Carly

Where to even begin! First, I believe Margoth... - Nov 9 - Nov 17, 2021

Traveler: Carly M. - Local specialist: Margoth Rico

Where to even begin! First, I believe Margoth deserves a lot of credit for her resilience in assuring me a safe and very special experience for my first ever international trip outside of the US! Having never even left the country before, I always had major doubts in myself, but something in my gut told me to go with this..
I didn’t want to do anything really typical. I didn’t want the all-inclusive resorts with lots of other US tourists. I wanted to be plummeted into another culture and embraced by love and beauty and freedom. And what better way to spend than on my birthday, 11/11, which also happened to be Independence Day for the beautiful Cartagena. We danced and celebrated in the streets, I felt at home and very embraced.
I took a chance on a country everyone often questions.. as a solo FEMALE traveler, for the first time in my life. And i loved EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF IT.
From Margoth, Felipe and the rest of the Aracanto team, to Manuel, my tour guide.. Martin, my driver. The infectious Carolina at Oh La La Bistrot! The hotel staff and my lovely Island Boys at Rosario, to the locals ON Rosario Island i met during my Mangrove tour, to the local Cartagena vendors who I’ve been texting on Whatsapp every day because I’ve genuinely made deep connections with several of them. And on my own, even! The Hotel Sophia team who basically treated me like a princess all week. Christina and Juan, and the bartenders at the Arsenal Rum Box who introduced me to all the Colombian rum. To Dyllan, my super handsome salsa guru.. to all the staff and servers at all the restaurants (and my goodness, i never changed a single recommendation for dinner because y’all made some very impressive reservations!!)
I could not have done this without the help and extra push from Margoth and Aracanto Travel! They have really set the tone for me and i have already intrigued so many of my friends here in the states.
Many conversations i had ended up being about me traveling there alone and for my first international adventure, leaving many locals shocked, yet impressed with my choice… and continuously thanking me for trusting their home enough to come see it for myself.
I spent all my money on locally-made items, I had no reservations against supporting the bracelet/gift vendors because they took such good care of me all week! Like i said, I’ve left with many local friends!

The first night, I spent with a group from Medellin who were heading home after a fun weekend together in Cartagena. However, after an hour at Cafe Del Mar sunset with them, we decided it was imperative that i come back and make Medellin a necessary stop!
On my last morning, a street bracelet vendor who actually ended up taking me on a casual walking tour of the entire walled city the day before, stopped by my hotel just to give me a gift he made… simply because i let him take me on a tour and trusted him every step of the way.
I fell in love with myself AND Cartagena. I plan to be back before you know it…
I would recommend KimKim for anyone who needs help with traveling; especially solo travelers! And definitely plan to be an advocate, specifically for Colombia, as I hope the positive image of this beautiful country can replace anyone’s initial doubts about experiencing it. Aracanto team is FIVE STAR!!!

Until we meet again…¡ muy bacano!

Carly M

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Margoth Rico, local specialist, responded to this review:

Muchas Gracias Carly!!! It was amazing having you in Colombia and being a part of your trip! It has also been a pleasure meeting you and we have truly enjoyed seeing all your videos and pictures. We hope you come back to Colombia and we send you our best wishes! Stay in touch, Margoth