At the Caribbean Coast in Northern Colombia

The old Colonial town Cartagena is the most popular tourist city in Colombia and a symbol of the Colombian life style. Many millionaires have an apartment at the waterfront in Bocagrande.

We stay more basic in the backyard of the hotel Bellavista. Not nice but close to the city center and in front of the beach. The old town of Cartagena is almost completely surrounded by a city wall. One can endlessly stroll thru the wonderful narrow streets, spend a lot of money and let the Columbian life style sink in. On the first evening we meet Manfred`s cousin and his Colombian wife Marta. Both stay a few weeks in Colombia for vacation. It`s really hot with more than 80% humidity and we are happy about our air condition in the car. The next day we pick-up our son Felix at the airport and stay another 2 days for sightseeing before we go North to the Caribbean beaches.

On our way to the sea we pass the mud volcano Totumo. The cone is 15m high and small stairs lead to the top. The crater has  a diameter of 5m and is filled with warm mud of finest particles. The volcanic vent goes 500m down to the interior of the earth but one floats like a cork on the surface. Accidentally it`s Manfred`s birthday and so it is a very special present. The three of us have a lot of fun in the mud and with the cleaning in the lagoon afterwards. To celebrate the birthday evening we make a interim stop on the beach of Puerto Colombia and empty a bottle of Champagne which we have treasured since Ecuador. Unfortunately the police comes along at 11pm and tells us that it`s not allowed to stay with cars on the beach overnight. They leave no room for discussion and so we end up 200m away from the beach on the street as prescribed.

The next morning we go on. 50km north of Santa Marta we find a Caribbean beach like we envisage. A place for MOMO under palm trees, a beach bar and a lot of room for our hammocks. Felix can rent a surf board an can indulge one`s passion.

After a few very relaxing days we make a short side trip to Palomini before we enter the National park of Tayrona. In the past the park was the home of the Tairona Indians. Today it`s a protected landscape of 120sqkm with turquoise water and sandy palm beaches. 5km after the entrance is a big parking lot. From there you can only continue by foot. After a strenuous hike of 2 hours you reach a picturesque beach. At this place swimming is possible because of the offshore reef. At most of the other beaches in the park it`s not possible to swim. Every year many people are drowned due to strong currents. We make the hike on two days in a row and on the third day we do a horse ride. The trail is very dusty, the rear hurts and we all three discover that horse riding is obviously not our favorite sport.

We go on to Santa Marta for shopping and continue to Playa Concha. The beach is nice but not accessible for cars and the campground is full of waste. We must stay on the parking lot but therefore a macaw visits us for breakfast. After one night we drive once more to our favorite campground Casa Grande. Here we truly feel good and have a very relaxed time and a lot of fun for the remaining days with Felix. And then it`s already time to go back to Cartagena where we explore the city for another two days.

With a heavy heart we say good bye to Felix at the airport. Unfortunately the time in a threesome passed far too quickly. Now we go back to Central Colombia and continue our journey at the point where we have interrupted three weeks before. But what we experience there we tell you in the next blog. Till then. Hasta la Vista.

And finally a few nice snapshots

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