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Published: September 30th 2017
Geo: 10.4137, -75.5336
Volcan de Lodo El Totumo - famous with tourists visiting Cartagena, it's not the type of volcano you typically think of, as it's a mud volcano. People climb up and drop inside of a giant mud bath, which reputedly has therapeutic properties. This was high on our list of things to do but staying here during New Year's made it difficult to arrange anything yesterday as tour agencies were closed - unfortunately, this wasn't going to happen today.
But there are far worse fates than to be stuck lounging around a pretty little colonial town for another day - snacking on ice cream and fresh tropical juices and eating some more divine Caribbean seafood seems to be the routine here, and a beautiful one at that. We later made our way over to Bocagrande, to see what all the fuss is about in the modern tourist district of Cartagena.
From afar it looks a lot like Miami Beach and the vibe there feels a lot like Hawaii's Waikiki. Given that it's the centre of tourist activity for most well-to-do Colombians, we expected there to be a lot more high-end shops, but there were only a handful. There was also a surprising
lack of restaurants in Bocagrande, at least public ones - there are a number of all-inclusive resorts in the area, so maybe there isn't enough demand for a lot of restaurants around here.
The beach isn't anything special - a typical city patch of sand, packed with both people and bars blaring loud dance music. Not the place to go if you're looking for a relaxing day at the beach, but it definitely has a fun atmosphere, nonetheless. Overall, Bocagrande seems a bit boring and a bit bland, at least during the day. Like all places Colombian, I'm sure the evening picks up and gets pretty wild.
Can't say I have any desire to ever return to Bocagrande - Cartagena's old town offers so much more that it simply pales in comparison. But having said that, it was still a nice way to spend an afternoon strolling along the beach, and enjoying some refreshments at cafes overlooking the ocean. Bocagrande isn't a bad place - it's not its fault that it isn't Cartagena's walled city!
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