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Cartagena, Colombia

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

By Fiona McKenzie

Spring Break is an exciting time. It’s a week off of school and a time to step back and take a minute to breathe. Everyone is jetting off somewhere new, heading back home, or engaging in another activity during their week long break. Any one is a solid choice for a break.

This year, I went to Cartagena, Colombia, for a week. I wanted to go somewhere rich with history but also warm, with beach access. Cartagena has so many historical areas and beautiful sights to see. They are known for their emerald and gold resources, and several pirate attacks made on the city for these valuable goods.

While I’ve been here I feel like I’ve done the most I could have in a week. I’ve done several tours, gone to museums, shopped for souvenirs, and gone to two islands. Cartagena has islands around the city that are known for their Caribbean-looking ocean. I hiked around a fort called Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. This was a fort built to prevent pirate attacks on the city. It was beautifully made and has some slots for cannons around the rim of the fort. There were also underground caves for some to take cover in during these attacks. This was an interesting excursion, but I felt like I was withering away in the ninety-two degree weather as I hiked up the hills of the fort. My favorite excursion was to the island next to Cartagena called “Bora Bora.” The color of the water was a sea green and absolutely stunning. I did a tour with a company that included a cabana, a beverage, and a meal during our four hour stay at the island. It was a great place to relax and take in the beautiful sight of the ocean around me.

I met such nice people on this trip, including several Americans who had traveled here last minute, needing a break from the stress of everyday life. I found this inspiring. Hoping one day after I graduate, I can jet away to a beautiful historical city for a couple days to escape from everyday stressors.

I am so grateful to have had the time to come to this lovely city. I recommend Cartagena to college students if they’re looking for a future Spring Break trip that involves history, sun, and some much-needed beach time. It’s affordable and there’s so much to do! Cartagena is a very safe and friendly city. There are night clubs to go out in, tours to take, beach day trips, and so much more to do here. This may sound cheesy but although sometimes vacation is nice, everyday life and working hard is what makes me that much more grateful to jet off to somewhere new.


Photo Credit

Fiona McKenzie

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