What To Buy In Cartagena, Colombia

what to buy in cartagena colombia
| 5 min read

This incredible colonial town of Cartagena is considered as one of the beautiful cities of Colombia. The city is strategically located between Magdalena and Sinu rivers and acts as the major center of trade between Spain and its empire. This urban place of Cartagena is the fifth-largest city of Colombia and the second largest region after Barranquilla. As compared to the other cities, this colonial town may be a bit pricey but if you are a shopaholic, you can explore those narrow cobbled lanes and markets selling unique handcrafted items, charming antiques, gemstones, silks and silverware, and different varieties of imitation goods. There are some of the well-known night markets such as the Bazurto market and Portal de Los Dulces where you can find a variety of shops selling clothes, antiques made of wood, gold, jewelry, eateries, and upscale restaurants that attracts a lot of tourists every year. Let’s have a look at what to buy in Cartagena, Colombia.

1. Colombian coffee

2DU colombia 5
Source: Photo by Flickr user CIAT used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This charming colonial town of Colombia is home to the best cafes in Columbia. It is known for producing the best coffee in the world. If you are looking to take a break while exploring the colorful and charming streets of this old town, having a sip of brewed coffee is a must-do. Cartagena is one of those places where you can experience an amazing taste of coffee like never before. This old town will introduce you to numerous coffee shops each having its unique taste and flavor. Café San Alberto is an award-winning coffee shop known for its specialty coffee.

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2. Mochila shoulder bag

Mochila handbags
Source: Pixabay

These bags are handmade by women of a particular tribe named Wayuu in La Guajira, Colombia. These uniquely designed handcrafted bags are made using a single thread. These are 100-percent cotton bags made of vibrant colors of diverse patterns and shapes. These traditional Mochila shoulder bags are perfect for a day out, hiking, nights out, and even for going to the gym. It can be a perfect token of remembrance for your loved ones.

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3. Aguardiente

Aguardiente Antioquia
Source: Photo by Flickr user Hugo Pardo Kuklinski used under CC BY 2.0

This anise-flavored drink is a popular alcoholic drink in Columbia. It has evolved as a national drink of Colombia and is part of every celebration including parties, nights out, dinners, etc. Every South American country has its own unique variation of Aguardiente but, Columbia has the highest percentage of consumers. This Colombian drink has a comparatively low percentage of alcohol content of around 29 percent and is affordable. You can find people of all ages consuming this alcohol accompanied by a meal.

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4. Colombian chocolate

Hot chocolate
Source: Pexels

Colombia is the home to different variety of chocolates and is the largest producer of cocoa in the world. Hot chocolate is a staple drink in every household of Colombia which is prepared with milk or water, sugar, varieties of cheese popping and is popularly known as Chocolate Santafereno. In Cartagena, you can find chocolate factories creating a variety of chocolate products such as chocolate tea, cocoa beverages, flavored liquors, etc. In recent times, chocolate has become an integral part of the Columbian culture. You can buy these traditional Colombian treats for your family and friends.

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5. Caña flecha products made from natural plant pigments

Pulseras caña flecha colores
Source: Photo by Flickr user Salvarte Colombia used under CC BY-ND 2.0

It is another popular form of Colombian handbags that are made of Caña Flecha plant pigment that grows in the northern part of Colombia. This popular form of handicraft has been in existence since centuries on the Atlantic coast. The artisans make use of the center section of the palm leaves to create diverse patterns on handbags, wallets, belts, and other products. This traditional Caña Flecha artwork is mostly used for the creation of the traditional hat of Columbia and can act as a perfect gift for your loved ones.

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6. Colombian rum

Source: Maxpixel

The country of Colombia may be known for a variety of things and Colombian Rum is one of them. It is the home to some highest quality rums such as La Hechicera which is a premium quality Colombian Rum, Dictator which is famously produced and made of sugarcane honey, Parce which is native rum in Columbia founded by Jaime Uribe and Brother Jim from the US. Ron Medellin and Ron Viejo de Caldas are the two popular choices of Rums preferred by the natives of Columbia and are perfect for any occasion.

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7. Emeralds

Beryl Smaragd DSCF0433 (cropped)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Eva K. used under GFDL 1.2

Very few people know that among the many other exports, Colombia holds around 70 to 90 percent of the emerald exports in the world. The most expensive and rarest form of emeralds is found in the three mining areas of Colombia namely Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor. These green glowing gems are most famous in Colombia for their quality and the price of this gemstone differs based on the cut, clarity, color, and carat. Emerald has been the most sought-after and valued stone and Colombia and hence, people think of taking this precious stone home as a gift for the dear ones.

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8. Hammocks

Source: Pexels

The hammock is an important part of everyday life in many cities in Colombia. On the Caribbean coast of Colombia, you can witness a diverse variety of colorful hammocks that are made in a manual loom by skilled artisans. Even in small rural villages of Colombia such as San Jacinto, you can still find traditional colorful hammocks are prepared using simple methods. Just like the colorful houses of Colombia, the hammocks continue to play an important part in every household.

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9. Cigars

Source: Pixabay

Colombia is known for its tobacco and even the filler. Most of the best quality of tobacco is grown in Central America and on the Caribbean coast. You can find a variety of cigars depending on the price and quality. The Colombian Bravo flavored cigars are well-known among the natives for its mild barnyard smell and it cost just about a dollar. The CAO Colombian cigar is a prominent multinational brand. This is the first ever brand to feature Colombian tobacco. It makes use of the tobacco grown from Cuban seed in Colombia. It boasts a savory smoke and burns beautifully.

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10. Designer bikinis from Medellin and Bogota

Source: Pexels

Medellin and Bogota are not only known for their amazing markets and boutique shops but it is also rather the place for some well-known fashion brands and eminent designers of swimwear and bikinis. You can find numerous swimwear brands in Medellin that specializes in creating a variety of swimwear that are handwoven and made by local artisans. Some of the prominent fashion brands that you can explore in Medellin are Kibys, Touché collection, and Cosita Linda that make amazing swimwear which are comfortable yet fashionable.

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Indulge in the colonial charm of the old walled city

Beautiful colonial town
Source: Pixabay

With a tropical climate, this majestic port city of Cartagena on the Caribbean coast is a popular destination among travellers for holding on to the colonial charm of the city with tiled roofs, courtyards filled with flowers, old churches, and fortresses with a blend of modern culture such as upscale, restaurants, fashion boutiques, and shops. Take home a piece of this city with you with these things to buy in Cartagena, Colombia.

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Sudarsana, a freelance writer, has an affinity for traveling to diverse destinations and exploring various cultures.

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