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Back to Atlanta

Back to Atlanta
Atlanta, GA

Atlanta, GA

We had an 8:10am flight back to Atlanta so had to get up super early to get to the aiport by 6:10am. Matthew checked out of our room while I grabbed a tiny cup of coffee and a croissant to eat en route. We boarded the hotel shuttle along with our fellow travelers for the short drive to the airport. Once there, we got through the check in process relatively quickly, made our way through security and to our Delta gate. Matthew did a little window shopping while I went in search of a bigger cup of coffee! We boarded the plane and were relieved to be sitting in the front exit row, seats with tons of legroom for the 4 1/2 hour flight! Unfortunately, the plane’s entertainment system wasn’t working, so no movies for us, but I finished my book which was good.

When we arrived in Atlanta, we were the first ones off the plane. We made our way to Customs, hoping our newly-acquired Global Entry cards would speed things along. Boy, did they! We got right through, having to complete a questionnaire at the kiosks located outside the terminal before proceeding directly through the hallways to the final checkpoint. It was a total breeze. Our luggage came pretty quickly, so we were ready and waiting at the airport entrance when Emma got there to pick us up. She had planned a belated birthday dinner for me, inviting Savannah and her boyfriend and our friend, Brandon, to join us. It was a lovely ending to the most perfect vacation!

Some travel tips:

  • The exchange rate (dollar to Colombian peso) is incredibly favorable right now. Bank ATMs offer the best rate as opposed to using the change booths at the airport or hotels or in town. Make sure your ATM or credit card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee (or any other fees) to get cash. We found very few places that took US dollars and many that didn’t take credit cards so have some small peso bills on hand, especially for taxis.
  • Uber was widely available in Cartagena, Barranquilla, and Bogota. Since it’s an app that’s tied to your credit card, payment was simple. Taxis, on the other hand, require cash payment.
  • Be careful using taxis. In Cartagena, the taxis don’t have meters so you have to negotiate the fare ahead of time.
  • We didn’t test the drinking water, opting to drink only bottled water just to be on the safe side!
  • Bargain, bargain, bargain! The quoted price is rarely the final price, especially with street vendors.
  • If you don’t speak Spanish, it can be challenging to communicate. I would recommend learning a few key phrases and maybe downloading a translator app on your smart phone.
  • Speaking of phones, if you want to buy a Colombian SIM card, be sure to buy it from a reputable dealer then test it before leaving the store. Many places have Wi-Fi, too.
  • In Cartagena, I highly recommend staying in the La Boquilla area, especially if you’re looking for peace and quiet. It’s very simple to get an Uber or taxi into the other areas, though traffic can be heavy at times. If you want a party atmosphere, then the Old City or Getsemani may be more to your liking.
  • If you’re going to Carnaval, be sure to wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen, even if you’re in a shaded palco. The sun is very strong! Also, there is no need to buy tickets ahead of time – there are plenty available on site. One day of Carnaval was plenty for us – the Saturday or Sunday parade is probably the best to see.
  • Bogota is HUGE! We really didn’t do it justice, only spending one day there. If I go back, I would definitely do the free 2-hour grafitti walking tour – the grafitti we saw from the car was fascinating, and I would love to hear the stories behind it! The rest of the city reminded me of NYC or San Francisco. It’s beautiful in some areas and not so beautiful in others with tons of people and crazy traffic.
  • Someone on TripAdvisor recommended packing a baseball cap in addition to a big sun hat – great suggestion! The wind in Cartagena blew my straw sun hat right off!
  • Pack lots of sunscreen and aloe vera – you will likely need it in the coastal areas! The sun is very strong and the temps are warm from early morning til late at night. I never even put on my light-weight sweater while we were in Cartagena.
  • Be open to trying new foods! You might find some new favs!


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