The Caribbean is synonymous with sun and high temperatures, so it is important to stay hydrated in cities like the magical Cartagena de Indias, attractive by its beaches, old walls and colonial architecture. In this fascinating city of stories and legends, we can find a varied offer of drinks that allow visitors like me to get refresh while we walk the streets of the Historical Center.
Almost in any corner you can find the coldest drink in Cartagena. It is literally made from a piece of crushed ice that is placed in a paper cone or disposable cup covered with syrup of different flavors. Some people take it best with sweet condensed milk, and some others prefer it with citric flavors, but the truth is that the “raspao” will calm your thirst at the first taste
In the San Diego neighborhood I found a beverage very similar to the “raspao”, a fascinating mix of ice, tropical fruits salad and sweet condensed milk. The “cholado” seller told me that this is a drink that came from the interior of Colombia, but it has been appropriate and adapted with regional fruits.
The “cholado”, besides being refreshing, will give you enough energy to keep on with your tour through the walled city.
- Coconut water
It is definitely the healthiest and hydrating drink you will find in Cartagena. Coconut is a tropical fruit that produces and keeps a lot of water inside; a low calories liquid with a pleasant flavor that has become popular in the city.
When you see a coconut, it is impossible not to think about the Caribbean. This fruit is sold in different corners of the Historical Center and just by taking a little bit of its water you will feel your body get refresh and being filled with vitality.
- Citrus Juices
I could not choose which is my favorite citrus juice. In my tour through the streets of the Historical Center I drank lemonade, orange juice and tangerine juice. This last one is the less common, but just as delicious as the others. The citrus fruits are the solution to the warm weather of Cartagena de Indias, because they hydrate and ease the thirst produced by the walk.
You can often find people with small cars selling juices on the streets and city squares, willing to give you the “ñapa”, which is a little extra juice for the same price.
- Tutti Frutti
Also called fruit “salpicon" by some people. It is a drink made from watermelon juice and pieces of various fruits. It is a sweet refreshing mix that captivates all of those who try it. It is really easy to find the vendors of this beverage around the “Parque Centenario” and in the “Plaza San Pedro Claver”.
Due to its rigid appearance, the “bolis” may not be considered as a drink, but the truth is that these are just frozen juices that relieve the heat you can feel in Cartagena. The best ones I tried I found them on the “Calle de San Agustín Chiquita”. In there I was able to try two out of the various flavors I was offered by the vendor, such as coconut, soda with milk, chocolate, “corozo” and tamarind, of which I picked coconut and chocolate… delicious.
Without a doubt in Cartagena de Indias there are several ingenious proposals to appease the heat.