I booked a tour to head about ah hour away from Cartagena to a small town by the name of Palenque! A lot of you all that are following black travel bloggers have probably seen photos of them in Palenque posing in front of those popular pro-black murals but not sure what Palenque even is. As a Travel Blogger I feel its my job to use my platform to spread knowledge and educate.
So, what is the significance of Palenque and why do you see so many Travel Bloggers going there?
San Basilio De Palenque is a village in Northern Colombia and is the first free slave town in the Americas! Whoa! According to our wonderful tour guide there are over 2,000 people in the village. They are descendants of African slaves and still keep a lot of the African culture and tradition like the music, dancing, and even their language (Spanish creole). This is why so many people find the village fascinating, like me, and want to visit.
I paid $49 and it included pick up and drop off from my Airbnb. It included an air conditioned vehicle, an English tour guide, and an authentic Colombian meal. Heres the meal I had after the tour (and as usual the food was top notch:
Pictured: (coconut rice, fried plantain, fried snapper) Not Pictured: Fresh Salad and a fruit juice.
If you'd like to book the same tour I booked here is the link:
One of the first things you'll notice when getting to Palenque is the amount of art that surrounds the village. Here are some of the ones I ran into while visiting:
As you can see from the art work the people of Palenque are VERY proud to be black and it made me feel so proud to be in their presence.
Did you know famous boxer Antonio Reyes AKA Kid Pambele was from Palenque? He is a two time world Jr. Welterweight champion.
There was lots of singing in Palenque....they were such happy people. Thats the number one thing I noticed from them.
This was so interesting - In Palenque they make their own WHISKEY! lol! I cant remember how they say they made it but I know that there were herbal looking leaves in his drink and he looked pretty tipsy lol.
These girls were so young and braiding each others hair adding extensions in. They were braiding so fast too! I loved seeing them in their element
You'll find pigs walking around Palenque minding their business lol. They don't bother you. I saw most of them laying out in the mud.
We walked by a barber shop! Here are two young men just chatting and cutting hair!
During the tour we were informed about the mixture of herbs the people of Palenque use to cure colds, headaches, and other things we as humans go through. I love the fact that they resort to natural remedies rather than consuming pills like we are used to doing here in the states.
One of my favorite things to see was kids doing kid things! I haven't seen that in a long time! They were riding bikes, kicking a soccer ball, doing each others hair and just genuinely happy!
Overall, Palenque is a great place to visit it's such a significant part of Colombias history and why wouldn't you want to visit the FIRST freed place in the Americas?! The people have so little but are so happy! It made me re-evaluate the things in my life and made me more appreciative. This is part of why I travel....because I grow as a person.
I plan to go back to Palenque and stay there for a few days and really get a chance to connect with the people and see what its like at night.
Until next time Palenque!