspects. Cartagena is a great city for a first
glimpse at Colombian culture and building momentum
to explore more parts of South America.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a young boy, Simón Cartagena spent a summer in
the city of Cartagena de Indias. The single purpose of
this endeavor was to make enough money to buy a new
flat screen T.V. These were the unattainable goals of a
14-year-old teenager. Working as a warehouse assistant
for an important alcohol distribution company in the
city Simón set about with his quest. Usually, teens
working in warehouses would not “fly” with
Colombian authorities but being a relative to the
general manager of the company had its perks. Lucky
enough to have family living in this part of the country
Simón set about his adventure, he quickly fell in love
with the city and what was expected to be a single
summer project turned into multiple summer and winter
high school breaks working at the warehouse.
The weather, the food, the people were like a magnet
that he just needed to get back to. And having one of
the best guides to the city did nothing but help him fall
in love with it, regarding his uncle worked distributing
products and had to make daily visits to local business
owners to which Simon was more than glad to tag along
for. These visits turned into dinners and the dinners
turned into parties, to put it lightly, these visits were
something a 17-year-old was very attracted to. Simón
kept coming back and the city became his.
Originally and proudly born "Paisa" in the city of
Medellín, the author considers himself first and
foremost a Colombian. With a passion that knows no
equal, the author loves his country and its people. He
holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and a
master's in marketing. Fueled by his passion for
writing, Simón has published short stories, written
marketing content for companies and worked as a
community manager and content creator for multiple
brands. Driven by his curiosity for culture and human
interaction he has lived in Venezuela, Colombia, France
and China and is always on the lookout for the next