Cartagena de Indias, Colombia – Flight to a new continent

We fly to Colombia. RoRo ferries don’t take passengers due to insurance reasons. Best price offers COPA Air by internet booking (around 30 $ less expensive than at the counters in many malls), the second supplier Avianca is most of the time more expensive. Prices change, a one-way-ticket is around 350 US$. We fly via Bogotá what extends travel and flight time, but is a bit cheaper. We fly over the Darién Gap and know now that we definitely don’t want to drive there, in the rainy season it’s quite impossible. The hilly jungle landscape is criss-crossed by uncountable meandering rivers; larger and deeper areas transformed into swamps.

At the ATM machine in Bogotá I withdraw 1,000,000 Peso or COP and become millionaire. That corresponds to about 550 US$ – too many zeros for my concept. Another possibility to get from Panama to Colombia is a mini-cruise with a sailing boat through the San Blas archipelago. These Caribbean islands belong to the autonomous precinct of the Kuna Indians and are relatively untapped by touristic means. The sailing ship Stahlratte seems to be recommended by many travellers (, they transport motorcycles and bikes as well. Unfortunately there is no suitable cruise for us.

We take a room in the hotel Oceano that has bearable prices and a convenient location somewhat close to the harbour. Rooms are simple, modern and very clean with TV and air-con. Despite price-fixing arrangement via our agent in Cartagena the administration asks for more than double the price, but this can be solved quickly. We get the double room including breakfast and taxes for 57 $. Rooms to the main road have a balcony; at the back without balcony it is quieter. The restaurant is acceptable.

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