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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 10.4137, -75.5336
Tolu - such a cute and charming little Colombian seaside town, even though there isn't much to see or do in the town itself, it's the kind of place perfect for lingering and doing very little of anything other than drinking a cold beer or refreshing tropical fruit juice, eating some fresh seafood, and chilling in a hammock with a book.
Having said that, there is another side to Tolu - any place popular with tourists, especially those from Colombia, is bound to have some great nightlife. You wouldn't think it, but apparently Tolu is known for it, with Colombian tourists getting pretty wild in the discos around town. Not that we would know - having to get up early to see the sights and also getting our asses handed to us by the oppressive Colombian heat and humidity, our nightlife adventures in Tolu have consisted of watching TV and drinking bottles of ice cold water and Gatorade while cooling off underneath a ceiling fan.
Tolu isn't on the radar of most foreign tourists passing through the area, so for that reason alone it is worth stopping by, as it isn't overrun with us foreigners just yet. Yes, it's still
a very touristy place, but the important difference is that it's mostly Colombian holidaymakers. Tolu is nearly the complete opposite of our next destination - back to Cartagena, a city of over a million people, and bursting at the seams with tourists from all over the world.
The city itself is one of contrasts - you have the modern Bocagrande district full of high-rise hotels and condos, popular with well-to-do Colombian tourists. There is the beautiful colonial old town, full of history and picture-perfect sights and of course, there are the working-class neighbourhoods, poor and run down.
So far, the highlight of Colombia has been the glorious lack of foreign tourists - there were a few we've come across here and there, but they just aren't as prevalent in Colombia as they are in other South American countries. Unfortunately, there will be no avoiding it tonight, as Cartagena will be packed with tourists for New Year's Eve.
Having been part of two massive New Year's Eve celebrations the past two times in South America, one in Valparaiso, and the other in Fortaleza, tonight's celebration was positively tame and quiet in comparison. Cartagena's celebrations in the old town are all private parties,
and there were no massive public celebrations like there were in Chile or Brazil. But we're still fortunate to be celebrating New Year's Eve in Colombia, so who cares? ¡Feliz año nuevo!
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