I started my journey in tropical Cartagena, one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Surrounded by Caribbean waters, Cartagena’s Walled City is a maze of palm-shaded plazas, colonial churches, and pastel-colored houses along narrow cobbled streets. I admire colonial architecture and Cartagena holds its own against Cuzco for the continent’s best preserved colonial destination. Culture-wise, there’s an eclectic mix of Caribbean, African, and Spanish foods and music around every corner. While I spent most of my time exploring the Walled City, I stayed in Getsemaní, an old working-class neighborhood also in the Old City. The restaurants and bars in Getsemaní’s 18th-century buildings are popular with both locals and travelers. I stayed in Cartagena for only two days, but it was long enough to claim the top spot of my favorite South American cities.