Cartagena is a dreamy town with the encanto especial of a sleeping beauty. Its old centre, surrounded with strong fortification walls since the 16th century (the last conquest of Francis Drake), is formed by crooked, narrow streets of cobblestone through which echoes the clop of horse hooves like a resonance over the centuries. In the evening, smooth illumination caresses the balconies and creates a captivating atmosphere.
It is a peculiar place. And a precious one. Glimpsing through wooden entrance gates of private houses when roaming around, one sees patios with green gardens and shining swimming pools. As I read recently, ten percent of population comprise forty-six percent of total income in Colombia, while on the countryside, sixty percent of population live on the breadline. Among latinoamerican countries, economic disparity is highest in Colombia (see here and here). In this hermetic paradise, however, life is untroubled. Its colonial style architecture makes it appearing more european than any european city.
One day I undertook a touristic excursion to the Islas del Rosario, a national park about two boat hours away: crystal clear, blue water, coral reefs with rainbow-colored fish and white beaches.