The humidity was the first thing I noticed as I stepped from the plane in Cartagena, Colombia. The bear hug embrace of the Caribbean air was so implausibly powerful that it was difficult to believe that locals didn’t still find the weather a daily shock.
The second thing I noticed – in the airport, on the taxi ride to the hotel, on the streets of the city center – was another of the colonial city’s features that was almost as persistent: the music that was everywhere, at all times of the day. Reggaeton, cumbia and salsa all had their listeners, but it was vallenato that ruled. Open a door or window in Cartagena and chances are vallenato comes pouring out.
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