cartagena co

We weren’t sure exactly what to expect when our flight from Panama City touched down in Cartagena.  Colombia’s poor reputation as a country known for its frequent kidnappings, drug trafficking and dangerous civil conflict; a triangular war between guerrilla insurgents, right-wing paramilitaries and government forces has caused it to remain one of the less frequented stops along the so-called ‘gringo trail’.  But we had also heard some really good things about traveling to Colombia, particularly the Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena.  In fact, Colombia is hard at work trying to change its image amoung travelers, so much so that the country’s tourism board‘s most recent advertising slogan reads “Colombia, the only risk is wanting to stay.” 

Currently getting from Panama to Colombia, or any country in South America, is a little tricky.  There is no safe overland route across Panama’s Darién Gap and most people either fly or sail between the two countries.  Five days aboard a sailboat sounded like too much so we decided to make the journey by air, flying in and out of Cartagena on our way south to Quito, Ecuador.


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