Get To Know Cartagena Guide Durán Angel

A family man with a love of his people’s culture and for the beautiful old city of Cartagena, sightseeing guide Duran Angel is well versed in all of the area’s history, and most of its secrets.
What did you do to prepare to become a tour guide?

In order to become a tour guide, I went to a national school named SENA for 4 years.  SENA is Colombia’s National Service of Learning (in Spanish it is Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje)

If you could only take a visitor to one place in Cartagena, where would you go?

The old city.  It is spectacular!

It’s crazy hot and beautifully sunny just about all the time in Cartagena, how do you help customers who are not used to hot temperatures deal with the conditions?

Walking in the shade and offering them cool water always helps a bit.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is having fun with visitors, sharing culture and history.

Colombia is the home of salsa dancing, right? Where is the best place to go in Cartagena for Spanish music and dancing? 

There is a place called Crazy Zalsa where people have lots of fun and shyness is not allowed.

What’s the most bizarre experience or odd request from a client you’ve had on a guided tour?

Hmmm, a bizarre experience? Well, a long time ago, I was guiding a couple from the USA, and they asked me why I did not offer them drugs.

Every job has its ups and downs. Are there any aspects of your job that you don’t like or aren’t that keen on?

I love my profession! I love my job specifically because I feel like an ambassador of my country to the world.

When you’re not busy guiding tours, what’s your favourite thing to do that we would most likely find you doing? 

When I am not sharing my time with tourists, I love being at home with my wife and kids. I also I love reading and I love to ride cycles.

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain to our readers what the benefits of hiring a guide are?

The benefits of hiring a guide are:

  • In Colombia we must have a licence, meaning you will be with a professional
  • We really know what is going on first hand in our country and the areas where we live
  • Tourists can see our world through our eyes
  • We know our history and can explain why this or that is going on or went on
  • With a licensed tour guide you are in good hands!
You have a lot of experience with great food and wine from your region – What is the most awesome local specialty food or drink that all visitors must try?

In the Colombian Caribbean coast, you must try our coconut rice and fish, our Agua de panela made out of sugar cane, and our Chicha de Arroz.

Tell us something about Cartagena that only a guide would know.

Something that only a tour guide would know is how an underwater wall is built, and also that the brother of George Washington fought in a battle in Cartagena, Colombia.

In your view, what makes a good tour guide?

What makes a good tour guide is passion, love, and caring about people.

And finally, have you got any tips for people who are interested in booking a guide like yourself, but aren’t too sure what to look for?

The main tip is to tell me honestly what they expect from me and the city.

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