Cartagena de Indias may be chock full of tourists but for me it was still a fairy-tale city. In the UNESCO World Heritage walled colonial city every turn breaths an atmosphere of romance and legends. I would scan the Caribbean sea from atop the battlements, half expecting to sight a pirate ship about to attack. The historical legacy of Cartagena is still very much alive today, creating a richer, more enticing environment for it.
If money is tight Fremantle’s bohemian atmosphere make it a great destination by Australian standards. This compact city can accommodate backpackers even on the tightest budget. Here are my top 10 cheap ideas ranging from completely free activities stretching to bargain $10 prices.
Fishing Boat Harbour
Take a stroll along the boardwalk at Freo’s working harbour, home to hundreds of fishing vessels. Enjoy the waterfront lined with restaurants and find the statue of Bon Scott from AC/DC. In winter keep warm with a bag of hot chips, just keep an eye out for the hungry seagulls!
In central Perth a unique and unmistakable tower of glass and copper rises majestically above the Swan River. This modern landmark is home to the time-honoured tradition of change ringing. A recent visit gave me the opportunity to become a bell-ringer myself.
In the old town of Quito, Ecuador’s capital, is a cathedral unlike any other I have ever visited. La Basílica del Voto Nacional combines an appreciation for religious architecture with an almost adventure sport activity that will chill to the bone anybody with the slightest phobia of heights. I had read up on La Basílica before visiting, so I thought I knew what to expect, but it was so much worse. My minor fear of heights together with a worry about the seemingly non-existent Ecuadorian health and safety regulations, created an extremely nerve-wracking experience.
A new interactive guide has ranked Bogotá as the second worst holiday destination in the world. Rating location, crime statistics and cleanliness led to the piles of household waste in Stolipinovo, Plovdiv in Bulgaria taking top spot as the least desirable place for a short break. The ‘high violent crime rates’ gave Bogotá its high ranking, but is this a fair reflection on the Colombian capital? Should travellers skip Bogotá?