What I Bought in Cartagena

Cartagena is a tropical paradise brimming with color and dripping with sabor and the shopping in the city is no exception. Strolling the cobblestone streets will find yourself in a maze of local designer shops, quaint boutiques and sidewalk vendors.

Layered ruffles, romantic floral prints, bold statement earrings and glorious head wraps fill store windows beckoning you to create your own vibrant ensemble. Once you are outfitted in your new Cartagena swag, there are shops selling handmade soaps, home goods, baskets and art, great for adding a little Colombian flavor to your digs back home. If you are looking to grab something on the go, Cartagena has you covered there as well with lots of street vendors ready to make a deal.

I couldn’t resist buying a headband from this fabulous lady! She made it look so good and her bicycle and baskets were the cutest shop around!

Here’s a list of my favorite shops I visited:

Agua de Leon – Centro, Plaza de Santo Domingo No. 3-16

You’ll find swimsuits, dresses and separates from various local Colombian designers along with the most unique accessories to top off your look. My faves were huge pineapple statement earrings, this Frida bag and every head wrap they had! Oh, and they have a rum bar in the back for tastings, you know, when you need a break from all that shopping.

Agua de Leon
Agua de Leon

Loto Del Sur – Centro, Calle de Ayos con esquina Calle del Arzobispado

Here you’ll find botanical soaps, luxurious creams, oils and perfumes all handcrafted in Colombia.

Handmade and hand cut soaps at Loto Del Sur
Loto Del Sur

Artesanias de Colombia – Centro, Calle del Arsenal, Local 5

A cooperative supporting artisans from around the country, this shop is a great place to pick up handicrafts, home goods, textiles and art.

Two other spots worth mentioning and seeking out are Las Bovedas Artisan Center where you can find locally made art, jewelry, traditional handbags made by the Wayuu tribe and so much more. As well as Portal de Los Dulces, located just across from the clock tower, this outdoor market has been around for over 100 years and is your one stop shop for all things sweet!

Mochilla bags made by the Wayuu tribe – Las Bovedas Artisan Center
Coconut candies from Portal de Los Dulces

Though I wanted to bring everything home with me, here is my small loot from my first trip to Cartagena.

Visor made of traditional black & white weaving.
Hand made clutch bag made by the Wayuu Tribe.
Local coffee is a must buy for me in any country I visit. Participating in an extensive coffee tasting in Cartagena gave me even more respect for my cup of joe!
Hand painted earrings from the Wayuu Tribe and beaded parrot earrings I picked up at the National Aviary.
Couldn’t resist this bold headband, a staple accessory of Cartagena.

Sheena’s Side Notes:

  • Avoid Las Bovedas when the cruise ships are in port as it’s a madhouse.
  • Be sure to note the difference between hand made and machine made items like the Wayuu bags. The price will usually give away the difference but it’s always good to ask.
  • Shops are open all day and into the night so you can treasure hunt once the sun has gone down and it’s slightly cooler.
  • Shopping in Cartagena is not cheap but you will definitely come home with unique pieces.

If you’re ready to jump on a plane and head to Cartagena for your own shopping adventure contact IAMSHEGLOBAL to expertly plan your trip!

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