Lauren Taylor Creates


Fruit Ladies of Cartagena

ProjectsLauren EngelComment

I’ve mentioned in multiple blog posts previously how amazing the fruit was in Colombia. Seriously, I miss it. And the sugarcane juice, and the coconut lemonade…. mmmm… ok I digress. Walking around the colorful streets of Cartagena it’s hard to miss the equally colorful fruit ladies. The women in color blocked mumus walked around carrying fruit baskets on their heads selling mangos, coconuts, and pineapple to tourists and locals in the historic quarter of the city. The people in Cartagena, and really all over Colombia, are really friendly and happy. Despite Colombia’s history of violence and corruption, the people are positive and love to celebrate. This painting is exactly how I remember Cartagena - colorful, full of fruit and joyful! 

Travel Journal: Spearfishing in San Bernardo

TravelLauren Taylor Creates4 Comments

Several months ago, I spent some time on a catamaran in Cartagena, Colombia. The captain, his friend and I sailed out to San Bernardo overnight and dropped anchor in front of a small island covered with palm trees and surrounded by the clearest blue water I’d ever seen. 

After making lunch, we selected a random spot to try spearfishing. We saw loads and loads of colorful reef fish and swam around for over an hour, but had no luck finding anything worth spearing.   

Later that day we made our way over to Casa en el Agua, the notorious floating hostel (It’s not actually floating, but because it’s built up in the middle of water, it looks like it is). There, we met a local who agreed to take us spearfishing for snapper in the mangroves - at night. We returned to the catamaran and waited for the last light from the sun to fade away. The sky and water became pitch black, and there was no moon in sight. We met up with the guide and set out for the mangroves.

As we rode in the dark, the stars lit our way. There were billions of them. You could even see the milky way. The water glowed too, as bioluminescence floated on the surface. We maneuvered our way through the narrow waterways in between the mangrove bushes. Our guide directed us to a spot where we should find snapper. We hopped into the water and swam along the mangroves with our eyes peeled, in search of the fish. No dice. We all climbed back inside the dingy and went to the second fishing spot. Still nothing.

 As we dropped into the water at our third location, the moon slowly began to rise over the island. It was massive, bright and full, a magical sight I will never forget. Swimming around one last time, we finally saw a large snapper.  I loaded my pole spear and shot at it. I stunned the fish, but it easily shimmied off the spear, so I loaded up and shot it again. Unfortunately, the spear was too small to hold the fish. Being wounded but not dead, the fish quickly swam away. We all reluctantly climbed back into the dingy, a little disappointed and hungry, and made our way back to the catamaran. The moon was completely full in the sky now and shown so bright you could no longer see the stars. I looked up, closed my eyes and smiled. While it was technically an unsuccessful night, it was an experience I will never forget!

Packing List for Cartagena

TravelLauren Taylor CreatesComment

Cartagena has become one of my favorite cities in the world! With 16th century plazas, a tropical climate and colorful colonial buildings it’s hard not to fall in love! 

Nestled on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, this port city is the perfect warm weather getaway.  You can walk around the historic walled center surrounded by brightly colored buildings, sip fresh fruit juice from a rooftop terrace, or take a quick boat ride to one of the beautiful islands off the coast. 


A bikini or swimsuit (or bring a few! - I basically live in mine!)

A cute coverup

Comfortable Sandals for exploring the historic center

Wedge heels for a night out


A few light blouses

Light airy dresses or skirts




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