Balmy tropical beaches, colourful colonial cities and friendly faces make Colombia a hot new holiday destination - as Marie Claire's Jess Wood discovers
Balmy tropical beaches, colourful colonial cities and friendly faces make Colombia a hot new holiday destination – as Marie Claire’s Jess Wood discovers
South Americas hottest destination offers tropical beaches, colonial cities and as Jess Wood discovers on honeymoon a uniquely Latin warmth.
La Passion is a seven-room arty boutique gem hidden behind high walls. Run by a suave French film producer, the restored 18th century townhouse feels like a stage set, overflowing with art and global treasures ranging from Andalusian light fittings to a wooden canoe swinging from the central atrium.
Now there's a view to wake up to! The scene from Jess's balcony at Hotel La Passion (lapassionhotel.com).
Newlyweds Jess and Si get all romantic in Colombia's beautiful countryside
Jess says, 'I'd been told that if you offer a Colombian a beer or a fruit juice, theyll take juice every time and as we stood at another small roadside bar, I realised it was no exaggeration! The locals are pulping, blending and sucking down smoothies like its going out of fashion.'
The Punta Faro resort on the beautiful Isla Mucura, part of the San Bernardo archipelago, a cluster of islands two hours away from the mainland. 'Boarding a tiny boat, you can speed away from Cartagenas marina into the clear emerald waters,' says Jess. Heaven.
Cartagena is a pretty jewel of a colonial town on the Caribbean coast. 'Strolling down an open walkway lined with palm trees, we were hit by a wall of that famous Colombian heat,' says Jess.
Jess and Si take some time out to relax - all that sightseeing can be hard work...
The stunning courtyard at Hotel La Passion. 'We'd eat a blissful breakfast there every morning homemade bread with mango marmalade and frothy fresh lulo juice served by one of the lovely local boys who make up the staff,' says Jess.
'We lazed on Hotel L Passion's secluded blue-tiled roof terrace, looking out over the rooftops and taking dips in the pool - bliss!'
'Cartagena is Colombia's most beguiling destination,' says Jess. 'Its cobbled streets are lined with stuccoed buildings in rainbow of colours from saffron to cornflower blue.'
Si and Jess need another sit down - being a tourist can be tough!
Moonlight strolls make the perfect end to a perfect day. 'But the most memorable thing about Colombia isnt its beaches (or even the amazing mangoes), says Jess: 'Its the sheer friendliness of the people.'