Being a port city and having such an illustrious history of trade and tourism, it’s no surprise that Cartagena is one of the best places to shop in Colombia. Pirates and sieges were once the cause for excitement in this city, but now the scallywags have gone and we’re been left with a legacy of trade with some of the best boutiques, retailers and high-end proprietors available in the country.
Plaza de los Coches
There’s a myriad of ways to encounter the enchanting and wild swings of fortune that have made Cartagena what it is today, but the sweetest of these ways is definitely found at the Plaza of Coaches, right in the heart of the Old City. This was once the centre of Cartagena’s old, infinitely less palatable trade; that of slaves. The Plaza de los Coches once witnessed the buying and selling of human beings for nascent colonialisms. It would be difficult to imagine a greater – or better – transformation in the type of goods on sale at a particular place.
Now, instead of human misery, the vendors of this plaza predominantly deal in deliciousness. Select from a tooth-achingly impressive range of local sweet delicacies; coconut making a strong showing in a lot of it. Decidedly less edible, but just as alluring, are the other Cartagenan handicrafts just waiting for the discerning shopper. A far cry from its dark past, but a very welcome change, we’re sure you’d agree.