Yesterday evening we landed in Lima, Peru after spending our last two weeks in Colombia along the coast visiting Cartagena, Santa Marta and Palomino before we went further north to the desert area of La Guajira for three days. Getting of the airplane in Cartagena was like entering another country compared to Bogotá and the places we had visited before in Colombia. The heat was striking and the Spanish more or less non-understandable. We stayed in Cartagena for 4 days having our base in the Getsemani neighbourhood, said to be “the place to be” in Cartagena, but as usual we were in bed at latest at 21.30pm everyday so saying that we discovered the nightlife might be an overstatement.
We spent a few hours every day at the beaches at Rodadero- the hotel area and strolling around in the walled city at the afternoons and early nights. The walled city was like taken directory from a pirate movie and for sure had some interesting buildings and history. However, what really ruined the time outside our hostel-room were all the street vendors. Clearly, when travelling in Latin America you will come across people on the street that want to sell you everything from chickens, machetes, hats and water but in Cartagena it was extreme, something that was also confirmed by people working at the restaurants and the hostel. Unfortunately it kind of destroyed the overall experience.
From Cartagena we continue to Santa Marta where we took a daytour to Minka, a small village in the mountains. We had heard so much positive things about Santa Marta and Minka but in comparison to the nature we came across in Mexico and Costa Rica it was nothing special. Before heading on our three day tour to La Guajira we spent four days relaxing on the beach in Palomino, a small village along the beach. We really enjoyed our days there. Low season and very few people. However, the prices where insane and rather hard to believe- one block away from the main tourism street people hardly had roof over their head, and it would be rather interesting to see how this place will develop the next years. We really got a bit the feeling that the people who live in the area is not really benefiting from the tourism and the money that it leave in the community.