Cartagena, Colombia and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil are two popular South American travel destinations that offer culture, beach, and nightlife. While the may have a lot in common, they are also starkly different in other ways. Use this comparison to determine which is the right city for your next South American vacation:
|Cartagena||Rio De Janeiro|
|Beach Beauty||Eh. Mainland beaches have dark water, rocky sand, and more vendors than vacationers.||Beach is synonymous for life. Every corner of beach offers a different stunning vista, color of water, and vibe. We recommend Copacabana beach during the day and Arpoador to watch the sunset.|
|Architecture||Spanish colonial. That means dramatic doorways, bright colors, and cobblestone streets. It is truly marvelous.||One big mish mosh of super-modern, colonial Portuguese, cheap construction, and colorful favellas on the hillside.|
|Human Beauty||If short men and very huge asses are your thing, then this is your dreamland.||Men: Gorgeous. Tiny shorts.
Women: Gorgeous. Thongs.
|Foodie Culture||From internationally acclaimed restaurants to street stands, this city has it all when it comes to food. We recommend La Cevicheria and street empanadas.||Steak and seafood- can’t go wrong but we were not blown away.|
|Museums||The Botero museum was highly entertaining.||Museum of Tomorrow– it’s everything you hope tomorrow will bring.|
|Transportation||Cabs. Easy.||Cabs. Easy. Or Bike, skate, run- all the locals are doing it.|
|Street Shadiness||Despite the heavy presence of armed guards, the shadiness level remains high. Don’t walk alone at night. Ever.||Surprisingly low. Don’t be a fool and leave your belongings unattended and you should be fine.|
|Vender Aggressiveness||You can run but you can’t hide.||Mild|
|Accommodation Luxury Levels||Variable. We recommend a luxurious AirBnb or the Sofitel Santa Clara.||Variable. The Belmond CopacabanaPalace was our favorite in terms of classic luxury.|
|National Drink||Aguardient. It comes from the latin phrase hot water or fire water. It burns.||Caipirinha- heaven in a glass. You will need at least 5 per hour.|
|Nightlife/Dance life||Salsa, reggaeton, prostitutes, and pushers.||Samba, salsa, and pop music.
|Travel Annoyances||Your suitcase will inevitably be checked upon return.||It is practically impossible to get a Visa! Plan way ahead and be prepared to wait in a DMV-like setting and shell out $165.00.|
By Nicole Dashman
Associate Travel and Style Editor, YGenMag.com