Isla Barú, located just off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, is the kind of tropical paradise that most visitors to Cartagena envision when they book their tickets. Palm trees, bright blue Caribbean sea, sandy beaches, fresh seafood and fruit juice… heaven, basically. You can visit Isla Barú for the day, sunning on the shores of stunning Playa Blanca, or you can choose to stay overnight, which is what we did. Read this travel guide to Isla Baru for more tips about visiting Isla Baru and Playa Blanca, and our pick for the best Isla Barú hotel!
Cartagena, Colombia is one of the most photogenic cities in the world. Around every corner there’s a 400-year old cathedral, a colorful mural, a balcony laden with flowers, or a rainbow-colored street. We’ve taken several trips to Cartagena and find ourselves returning to the same photogenic spots over and over again! In this post, we’re sharing all of our secrets to finding our favorite spots to take photos in Cartagena. You know, for Instagram. Because if you don’t post about it on Instagram, did you really go?
Cartagena is the starting point for most travelers visiting the Caribbean coast of Colombia. But too often, visitors to Cartagena don’t venture outside of the city limits and explore the rest of this amazing region. That’s a HUGE mistake! There are a zillion amazing destinations nearby, from Minca to Parque Tayrona to the Lost City to the Tatacoa Desert. But before you can dive into all that the northern Colombian coast has to offer, you’ll have to get from Cartagena to Santa Marta, which is the jumping-off point for most of these spots. Luckily for you, we’ve traveled between Cartagena and Santa Marta many times over the years. Here’s a step by step guide to getting from Cartagena to Santa Marta!
We spent a month backpacking through Ecuador, and we LOVED exploring this small but incredibly diverse, insanely beautiful country. From the high altitude metropolitan city of Quito, to the animal refuge of the Galapagos Islands, to the adventure town of Banos, to the high mountain regions of the Andes, to the Amazon Rainforest – and that’s just like, a really short summary highlight reel – there are so many incredible places to go in Ecuador! Plus, Ecuador is home to all of our favorite things: really good chocolate, llamas, stunning mountains, alpacas, volcanoes, llamas & alpacas, and sea lions. What more could you want?!! From swimming with sea lions to hiking in the Andes to sleeping in a hobbit hole at the foot of a volcano to white water rafting to swimming in giant natural thermal baths at the foot of a waterfall, this itinerary is chock full of amazing things to do in Ecuador that we really, really, really want to go back and do again.
Packing for a trip to Colombia can be really challenging. After all, Colombia is home to about every diverse landscape you can think of: the tropical Caribbean northern coast; the hot, humid Amazon; Medellin’s “eternal spring;” the cool, mountainous region around Minca and Santa Marta, and the cold, high-altitude city of Bogota. After spending a month in Colombia, we’ve got all the tips you need to pack your bags and go in our ultimate guide to what to pack for Colombia. Plus, get a free downloadable checklist to help you pack!
Planning a trip to Colombia? We spent 1 month backpacking in Colombia and fell in LOVE with this amazing country. It was our favorite South America travel destination! Here’s a super detailed 1 month itinerary for backpacking in Colombia, including Cartagena, Minca, Santa Marta, Parque Tayrona, San Gil, Medellin, Salento, and Bogota.