With a set of fresh clothes, I left my hostel, located in San Diego, and I started walking towards Chambacú. After a five minutes’ walk, I saw a big sign: “Parque Espíritu del Manglar” (Mangrove’s Spirit Park). Just by reading its name, I felt I should go inside. As I got closer, I found out, with great surprise, it was a free site. I went through a tourniquet and, once inside, I could see a map of the whole place. However, the adventurer I have within, took me to walk around the park with no other guide than the paths this place has.
As I was appreciating the intertwined mangroves with countless roots, I crossed a small bridge that would be the first passage to the wonderful experience I was about to live. This ecosystem, called mangrove, works as a habitat for diverse species such as fish, reptiles, crustaceans, molluscs, birds, insects, arachnids, and amphibians. A whole world hidden among the majesty of nature.
As I was walking, I could hear the background music, mostly romantic ballads that went along perfectly with the spaces this park has. There are bio-healthy machines for people to work out in an open space, and I could only imagine the sense of completeness they must feel exercising surrounded of so much tranquility. Definitely a luxury experience. The “Market Bolívar” is a place adapted as a convenient store, where you can gather with family and friends and acquire snacks, wines and handicrafts. I was tempted to stay in this place, but I wanted to keep going while the music was playing at an adequate volume.
While I was observing some gorgeous white feathered herons, I almost stumble upon one of my favorite animals, a beautiful turtle that was feeding from the tiny plants that grow all around the park. Only then I realized this place was full of turtles. It was amazing.
I kindly greeted some of the people crossing my way, and I could not help myself noticing a bunch of them having a picnic while they enjoy that natural beauty. Suddenly, I noticed every plant had a sign with its name on it. It was really cool to learn the name of the Cinta Hilo, the Caña de la India, the Coralito, among so many others. There was no doubt, the Espíritu del Manglar, besides being a recreation place, it is a place designed to teach. This is something you can check when you approach every one of the monuments placed in the park, where famous people from Cartagena, among which we can find writers, athletes, musicians, among others, each one with his biography.
The park counts with three fun spaces for children to come and visit. The Play House, well equipped with video games consoles; The Ludoteca, full of educational material; and there is also a children’s playground equipped with a large boat, in which kids can run, jump, and release all their energy. The open-air theater is the ideal place to conduct cultural events. This park has an endless number of attractions, including free Wi-Fi. This is why tourists and locals prefer it.
I was surprised to see that the Market Bolívar was not the only place to taste provocative delicacies, since there are more restaurants there. Dinning in there should be a must-see plan in Cartagena. However, it was too early for that, since the sun’s rays were still illuminating that piece of nature. The climate sensation was not very hot, but I was really thirsty and the best way to calm her down was with a delicious and refreshing raspa’o, a drink sold by vendors in small cars all around.
I spent the time taking pictures of every single thing you can find in there: The animals, the plants, the attractions. All of this together make of the Espíritu del Manglar a sensational place. But the most beautiful thing this park has to offer, is a quiet place to contemplate the calm waters of the La Laguna de Chambacú during the sunset while you wait for fascinating Cartagena’s evening.
Inner peace. These are the only words that can describe what my body was feeling when I visited that dream park. I would definitely go back to the Espíritu del Manglar!