"Visit San Basilio de Palenque, the first free town of America, while you immerse into living African culture in America through history, music, gastronomy, heritage, and shared experiences with locals."
San Basilio de Palenque was the first free town of America. It founded by self-emancipated former Slaves led by prince Benkos Biohó during Colombia’s colonial period. This town remained as a symbol of resistance and of African pride since those times due to its impressive story. Thanks to isolation and resistance, Palenqueros preserved African culture while creating new local manifestations such as Alegrías (a type of candy), Son Palenquero (a music genre) and the first Spanish-based creole language, which is still spoken in this place.
You will be picked up at 8:00 am to take you to La Boquilla a suburb of Cartagena threatened by urbanization, where projects of resistance and social change are taking place through drums and music. Here, you will learn about percussion rhythms from drum makers and teachers, who teach music to kids as a way to keep them out of drugs and child labor. Historically, drums have been instruments of culture, communication, and resistance to African populations in America. These rhythms remain in Colombian culture through local Afro-Colombian music genres, serving as tools for transformation and resistance. During this 45-minute workshop, you will be able to try some rhythms in any drum you choose and learn from the experts.
After this activity, you will head to San Basilio de Palenque in an hour and a half ride towards Montes de María region. As you move to this place, you can learn about the African exodus and slavery situation during the colonial period accompanied by a local guide. When you arrive, you will be received with a warm welcome and introduced to the town through historical context, music, and gastronomy in a local's house.
You will leave the house to walk through the town and visit the most recognized places, monuments, murals, graffiti, and even enter Master Rafael Cassiani Cassiani’s house for a music demonstration. When finished, you will return to the house to have a delicious local lunch served in a very traditional way. Afterward, you will walk to another part of town and learn about Champeta, a local music genre with enormous African influence.
Finally, you will return to Cartagena to your hotel.
Comfortable shoes and clothes.
Hat or cap.
This is an intercultural experience, so be ready to live something very different from usual.
Changes on the tour may occur due to external factors. These changes will be notified to you with anticipation.