Traveling and visiting Cartagena, Colombia is truly an experience and like stepping back into time as you walk through the colonial city. For us kiteboarding addicts this is a very windy city 4 months out of the year and not only can you be a tourist in town, you can also come for the wind. This makes this city a must visit for touring around on foot through the old parts of town with your cameras taking photos before the wind picks up at noon. Then after your session on the water you can head out on the town for some great food, beers, dancing and discovering loads of old colonial courtyards around every corner. The windy season is Mid December to beginning of April. For further information, please read my Kiteworld article I did on kiteboarding Cartagena, Colombia that I wrote last year for the magazine. I also wanted to write up some additional tips to the article for new kiters looking to visit this amazingly colorful colonial picturesque kite town.
Kiteworld Article Colombia
Bring All Kite Sizes
This spot can blow powered 9m-7m conditions all season and then sometimes it can be a larger kite spot for a short time. The best option is to cover all wind conditions and bring your large, medium and small kite if you want to. I got by the whole season in Colombia riding mostly my 9m and sometimes I was super powered, but it makes for great big jumps.
Downwind Along the Colonial Wall During Sunset
Make sure you do the downwinder from Boquilla to Laquito and it will take you along the old colonial wall through town. If you are doing it during sunset you will get some large crowds at the tip of the garrison wall for photos, the waves are great here and can be a fun place to ride before finishing in Laquito for some flat water. Make sure to completely dry off your clothes and gear before getting in a taxi, having a beer on the beach will give you some time for this to happen.
Peak Windy Season is 3 Months
It typically starts to blow a little in December, but really gets cranking around January to beginning of April. Keep this in mind when you book your trip, if you get there in April or after, the wind can completely shut off.
Make sure you visit the downtown colonial area at night and during the day, however another neighborhood that is a must visit at night is Getsemani. Drink some local brew and eat amazing street food on the steps of the church there. From the colonial walled area you can easily walk to Getsemani for dinner and late night drinks.
Stay Either in Laquito or Boquilla
The two main areas for kiting are Laquito and Boquilla, so you will want to stay in either of these parts of town. If you however don’t mind taking a taxi to kite everyday, staying in the downtown colonial area is another option, as this area is extremely beautiful. Laquito has very good flat water and some decent waves off the point there. This place is a bit more advanced for riders and if you have any issues with your kite or cannot make it back to shore, there is a jet ski rescue that you can pay $20 for help. Boquilla will be your main kite beach and there are hotels along this area with a huge beach. The water is a bit more choppy and has shore break, but is great for beginners to intermediate folks.
Shake Down Street
The cops there are always looking for gringos or foreigners to stop and talk with or search. Do not be scared, as most of them are all friendly and you can even ask for a photo after the search. They are just looking for the typical bribe if they find anything on you. So keep that in mind and do not be stupid, allow them to search you and move along. It’s all about the experience there and this is just part of it!!