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Cartagena, the Walled City, a Long Weekend in Colombia

Possible the most romantic and magical city I have ever been! Cartagena completely stole my heart I was smitten since the second we arrived and can’t wait to go back. This was our first taste of Colombia and it might already be my favorite South American destination.

Cartagena is a full fledged international city and we felt catered to our entire trip. Since we live in Miami Beach we focused on staying in the city rather than going out to the beaches. We stayed in the walled city for the first few nights and then moved out into the Getsemani neighborhood. Very different experiences but loved them both! Getsemani feels more trendy and up and coming over the established historic district of the walled city. Both are brimming with activity and amazing restaurants you can’t go wrong no matter where you stay since the entire city of Cartagena is fairly small and walkable.

The food! Omgosh the food. I need to start taking photos of my restaurant food. The seafood in this city is out of control especially the ceviche. We had seafood for every meal and it was to.die.for.good. One of our favorite places was Carmen. The tasting menu at Carmen was amazing! We had the 7 course tasting menu with wine pairings and everything was fantastic.

Another restaurant we loved was La Cevicheria. This is an Anthony Bordain favorite and we quickly knew why. We loved the ceviche so much we actually ate here twice! Next time I will remember to take pictures.

In Getsemani we had pizza and drinks at Demente, and late night crepes at Creperie Cafe Le Petit Versailles. Traveled all the way to Colombia and I swear we could have been in Brooklyn, but we loved it! The atmosphere is so laid back, everyone just hanging out in the church square late into the night chatting and playing games.

We had a great time here, but we were so exhausted from doing so much in just a few days! Couldn’t wait to get home and snuggle my pup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copan Ruinas, Mayan Ruins, Rainforests, and Coffee! Adventures in Honduras

Off we go to Honduras!

We flew into San Pedro Sula and then made our way to Copan Ruinas via the bus. Hedman Alas shuttles you from the airport to their secure terminal in the city.  Much like an airport- the terminal is gated, guarded, and security checks your passport to board. We enjoyed the very clean and comfortable bus ride to Copan.

Copan Ruinas is a quaint town in the mountains of Honduras, bordering Guatemala, best known for the UNESCO world heritage site that is the Mayan ruins of Copan. The ruins are a must see, and the town is small, but has enough to keep you busy for a few days. It is worth mentioning that I felt VERY safe in this town. Guards are stationed at the entrance to the town, and the local people are extremely welcoming. Copan Ruinas has a laid back family vibe filled with a thriving local community, not touristy.

 

We stumbled upon Cafe San Rafael and it became a favorite stop. We frequented this cafe multiple times during our stay because the setting was just perfect and the coffee was AMAZING.

 

The town of Copan Ruinas is filled with narrow cobble stone streets. While it is small enough to walk everywhere, there are lots of hills and we were always happy to flag down a ride.

 

Copan

 

Street Food! Hard to pass a food vendor without stopping. So cheap. So good. We can never resist it. Every night vendors set up around the main square and sell food and people dine out on the sidewalks.

 

 

Copan! In the heat…
Definitely the main attraction and it did not disappoint- except that the weather was sweltering. Not only was it about 100 degrees, but there was no breeze. I recommend you get there EARLY. Plan to arrive right at opening. There are plenty of guides for hire at the entrance. You should hire a professional guide though if you are making the trek out there, the monuments themselves do not have a ton of information displayed. Overall, the ruins are fascinating and we enjoyed it very much.

 

 

Where to Stay in Copan Ruinas

The town is so small it is hard to go wrong, but I recommend staying at a hotel within a block or two of the Main Square, on the map it comes up as “Parque Central”. Arrange activities and transportation through the many tour outfits situated right off of the square. The ruins of Copán are accessible via tuk-tuk, as is the bus station.

 

Must See 

While of course the ruins are the main attraction,  Cafe Welchez was our favorite surprise excursion. It was a fairly long ride outside of the town, but so worth it! We had a private tour of the plantation, plant, lunch, and coffee tasting and it was amazing!

Finca

 

Being my first visit to a coffee plantation I loved that our guide was so knowledgeable of the process and the history of the farm. Our guide spoke perfect english and was a local from the town so we were able to ask plenty of questions.

 

It felt more like a tropical rainforest tour than coffee tour at one point as we walked through part of the protected jungle that was truly magnificent. With so many coffee plantations in this area to visit, I highly recommend taking a guided tour because we learned more than we would have wandering around on our own, and we really enjoyed it!

Overall we loved Copan Ruinas, and we were pleasantly surprised but the charm of the town. Almost everything we read prior to our trip focused on the ruins, but the town itself is truly charming and there are plenty of things to do. I loved the main plaza and the way you zoom around the town in little tuk-tuks. Spend a few days exploring here you won’t regret it!

How to Get There

Where to Stay

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