Images from my Cartagena apartment

Summertiiiiime… And the livin’ is easy…

After a good night’s sleep in the hotel, I was able to get a cab back to the plaza for just $3. I was right — negotiating the cab fare BEFORE you get in an unmetered cab is essential, worldwide. (update: I later got comfortable with just handing the driver a 10,000 peso note and waiting for my change. That’s what they’re used to and I rarely got overcharged that way).

With just a little help from Oliver, a street vendor of paintings (and some better info from my hostess) I found the apartment. Let me tell you, it was worth waiting for! Just two doors down from the plaza where I had my beer and lunch yesterday, the location is perfect and gorgeous. Here’s what the common areas of the apartment building look like:

The pool is in the central courtyard.
Steps from entryway to elevator/stairs.
Several verandas surround the pool.
The 6th floor balcony overlooks… everything!
And here’s the interior of my apartment:
Tall, wooden cathedral windows open with little keys.
Lounging area (ottomans stuffed with linens)
My kitchen for the week.
Upstairs loft is the master bedroom.
Smaller bedroom under the stairs will be used for storage, charging and lounging.
Loft bedroom.
View from upstairs. Yes, the floor is really tile.
A shot of my front door, because the woodwork here is exquisite!
Note: If you want to rent this apartment, contact Claudia through AirBnB. I wrote about my other lodging in Cartagena here.
So, now that I’m here, what do I do? Umm.. whatever I want, mostly.

I wake up whenever I please (usually between 8am and 11am). I make coffee & check e-mail, facebook, etc. After that I fill my day with writing articles, reading, walking, exploring, cooking, eating out, talking on the phone with my son, Facebook, meeting the neighbors. I do yoga (as much as possible on a tile floor with no mat), listen to music and dance. I also wash dishes, do small loads of laundry in the sink, and tidy up.

I work in the apartment when it’s hot, or on the veranda when it’s cooler. At night, I read and Skype with Craig.

When it’s not too hot, I open the tall windows so I can hear and see all the hubbub on the street below. I regularly hear the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages, a vendor who comes through with saxophones and plays a couple of riffs, and lots of people calling out, whistling, etc.

Here are some pics of the street, taken from my window:

Giant birds. Yikes.
They’re constructing a bar in there, I think. Hanging wagons and tricycles from the ceiling!
Here’s one of the carriages.
Candy makers across the street.
Random boy with guitar. He’s not one of the regulars here.
Candy guys separating the batch into colors.
They’ll work it by hand from here on out.
Working the candy mixture into fancy shapes.
The saxophone guy. I love when he walks under my window!

Published by Lauren

I'm a nomadic freelance writer, out enjoying the world!


  • Juan David Vizcaya Sanchez

    May 26, 2013 at 1:08 am

    The place you found looks amazing, i’m looking forward to staying there this summer for a couple of weeks. Perhaps you could help me with the hotel phone numbers or addresses?
    Thank you so much, JD

  • Lauren Zehara

    May 28, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Sure, Juan. I haven’t stayed in any hotels here, just apartments. I found them both on The one above I rented from a lady named Claudia, it ran about $550 for the week and had A/C and a full-time doorman. In the heart of the historic district, perfect location.

    My long-term apartment is quite a bit cheaper, just over $400 for the month, I have a room in a shared apartment, there are three of us here plus the landlord and his lady. It’s on the 5th floor, about a mile north of the old city. No elevator, no AC, but I love my housemates & landlord.

    Let me know if you want contact info on either of these.

  • Juan David Vizcaya Sanchez

    May 30, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Hi :),
    Thank you so much for your reply. I saw the AirBnB logo on one of the pictures and contacted Claudia. Hopefully we are gonna stay there on June 10. Gotta tell you, really nice blog. Ended up reading more than i expected.
    Thank you again!

  • Lauren Zehara

    May 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Oh, good! I hope you love it as much as I did. You can’t get a better location. Oh, and if your internet seems weak, move to the interior wall of the apartment, away from the windows!

    thanks, glad you enjoyed it!