Bocagrande – Cartagena’s Expat and Foreigner Hotspot

I was aware that this little peninsula utilising the beach and harbour was the number one place for expats and foreigners to holiday and live. So of course I had to have a look.

Getting an Uber there was quite affordable.  It was way too far to walk given the current weather.  It looked destined to be the hottest day I would see in Cartagena – up to 35 degrees.

First stop, Juan Valdez.  There was a cute, touristy-looking trolley car parked outside.

Not my kind of thing to ride on, but cute to photograph.

Juan Valdez Coffee

I found this Juan Valdez to have the highest prices of all their outlets.  Probably because of the expat location.

I noticed immediately the huge percentage of “whities”.  Quite a few had laptops too.

Luckily it was only 1 block to the beach.

I had heard mostly negative things about this beach – the harassment, the poor water quality, so I was interested to see if it was true.

Yes, it’s true.

I think there are more “salespeople” on the beach than actual tourists.

They saw me coming. Within 1 minute I was offered fruit, water, a hat, a massage and drugs.

The offers are harmless, but ceaseless.  I cannot imagine spending much time relaxing here.  These locals are hardcore salespeople.

Still, the beach offered a nice view.

I decided to walk along the road back towards Old Town.

There seemed to be plenty of buses passing by.

The water was kind of brown, and it didn’t appeal to me to swim.  I think after growing up with the beaches in Australia, I’m ruined for life.

I was fascinated by the mix of buildings in the area.

I decided to cross over and see the view from the other side.

It felt a little bit like the Gold Coast in Australia.

I loved the colourful flowers.

I’m not sure why, but this play area reminded me of Terminator 2.

It was a great view back to Manga, and the port. The water also looked a bit cleaner on this side.

It was sooooo hot. Actually 35 degrees, so I opted for a ice cream cone from Maccas.

I then called an Uber back to the city.

Back at the Old Town the Uber driver got confused. He dropped me off in the middle of a film set.  There were lots of caravans and caterers.  I wasn’t surprised a film crew was in Cartagena.  I thought it must be used for lots of movies and local shows.

I walked back toward Getsemani.

A highlight of my day was watching a sloth shuffle around a tree in the park.

When I got home, I saw an interesting Instagram post.  OMG. I learned that the film set I walked through was actually Netflix Narcos 3.  I kicked myself.  I wish I hadn’t dismissed it so quickly.  Very exciting to see the filming of season 3.


Also published on Medium.

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