First night in the hostel was awesome- slept great most of the night! It’s weird having different people’s alarms going off at different times but not too disruptive. Got up around 6:30 because that’s my life and got coffee and hung out in the hostel lobby.
At 730 we walked over to the port outside old town to catch our boat to the Rosario islands. We used bona vida and they were great! There are a LOT of hustlers selling things here and at the port was no different. A super nice guy from the bora bora tours was trying to sell us his tours and when we told him we were looking for our boat he helped us out and was super nice so I’d totally book a tour with them!
Got on the boat and when boarding they ask if you want chicken, seafood, or the vegetarian option for lunch. Score! The beautiful catamaran sailed away from cartagena and the captain pointed out a few sights along the way, including one of Pablo Escobar’s former homes. We got a delicious welcome fruit punch drink with vodka and they had great cocktails for purchase. Got a sangria and watermelon + vodka. ❤️
We stopped at two spots to snorkel/swim: Rosario islands and Playa Blanca. The first spot was full of coral and colorful fish! The second spot didn’t have much to look at but had a cute beach we swam to so got in about half a mile of swimming! No goggles though so it wasn’t the best 😂. We also ate lunch at the second spot, which for me was delicious rice with veggies. Soooo good!
The boat ride back might have been the highlight of the amazing trip though! We were on the net part of the catamaran and it was basically like a water rollercoaster! Legit got completely submerged at one point! It was amazing and so much fun!!
When we got back we cleaned up and headed to the rum room and had some super delicious drinks! They gave us a free rum sample and chocolate to start and then free blistered shishito peppers!! Best shishitos I’ve ever had! They said it was just oil, salt, and pepper but I swear there was something else magical!
After drinks we headed back to the hostel for a quick (amazing) sandwich and then got onto our party bus! Not gonna lie- i was stressing about what to eat for dinner because the bar we stopped at didn’t have anything vegan and things move a little slower in these parts so even if they could have customized something it wasn’t likely going to be ready in time. So i was super grateful that the hostel was able to whip us up delicious sandwiches so quickly!!
The party bus we took was the one recommended and booked by our hostel. They picked us up right at the hostel and we drove around for the next 60-90 minutes picking up the rest of the participants. It was so bizarre! There was a band in the very back of the bus & we were the first group to get picked up so it was empty. And apparently the open bar on the bus doesn’t start until everyone
boards. So it was just us with no alcohol and a band. Kinda weird.
At each stop one of the guys running the bus would jump out and retrieve whoever was coming and if they didn’t show up we left without them. At each stop there were street vendors coming to the sides of the bus (it was all open) and asking if we wanted to buy things from them like beer or water. One had Smirnoff ice (don’t judge me) so i asked how much. Diez mil pesos… aka $3. WTF?! Who is paying $3 for ONE Smirnoff ice?! Like… come on buddy. So i tried to barter and get it for $5 but no dice. So a couple of the girls got cheap Colombian beers and I stayed sober until we got our “open bar”. Aka each row of the bus got a bottle of whisky (sic) and Pepsi’s and some cups and ice.
So we drank that nasty booze because when in Colombia! Pretty quickly we got to the first stop by the Castillo de San Fellipe… aka a tourist trap. Just a bunch of vendors pushing their goods on us. But on the plus side there was a dude selling Smirnoff ice for 5 mil pesos. So I got one of those but i only had a cincuenta mil bill. So he told me to drink it and he’d come back with change. Eventually he came back but he couldn’t find change so he told me to just keep it. So my sweet friend Robyn offered to get a huge corona to help make up the difference and she had a veinte mil bill. So the total was now 15 mil. He still didn’t have change so again he leaves to find a five mil bill. He came back and STILL didn’t have change so we got another beer and he goes 21 mil. Hahahaha oh brother. He let us have it for 20. But what a hassle! He was super nice though!! Slammed another Smirnoff ice ($10 mil this time because it was in a glass bottle? Who knows) and got back on the bus.
Now the bus was bumpin! The music was blasting, the guy in charge was having fun with us and we were all dancing. We got another bottle of the whisky and were having fun til the last stop of the bus tour (umm… what tour?!) which was a club called Le blon. It was kind of awful inside but had entertaining bathrooms.
We left without getting any drinks to head over to club Havana, a spot Marieke found a week prior with her boyfriend. We met her on the catamaran and she joined us for the party bus. Such an awesome human!! Club Havana had a $30 mil cover charge but it was so worth it!! I got a delicious caphirina and there was amazing live music and dancing! I soooo wish i could salsa dance or even fake it! Hahaha it was so much fun nonetheless and i highly recommend it to anyone in Cartagena! The band was AMAZING! We danced the night away until 1 or 2 and then walked back to the hostel a few blocks away. The neighborhood is super cute and totally felt safe. Another awesome day in the books!!!