Tour of the Mangrove Swamps
off La Boquilla
La Boquilla is an old fishing village located twenty minutes north of the city where the people are as warm and easy-going as they are in the rest of Cartagena. Getting off and breathing in the salt air at the last stop of the city bus line (or getting out of a taxi) you find yourself on a stretch of beach situated on a narrow peninsula flanked by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the "Ciénaga de la Virgen" – a large lake and mangrove swamp – on the other.
A couple hundred metros from here you board a canoe and go off to glide soundlessly through tunnels in the dense ancient growth of mangroves that meander for a time before giving out onto the placid expanses of lake populated by flocks of easily excited egrets and pelicans. While your guide from the village navigates by standing with his exquisite sense of balance at the back of the boat and punting in the shallow waters, he provides you with well-informed running commentaries and answers to your questions about what you are seeing.
The time in the canoe on the water winding in and out of the mangroves is about 90 minutes. It’s all really not very far from the beaten track but it seems to be a world away while you’re there.
You can have lunch or dine on fish right on the beach before you return to the city.