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Insert that cliche quote about life being a beach here. Would you believe I only visited Cartagena to be able to go to the beach? Tis true. While living in Medellin, anytime someone asked if I was visiting another city, I’d say I’m going to Cartagena because I need to see a beach. I was always quickly told that beaches in Cartagena aren’t that great, but if you take a little trip to others, it’s more than worth it. One of the top recommendations was Playa Blanca and until actually arriving in Cartagena, I didn’t even know if I’d make it there.
When I check the interwebs, Playa Blanca (Isla Baru) is supposed to be about 40 minutes from Cartagena. I went with Alex Rocha (Experience Real Cartagena) and two of the lovely ladies I met the previous day on a tour to San Basilio de Palenque. You’d usually have a larger group, but since he’s pretty much the nicest guy on earth, he didn’t cancel on us and took us in his car.
On the way to Playa Blanca:
Before arriving at Playa Blanca Alex allowed us to experience Mercado Bazurto in all its glory. It was crazy that when I’d researched things to do in Cartagena, this was something I told myself I would do. However, I completely forgot about it until sitting down and having an uber authentic meal in the heart of the market. I had to ask Alex to repeat the name of the place before it dawned on me that I was supposed to be there!
We walked around a little bit (catch a glimpse in the above video) and picked up a few items before hopping back in the car. On the way to the beach Alex drove us through several communities full of Afro-Colombian people. I will never not admire them starting their own communities because there is apparent and obvious colorism in the country. If you’re not wanted somewhere, sometimes the next best thing is to create a space where you are welcomed and celebrated.
I was all too excited to finally be able to lay out and get the proper tan that I deserved. The only problem was that, just like in Cartagena, people were sitting in chairs versus actually laying out on the beach. I later found out that this was due to it being hurricane season. The tide is so high that laying out on these beaches meant that you’d be swept up by every wave that comes ashore.
One of our squad, in addition to Alex, frolicked in the water and looked like she was having the time of her life. I however just wanted to catch some sun although the water was warm and beautiful. And even though the waves were kind of crazy, we sat back and enjoyed some adult beverages and good food. I think could say that on this day, all was right with the world.
CHECK OUT MY OTHER POSTS ON MEDELLIN AND CARTAGENA HERE.