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Part TRAVEL JOURNAL and part LIFESTYLE BLOG, this site captures DESIGN, CULTURE, CUISINE and STYLE as seen through the eyes of ALI SWISHER.

Cartagena

Cartagena

The 16th C walled city of this vibrant coastal town boasts colorful Spanish buildings with wooden balconies and cascading bougainvillea, oversized doors with iron knockers (or aldabas) and lively street vendors selling artisan goods and Colombian fare.

CITY OF DOORS |    If I didn't already have an obsession with doors when I arrived, I certainly left with one DRESS:    INDAH  ,  HAT:      JANESSA LEONE   ,   Shoes:  havaianas

CITY OF DOORS | If I didn't already have an obsession with doors when I arrived, I certainly left with one DRESS: INDAH, HAT: JANESSA LEONE, Shoes: havaianas

AND THE DOOR OBSESSION CONTINUES... 

AND THE DOOR OBSESSION CONTINUES... 

TCHERASSI HOTEL & SPA |  Designed & owned by a Colombian fashion designer, this stunning hotel is a feast for the {design-savy} eyes AND FEATURES A SHOP WITH SOME OF HER MERCH

TCHERASSI HOTEL & SPA | Designed & owned by a Colombian fashion designer, this stunning hotel is a feast for the {design-savy} eyes AND FEATURES A SHOP WITH SOME OF HER MERCH

More from tcherassi's stunning hotel

More from tcherassi's stunning hotel

DAILY UNIFORM |  The weather was exceptionally warm at around 90 degrees EVERY DAY with scattered sun and showers. I wore a lot of linen and cotton and kept my ensemble palette neutral DURING THE DAY. PANTS & CROP TOP: Zara, SHOES:    KAANAS   , SHADES:    Persol

DAILY UNIFORM | The weather was exceptionally warm at around 90 degrees EVERY DAY with scattered sun and showers. I wore a lot of linen and cotton and kept my ensemble palette neutral DURING THE DAY. PANTS & CROP TOP: Zara, SHOES: KAANAS, SHADES: Persol

COLONIAL CONTRAST |  The streets are lined with bright, bold handmade goods arranged against muted, crumbling walls

COLONIAL CONTRAST | The streets are lined with bright, bold handmade goods arranged against muted, crumbling walls

WOOD MEETS METAL |  JUST ABOUT EVERY WOODEN DOOR WAS ADORNED WITH BEAUTIFUL BRASS AND IRON METALWORK. TOP:    Rails  ,  SHORTS:    Frame  ,  SHOES:    Joie

WOOD MEETS METAL | JUST ABOUT EVERY WOODEN DOOR WAS ADORNED WITH BEAUTIFUL BRASS AND IRON METALWORK. TOP: Rails, SHORTS: Frame, SHOES: Joie

16th C. WALLED CITY |  Wood balconies with bursts of cascading bougainvillea are one of the most dazzling features of the colorful Spanish Colonial buildings

16th C. WALLED CITY | Wood balconies with bursts of cascading bougainvillea are one of the most dazzling features of the colorful Spanish Colonial buildings

COLOMBIAN CUISINE | Buñuelos (left) & Tostones (right) at MILA VARGAS.

COLOMBIAN CUISINE | Buñuelos (left) & Tostones (right) at MILA VARGAS.

MAD HATTER |  A wall lined with  sombreros vueltiaos , traditional COLOMBIAN hats made of  caña flecha  grass

MAD HATTER | A wall lined with sombreros vueltiaos, traditional COLOMBIAN hats made of caña flecha grass

FRUTA Y FALDAS |  WOMEN DRESSED IN BRIGHT, RUFFLED SKIRTS SELLING FRESH FRUIT

FRUTA Y FALDAS | WOMEN DRESSED IN BRIGHT, RUFFLED SKIRTS SELLING FRESH FRUIT

SANGRIA AT SUNSET |  IN THE BACKGROUND, LA TORRE DEL RELOJ (THE  CLOCK TOWER ) MARKS THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE WALLED CITY. THESE CHAIRS ARE PART OF  CAFE DEL MAR  , A RESTAURANT BUILT ON THE BULWARK WITH SWEEPING VIEWS OF OLD TOWN, THE OCEAN AND METROPOLITAN CARTAGENA. GREAT SPOT FOR COCKTAILS AND SNACKS AT SUNSET

SANGRIA AT SUNSET | IN THE BACKGROUND, LA TORRE DEL RELOJ (THE CLOCK TOWER) MARKS THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO THE WALLED CITY. THESE CHAIRS ARE PART OF CAFE DEL MAR , A RESTAURANT BUILT ON THE BULWARK WITH SWEEPING VIEWS OF OLD TOWN, THE OCEAN AND METROPOLITAN CARTAGENA. GREAT SPOT FOR COCKTAILS AND SNACKS AT SUNSET

BEYOND THE WALLED CITY |  the rosario islands, an archipelago off the coast of Cartagena, is a quick 45 min boat ride away from the port. The islands consist of restaurants, hotels, stunning homes and lively beach clubs. From swimming in the warm, turquoise water and buying oysters from locals in kayaks to dining in shallow water right under a palapa - visiting the islands was definitely a highlight

BEYOND THE WALLED CITY | the rosario islands, an archipelago off the coast of Cartagena, is a quick 45 min boat ride away from the port. The islands consist of restaurants, hotels, stunning homes and lively beach clubs. From swimming in the warm, turquoise water and buying oysters from locals in kayaks to dining in shallow water right under a palapa - visiting the islands was definitely a highlight

THE DEETS

  • LANGUAGE: Spanish
  • CURRENCY: colombia uses the colombian peso, and 1 us dollar will get you about 3000 cp. Bring cash with you ahead of time as atms are hit and miss. You can exchange at the airport or there are several places to do so within the walled city. 
  • CLIMATE: tropical - that means very warm and humid with sudden changes in weather (i.e. from sunny to rainy in the blink of an eye). Average temperature in august was 85-90 degrees.
  • GETTING AROUND: mostly by foot but uber and taxis are also reliable.

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FOOD & DRINK GUIDE

  • MILA VARGAS | Carrera 4 #35-76: known for coffee, brunch and to-die-for pastries. 
  • EPOCA | Calle de Arzopispado, carrera 5 #34-52: the coffee is amazing but their mojitos are some of the best you'll ever have.
  • CUZCO | Calle Santo Domingo #33-48: one of the best restaurants in the area with incredible peruvian food (i'm addicted to ceviche) and great service.
  • LA CEVICHERIA | cl. 39 #7 14: anthony bourdain has been here. Enough said.
  • ALQUIMICO | Calle del Colegio #34-24: incredible craft cocktails, great food and trendy atmosphere. Be sure to check out the rooftop bar.
  • LA MOVIDA | Calle 33 #2-14: lively nightclub with indoor and outdoor areas. Global atmosphere. Recommend reserving a table as it gets crowded.
  • LA JUGADA | Carrera 6 #3425: sister bar to la movida. Features a dj paired with live music, drinks & dancing. 
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SHOPPING GUIDE

  • THE STREETS! | Vendors selling handmade hats, jewelry, bags and sandals line the streets. Be sure to carry cash for this.
  • ST DOM | Cra. 3 #3370: a concept store featuring high-end goods from local designers. I think i spent most of my pesos here.
  • SILVIA TCHERASSI | Calle Plaza Fernández de Madrid, cl. 38 #6-21: fashion designer turned hotelier, sylvia tcherassi's has a couple shops in town featuring her dramatic colombian couture. Think ruffles, off the shoulder tops and flared skirts.
  • ONDADEMAR | Carrera 8 # 9-29: a colombian swimwear brand that you can probably buy on shopbop - but there's something gratifying about buying things where they're made.

 

    Marrakech

    Marrakech

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