Cartagena, Colombia is known for its thick fortified walls against historic pirate attacks. It is known for the jewel-colored Spanish-style houses with balconies jutting over the first floors. It is known for a great fusion of food, and tasty Peruvian-inspired ceviche. It is known for a night life of cocktail bars and good old fashioned Caribbean beach parties.
However, Cartagena, Colombia is also known as one of the best shopping destinations–especially for emeralds. Let’s take a look at all the shopping options Cartagena has to offer.
Shopping Destinations in Cartagena
Chiqui de Echavarria, a native of Colombia, turned a restored warehouse into Casa Chiqui in the 1930s. Casa Chiqui is a unique house decorated with furniture and accessories from Chiqui’s travels all over the lower half of the world. She has pieces from Bali Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and of course her native Colombia and adopted Cartagena.
Because it is decorated as a house, Casa Chiqui is also the site of many events and weddings. However, everything inside is definitely for sale. As soon as one piece is sold, another piece from perhaps another culture takes its place. It is a display of fusion interior decoration that makes a perfect place to find furnishings.
Like Casa Chiqui, Lucy Jewelry is named after its founder. Lucy Sanchez has become city-renowned and now world renowned for her emeralds, and the reason is very simple. Besides excellent emerald qualities and settings, Lucy does not pay any tour guides to put her store on their tour stops.
Instead, she focuses on taking care of the store, and her emeralds are up to 15% less than those in the other stores. As a result, the fame of her store has grown organically, and it is now an automatic stop for most visitors to Cartagena. Lucy specializes in finding true emeraldsd that are perfectly set.
Abaco Libros y Cafe
Cartagena shopping would not be complete without a bookstore on the list. Merge rest and reading by dropping by the Abaco Libros y Cafe, where you can browse the bookshelves and break for coffee on your own time. There are regular visitors who can provide conversation any time about the books on the shelves.
Although it looks like a library, Abaco Libros y Cafe is a bookstore. Don’t miss this chance to add to your collections by browsing through the books. Small towns like Cartagena often hold the best book gems, unexpected findings and old friends alike.
Cartagena Shopping: A Mustn’t Miss
Unfortunately, because of the rise of tourists, it is slightly hard to find Cartagena shopping centers that offer an authentic experience. Las Bovedas artisan center is one of those, a former prison and dungeon now turned history-themed shopping center. Entertainment, however, is best found in hotel arcades; you can perhaps find a friendly game of foosball tables or air hockey with your fellow guests.