End of year in Cartagena

Last updated on January 23rd, 2021 at 02:16 pm

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My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Cartagena

One of the more pleasant aspects of my job is the trips that I can plan for myself. I have heard from many of my friends and acquaintances that New Year’s Eve in Cartagena is a unique experience not to be missed during my time in Colombia, and while it was not going to be a vacation per say, I had decided that I was going to relax a little bit.

Cartagena is hot in December, as always, but it seemed to me that the oppressive heat softened at night, which was different than my previous experiences. And though there are many vacationers in town, as it is a top destination in Colombia, you never feel like it’s overcrowded. The remaining Christmas lights also added something extra to the magic that is Cartagena at night.

I arrived on December 30, and I used my remaining half-day to meet up with some acquaintances, as one must put in the effort in maintaining good business relationships. During my visit with Ale, a young Venezuelan whom I have known for some time, I learned some interesting information. Her visa had expired, and thus she is currently living illegally here in Colombia. However, this seemed to have no consequences, since apparently the majority of Venezuelans in Colombia do not have valid papers. In part, this is the result of the political crisis in the neighboring country, but I also found it to be the result of a certain indifference. As my colleague speaks English, she is regularly booked as a tour guide. Foreign-language tourist guides are in high demand, especially in a place like Cartagena.

Visiting Blue Apple Beach on Tierra Bomba

On the 31st of December, I visited a beach club on Tierra Bomba, one of the city’s offshore islands. Blue Apple can be reached by boat in about 30 minutes, and I found it to be a great way to escape the heat of the city during the day. Various sun loungers and beach beds are placed in and around the property, with a pool in the center. The sandy beach, however, does not deserve its name, as it hardly exists. In general, I found the organization of my visit to be quite cumbersome, and upon my arrival, I found the management to be non-existent. After three tries, I was still not able to get a meeting with the manager, but after I paid, shortly before my departure, she decided to finally come and talk to me about the club’s infrastructure. Despite the poor management, the club’s workers were s extremely professional and the guests wanted for nothing. While the food was highly praised online, I personally did not find it to be anything outstanding.

End of Year celebrations in Cartagena

Now it was time for the New Year’s Eve party! Tables were set up in the various alleys throughout the Old Town and stages were provided for the bands. Cartagena essentially becomes a huge outdoor festival on New Year’s Eve. In general, the preferred attire is white, and as for dinner, you are going to need a reservation. At midnight, masses of people gather along the city wall and in front of the main entrance to the city to watch the fireworks and ring in the New Year; however, anyone expecting pyrotechnics like those in Sidney will be disappointed. According to my watch, the performance lasted about 8 minutes, but if you are properly energized and in the mood for a good party, the festivities will continue long into the night. Colombians sure know how to celebrate!

How to get to Fenix Beach near Cartagena?

On New Year’s Day, I visited another beach club, Fenix Beach, which is located on the same island as Blue Apple but on the side facing Cartagena. Fenix Due to some outdated information, I arrived at the wrong port, and despite my call, the boat was not going to wait for me. When the local guy told me I had to wait an hour for the next boat, I expressed my anger and to my surprise, we made the crossing with 2 people. For me, Fenix is what I imagine in a beach club. It is spacious, with a capacity for about 200 people, but even at capacity, it does not feel overcrowded. You can also see the skyline of Cartagena in the distance, and the owners (quite young Colombians) were very helpful in providing information.

More information about sites and activities in Cartagena you will find in our Cartagena tourist information.

On my last morning in Cartagena, I decided to pamper myself a little and visited the coffee Mila Vargas. The restaurant is large and perfectly decorated, and my expectations were quite high. Much to my disappointment, the service was horrible, as waiters made doomsday faces and barely spoke to the clients. Placing an order takes forever, and the food had no taste. What a pity! In order to end my visit on a high note, I then went to the Epoca Espresso Bar. The coffee here is certainly one of the best in the city and the staff were very trained.

After four days in Cartagena ringing in the New Years, I was certainly impressed! The experience lived up to all the hype, and I would confidently recommend this experience during your holidays in Colombia.

As we are specialized in custom made travels to Colombia we will be more than happy to organize also your trip. And if you are interested in playing golf in Cartagena or somewhere else in Colombia, we are also specialized in golf trips to Colombia.

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There is much more to see in Colombia, you can find everything in my travel guides.

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