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I remember watching Y Tu Mama Tambien for the very first time, when the two friends fabricate the existence of a beach in an attempt to seduce Luisa. As they travel throughout the film, they discover in fact that the beach is real, and it just so happens to be the paradise on Earth as they had described it.

I felt as if we just found that beach.

 

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Imagine a beach with warm Carribean waves, where the locals have set up hammocks for you by the water to stay the night, where you can fall asleep to the sound of the lapping waves, where the sand is so white that the beach is named for it, where for miles you fail to see any sign of tourists or touts. Imagine a beach where you have the sand and waters all to yourself.

 

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This is Playa Blanca.

 

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How to get there? We decided for the alternative route from Cartagena to Playa Blanca; instead of taking the early morning 7am-9am boats that are usually inundated with the tourists aiming for a day trip, we instead elected for the cheap evening backpacker route. Not for the faint of heart:

  1. Hail a cab and take it to the corner of Av Luis Carlos Lopez and Calle de Concolon in La Matuna; or find buses in Mercado Bazurto. They’re marked as Pascaballos: 20 minutes; 5,000 pesos
  2. Take the bus to the Canal del Dique: 1.5 hours; 1,500 pesos
  3. Take a ferry across to the other side: 10 minutes; 2,000 pesos
  4. Take a motorcycle ride to Playa Blanca: 30 minutes; 15,000 pesos
 

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On the bus

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Walking to Canal del Dique

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Our one-eyed ferryman

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Taking the ferry across

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Confusion in hailing a motorbike

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A video of our motorbike ride there:

 

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Riding in the sunset

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Arriving at Playa Blanca

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Enjoying the sunset

 

The whole ride takes around 3 hours and costs around a total of $10-$15 USD, or 23,500 colombian pesos. Although this is 2 hours longer than the morning boats, it is also around 10,000 pesos cheaper and gives you more flexibility on when to leave. For example, because of Kseniya’s later arrival, we didn’t get to Playa Blanca until the evening, which is impossible to do by the hour-long boats as they only leave in the morning. And the trip itself feels like an adventure, because you’re likely to be the only foreigner the moment you step on that bus, and that alone is worth the experience. Highly recommended.

And then we got there. And we were all alone.

 

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Our digs

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After getting here, we did some night beaching, wading in the water while watching the stars come out. Exquisite.

 

Night swimming in the Carribbean

 

Afterwards I enjoyed a fresh papaya juice with a delicously cooked fish that had just been caught:

 

 

Finally, after enjoying some salsa music and some much needed soul searching between me and Kseniya, we went to sleep outdoors in our hammocks, nodding off gently into the night to the sound of the Carribean waves.

 

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What we slept in

 

We woke up to roosters cawing in the dawn, as the sun rose behind us. The waves were still there and the warm breeze made it difficult for us to rise from our hammocks. During the day we sunbathed, soaking up the sun while enjoying a round of pina coladas and beachside full-body massages for $8 USD. And when the afternoon came, we decided to pack up and return to Cartagena by boat, saying goodbye to our eternity moment of paradise.

 

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Leaving Playa Blanca

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We were going fast

 

How fast we were going:

 

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We befriended 2 Colombians at Playa Blanca, who then offered for us to stay with them at their rented apartment in Cartagena. We decided: Why not? So we took a bus back to our place in Cartagena

 

This is Playa Blanca.

 

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There´s water in my ear

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Playa Blanca just got served

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– At time of posting in Cartagena, it was 86 °F
Humidity: 79% | Wind Speed: 19km/hr | Cloud Cover: cloudy