Get lost in the Old Town
The Old Town is big enough to get lost in but not so big that you won’t be able to find your way out again. There are lots of great parks, plazas, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants in there. We think the best way to get to know this place is to walk around and see what you find. Getsemani(where we are) is a part of the old city but not the city centre as such. if you want to get to the main entrance, “The Clock Tower”, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and walk all the way down pass the park and towards the water. You will see the giant Clock Tower arched entrance to the Old City on your right hand side a block away. Head through there and let the exploration begin.Walk along the old walls Taking almost 2 centuries to build and surviving great storms and pirate attacks “La Moralla” is a spectacular sight all alone. There are 6 miles of old walls surrounding the city, many of which you can walk along and take a trip back in time. Good views all the way around.
Riding around Cartagena on bikes is one of the quickest (because of crazy car traffic) and exciting ways to see the city. Ride your bikes along the wall from its 6 mile start to finish or ride around the narrow streets of the old city. There are a couple of locations in Getsemani close by to rent bikes from. Maps are available with recommended routes. We recommend a trip up the coast to La Boquilla to get out of the city. The beach is ok and there are a few restaurants selling good seafood based meals for about $12,000COP. Ask for a menu and they will often return with a tray of fresh fish to choose from.
The easiest one shop to find: once you walk out of the hostel make a right and walk down the Media Luna street, on your left hand side across the street from the Parque Centenario, there is a bike rental place; the bikes can be hired from 5000 an hour.
Castillo San Felipe de Barajas
(Adult/Child 16,000/8,000COP; 8am-6pm & apparently it is free on the last Sunday of every month. You can take a guided tour for 30,000COP in English. Located just down the road and over the bridge left of the hostel, this old fort with the giant flag dates back to 1536. It is an interesting place to walk around with some good views of the city. Biggest and strongest fort ever built by Spaniards during colonial times, it was never taken down despite numerous attempts. Try and get lost in the tunnels. The Chiva City Tour of Cartagena includes entry fees to the fort plus transportation and other highlights.
Convento de La Popa
(Adult/ Child 8,000/6,000COP; 8:30am-5pm.) Officially named Convento de Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria, it used to be a small wooden chapel, which was replaced by a stouter construction when the hill was fortified. There is a beautiful statue of the cities patroness La Virgen de la Candelaria and a gorgeous flower filled patio. There are great views from the top of this 150 meter high hill west of the city. It is also the highest point of Cartagena. The convento de Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria is at the top and is an interesting place to look around. It is not advised to walk up there yourself, as there are poor small villages close by. Take a taxi and it will cost 5000 to 10000 pesos. The Chiva City Tour of Cartagena includes a visit to La Popa among other highlighs.
Monumento a La India Catalina
Located at the main entrance to the old city from mainland, it is a tribute to the native American slave woman who served as translator between the indigenous people of Turbaco and the Spaniards. Make a left once you walk out of the hostel and another left corner, follow the rd all the way down to the bus station and she’ll be on your right hand side. This is also the main stopping point for all local buses.
Horse and Carriage Ride
Mostly congregating at the Clock Tower they can usually be found anywhere. These horse drawn carriages are a nice way to see the old town, day or night. The drivers are generally very knowledgeable about the area. There are a wide range of trips available, but as a guide they cost about $60,000 for 30 minutes. This can include up to 7 or 8 people. Most of the horses and carriages are waiting by the clock tower.
This modern shopping mall has all the shops and fast food you’d expect. It also has a decent arcade and a cinema. It is a good place to escape the heat. There is a sports bar with a wide selection of beers (Beer Station). There is also a big Carrefour supermarket here. It is a 30 minute or so walk away, slightly longer if you detour past the marina in La Manga which is a nicer walk. Taxis should cost $6,000.
The bit with all the tall buildings, Boca Grande is the Miami of Cartagena. Nightlife is limited here but we recommend a walk around the peninsula. There is an ok beach surrounding most of it. For smaller waves go to the Castillo Grande area, the southeast peninsular of Boca Grande, waves are small but surfable. Lanchas are available to Playa Punta Arena (an isolated beach / fishing village 15 minutes away by boat) from La Guito at the southwestern tip. Return journey up to $20,000 per person. There is a good frozen yoghurt café nearby called Yogen Früz.
To get to to Boca Grande, make a right one you walk outside of the hostel, walk all the way down to the Convention Center, follow it up and walk along the bay water. You will come towards the Naval Base in about 15 mins from there. Keep walking straight and you will be in down town Boca Grande, make a right on any side street and you will be on the beach. Taxi should be 7,000pesos from the old city.
Here is our list of Cartagena’s Plazas and parks. Its not all of them but theres too many to include. You´ll also find that the directions to get there will be confusing, maybe it´s better to just walk until you find them!
Parque Simon Bolivar
( 3 Blocks behind the Clock Tower, on Calle de La Inquisicion) This park has the famous statue of Simon Bolivar. Surrounding it is the Palace of the Inquisition and the Cathedral. There is often a man selling corn so you can feed the pigeons.
Parque Fernando Madrid
(Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and continue straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a right at the Exito and contuine straight for about 2 blocks, make a left and it’ll be in front of you in 1 block.) It’s a nice Square with some great restaurants around it. There’s a place called “Pizza en el Parque” which has delicious rustique pizza. There is also a Mediterranean restaurant called “La Sanwicharia” which has pitas with falafels, kaftas and large platters for two. Cartagena´s best Sushi bar is also located here(don´t expect cheap).
Parque del Centenario
(Make a right once you walk out of the hostel, and about 3 blocks down on your right hand side you’ll see the park) Is a large park in between the hostel and the Old City. Make a right once you walk outside of the hostel, the park is 2 blocks down on your right hand side. Lots of construction going on but a great land mark to find the clock tower.
Plazuela de San Diego
(Walk out of the hostel and make a right, another right at the corner, walk straight down and pass the main road, continue straight and cross the division in the rd, continue you straight until you walk up to a street called “Calle Jardin” and a small store on the corner on your left. Make a left at the store and 3 blocks down in the plaza) It is just up from Parque Fernando Madrid, there are plenty of restaurants in this one little plaza from steak houses “Patagonia” to little French and seafood places. This plaza is also home to the Santa Clara hotel and restaurant. There is a shop on the corner where you can buy a drink and sit on the steps of La Escuela de Bellas Artes watching the world go by. There is also live dancing and music on the weekends. One of the best plazas for hanging out and people watching.
(Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a left at the corner by “Havanna Club”, 1 block down and you’re at the plaza.) In the evenings this little plaza comes to life with locals and backpackers. Drinks available from the shop and there is a wide variety of street food. It has lots of atmosphere and a good place to meet people. Sunday’s there is live Zumba dancing and there are always young children playing soccer in the square. Fresh juice stands, hamburgers, hot dogs and kebabs’ are some of the many things to eat. This is the closest plaza to the hostel and easily the best in Cartagena. It´s yet to be over run by tourists and prices haven´t risen yet. It´s still full of local kids playing soccer and the parents playing chess.
Plaza de San Pedro Claver
(Walk into the Clock Tower and make your first left, go straight and you’ll see the plaza in front of you.) Plaza de San Pedro Claver, at the southern end of the old town, is surrounded by very picturesque buildings. The old house and museum of San Pedro Claver is next to the Cathedral. The Museum of Modern Art is at the southern end and if you pass that you will find the Navy Museum, which we recommend visiting.
Plaza de La Aduana
(Walk into the Clock Tower and make your first left, go straight and you’ll see the plaza in front of you.) This plaza is the oldest and largest square in the city originally used as a parade ground. It is a recently renovated just south of the clock tower, also home to the old customs building, as well as Hard Rock Cafe. In this plaza you can find 3 ATM’s and close by the money exchange houses. It’s to the left of the clock tower once you walk through.
Plaza de Los Coches
This plaza was originally the site used for a slave market, next to the clock tower, is a busy place day or night. Donde Fidel (one of the most famous bars in Cartagena) is a great bar to sit and watch the world go by in the evenings. Just next door, under the arches, a row of stands sell interesting local sweets from 9am to 9pm every day. Just walk towards the clock tower and its right in front.
We´ve tried to make this list as comprehensive as we can, but obviously we´ll never be able to add every restaurant in Cartagena. For sure you´ll find some great ones just by walking the streets and seeing what you can see.
Breakfast is included in our price(pancakes) and a more comprehensive breakfast is available for purchase. Our chef also cooks up some great pizzas and pastas and makes everything on site, from breads to pastas, to ensure freshness and taste. We´re open from 7am till late so be sure to drop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and stay for drinks late into the night.
This small friendly cafe, just around the corner from the hostel, has a nice atmosphere.
(Phone #660 0958; Calle San Andres; Ranging from 6,500/10,000COP) it includes the main course, homemade bread and jam, fresh juice and coffee or tea. They also do a pretty good set lunch which is a fresh chicken salad @ a good price; have great coffee. Gato Negro opens at 8am and closes around 2pm. Turn right out of the hostel and take the next right, it’s the blue building with the black CV on it on the left hand side. Be sure to say to Pepitas the house dog (very friendly).
There are many people selling cups of fresh fruit for about (1-2000 pesos) all over Cartagena. There is usually one outside Cafe Havana in the mornings and he charges 1000 pesos. Coffee is available from street vendors for $500 for a shot glass size. They are hard to miss strolling the streets with thermos flasks. There are usually people selling meat kebabs’ and sausages on a stick with potatoes as well (this is more in the evenings than for breakfast.) They range in price from about 4,000 pesos in front of Havana’s to 2000 pesos in Plaza Trinidad. Plaza Trinidad, just one block from the hostel has some of the best budget food options in Cartagena.
In the mornings on the left hand side as you are entering the Plaza Trinidad, there is a stand selling fresh juices from all kinds of tropical fruits in milk or in water. The fruit here are so exotic that most do not have names in English. Price range is about 2,500-3,500 when getting more than one fruit. There is also a juice stand in the evening at the Plaza Trinidad around 6pm on the left hand side towards the middle of the plaza. Prices range around 3,500-10,000 with a shot of your preferred liquor.
All over Cartagena there are bakeries selling sweet pastries. We like this place because they sell delicious savoury pastries with fillings such as chicken or cheese and ham which cost about $1700. There is a good selection of fruit juices at around $2500. It’s Iocated on the corner of Calles del Porvenir and San Augustín in front of the Juan Valdez coffee shop, near the Cartagena University.
This is a favorite for locals in the evenings and is one of the oldest parts of Cartagena, located just around the corner from the hostel. It’s a great for chilling with a beer and people watching, or playing soccer with the local children. There are a variety of food stands selling a range of street food. One of our favorites is a Quesadilla stand opposite the pizza restaurant to the right of the plaza. The burger stand on the left of the Plaza has very large meat filled Arepas for about $6000. Go to the right from the hostel then take the next left at Havanna Club and go one block.
Pizza restaurants are all over Cartagena, and many sell pizza by the slice. A good value local one is on calle Tripita y Media sells them for $3000 a slice. There are pizza restaurants opposite the hostel and also along the street to the right.
These sausages, chicken or meat kebabs are available all over Cartagena. They are a great snack, costing up to $4000. There is often one next to the local supermarket in the evenings on the corner right to the hostel.
Papas Rellanas de Carne
If you are hungry, this meat filled potato buns are a filling snack. If you forget the name ask for papas con carne. Although available at many bakeries or small supermarkets, we recommend Panaderia Ferpan on the corner of a building on the hectic Avenida Luis Carlos Lopez, where all the buses queue up. There is a nice place to sit and eat them over the road by the water. Turn left from the hostel and take a left on the big road walk all the way down to the bus station and it’ll be on your right hand side.
Portal de Los Dulces
Under the arches at Plaza de los Coches, next to Donde Fidel, is a line of stands selling local sweets. They are there every day from 9am to 9pm. (Behind the Clock Tower)
These cheesy dough patties can be found throughout Cartagena on street stands. They cost about 2,000 pesos. Alternatively, pan de bono is popular bread made from cassava starch, cheese and eggs. It can be found in some of the bakeries for about $1000.
These restaurants are great for a cheap but filling meal. There are plenty around to choose from, and you get soup, a main meal and a fruit juice or sugar cane water (delisous). Avoid Mondongo on the menu if you don’t fancy tripe soup!
One of our favorites is Este es El Punto, where a good meal is 6500. Make a right once outside of the hostel, turn right at the supermarket and it is on the left. If it is full Restaurant you are looking for “El Conroncoro” is another good, but slightly more expensive restaurant further down on the right.
Pizza, Pasta, Italia is another great little local place where you can get fresh pizza slices for 3,000COP any toppings or homemade chicken lasagna for 7,000COP..
(Calle Guerro down towards the Plaza Trinidad, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a left at the corner, it’ll be on your right hand side half way down the block.) great Italian restaurant with decent price, and homemade pasta and cute patty/terrace area. Prices are about 10,000-15,000COP
Cieba Tropical Café
In front of Restaurant Pavia, this little café has fresh juices from 8am-5pm, good music with a hd tv screen, breakfast menu and bar at night. Prices for juice 2,800-4,000COP, prices for breakfast 6,500-10,000COP and bar is about 7,000COP- 10,000COP.
This Colombian restaurant offers a generous vegetarian meal for $7000, including fruit juice and soup. Don’t expect a menu… you get what they decide to cook on the day. It is a white building located on the corner of Calle La Tablada and Puntales, near parque Fernandez Madrid. Head upstairs for the main air conditioned dining room. (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a right at the Exito and contuine straight for about 2 blocks, make a left and it’ll be in front of you in 1 block.)
El Pollo del Sabor
(Calle Tripe y Media, on the corner to Calle San Andres; 3,000/6,000COP, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and another right at the corner, 1 ½ blocks down on your left hand side.) Great little fried chicken place, meals or combos very cheap and include boiled potato and/or bollo (boiled cornmeal dough) and a side of dipping honey sauce for the chicken. Just make a right when you walk out of the hostel, then right at the corner and it’s locate on the second block right hand side, across from the Indian Restaurant.
(Calle Tripe Media, 12,000/25,000COP, make a right once you walk out of the hostel and another right at the corner, 1 ½ blocks down on your left hand side.) It a cozy restaurant with a cute roof top terrace, pretty view, and they serve mostly seafood and ceviche.
Crepes and Waffles
This popular chain offers a very large range of … crepes and waffles. Most are between $12000 and $17000. They also have good coffee, homemade gelatos, and a highly rated salad bar. One is located in the old town on Calle Baloco, near the Palace of the Inquisition. There is another in Caribe Plaza and in Boca Grande on the main street. It´s a chain restaurant, but a good one and reasonably priced.
Oh! La La (ceviche)
It’s located around the corner from Parque Simon Bolivar on Calle de Avos. This is a pizza bistro/bar that mainly sells pizza but also has ceviche for $6000, one of the cheaper places to buy it.
(On Calle Stuart, Plaza San Diego; Walk out of the hostel and make a right, another right at the corner, walk straight down and pass the main road, continue straight and cross the division in the rd, continue you straight until you walk up to a street called “Calle Jardin” and a small store on the corner on your left. Make a left at the store and 3 blocks down in the plaza; main courses 25,000-52,000COP; ceviche 16,000-45,000COP around lunch and dinner times.) Best ceviche in town!
Hard Rock Café
Typical American food at American prices, expect to pay $40,000 for a burger. Beer isn’t too expensive but if you want cocktails, be sure to make use of the happy hour (7pm til 8pm) They have occasional live music and free wifi. Located in Plaza de la Aduana, around the corner from Fidel’s just to the left as you walk into the Clock Tower.
Plaza Santo Domingo
(4 blocks behind the Clock Tower)There are lots of restaurants here with outdoor seating in the plaza. The prices are a bit touristy, but not bad considering the location. Here you’ll be harassed by the waitresses as you pass by, if you’re a bunch of single guys that may not be such a bad thing though.
Plaza San Diego
There are a few higher end restaurants to choose from in this plaza. These include Teriyaki (Japanese) and Juan del Mar (Caribean seafood). On Calle Stuart, at one end of the plaza, is La Cevicheria (ceviche) & Patagonia (Argentine) & a very flash hotel with not a bad bar if you’re after a drink in a better location, Hotel Santa Clara. (Walk out of the hostel and make a right, another right at the corner, walk straight down and pass the main road, continue straight and cross the division in the rd, continue you straight until you walk up to a street called “Calle Jardin” and a small store on the corner on your left. Make a left at the store and 3 blocks down in the plaza)
(Phone# 664 8243; Calle Balocco, El Centro; main courses 20,000-59,000COP; open lunch and dinner times) Located inside a 400 year old colonial home converted into a seafood restaurant. They also have a great wine list and live Cuban music.
(Phone#664 6222; Calle Quero, Old City; make (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a right at the Exito and contuine straight for about 2 blocks, make a right and it’ll be in front of you in 1 block.), lunch full meal 7,000/8,000COP) Best place to eat lunch as it’s cheap and absolutely delisious. About 10 different plates to choose from, you eat in a hip and beautiful old house and court yard. No signs outside, just a manikin with an afro.
(Phone #660 9880; Calle Media Luna & Guerrero; Getsemani; 16,000/19,000COP for a LG pizza; open around lunch and dinner) Just above the Havana bar and dance club, I Balconi has great pizza with a great view of the city. Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and on your left hand side at the corner you’ll see the restaurant upstairs.
(Phone #664 1683; Calle de Espiritu Santo, Getsemani; 20,000/30,000COP; open lunch and dinner) Accross the street from Saint Roque, La Guacha is an Argentina steak restaurant in an elegant spacious old city style house. Enjoy some steak with a wonderful glass of Malbec or Cab. Make a left when you walk out of the hostel and at the corner make a right.
(Phone #663 1799; Calle de Ayros, Old City; sandwitches @ 11,00COP; main courses 12,500/22,000COP; open around lunch & dinner time Mon-Sat) Great little German-run place with fresh German bread and excellent beer. Not too far from Plaza Santa Domingo.
Local cafes include Luna Nueva, oposite the hostel, and Gato Negro, around the corner on Calle San Andres. Others in the city include:
In the Old Town there is a Juan Valdez Cafe on Calle San Augustin, opposite to the bakery “La Esquina del Pan de Bono”. Equivalent to the North American Star Bucks, this place serves good Colombian coffee and has free WiFi. (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a left at the second corner and it’ll be on your right hand side 2 blocks down.) Our favourite pastry shop is just in front on the corner.
They have a second location right at the side of the convention centre as well. It´s waterside location makes it a great place to relax and catch up on whatever you are doing.
Abaco Libros y Café
Around the corner from Plaza Santo Domingo is this corner bookshop and cafe. It serves good coffee $3,500 and has a few outside seats. Selection of books and magazines in English and Spanish. calle de la iglesia cerca de la iglesia cathedral. (Make a right once you walk out of the hostel and a right at the corner. Pass the main road and contuine straight. At the new bus station, cross the road and make a left, walk towards the Exito super market. Make a left at the second corner and it’ll be on your left hand side 5 blocks down.)
Pajaro Loco at Mamallena Our very own bar and cafe connected to the hostel. You´ll find some of the best pizzas and homemade pastas in Cartagena delivered right to your room. Our drinks are very well priced at 2 mojitos, cuba libres or caipirinhas for only 16000. That´s a great deal and it´s available all day. Beers are only 3500 for a Club Colombia and 3000 for an Aguila.
Small but very popular backpacker bar just outside the hostel on the right of the door. Happy hour is between 7pm-9pm, has killer Mojitos & Caipirinha for 20 000 pesos each and beers are $4,500. Tasca has live music some Monday and Wednesday nights.
Media Luna – sleep soundly at Mamallena, party there!!!
Over the road, head up the stairs to the bar. Wednesday night is party night when they open the bar on the roof terrace as well and this place gets very busy. It’s 10,000COP entry on Wednesday nights only (great live music) and a pool table. Gets pretty crowded and expect a wait for the bar, to get in, and to get to the roof top terrace. Most other nights are pretty quiet with just a few people in the bar.
Used to be a rock bar but has now been turned into a Thai food restaurant. Go in and see if they will put on rock classics!!
(Calle del Espiritu Santo)
Loctaed in a community centre this place has had some problems so we´re not sure what they´re up to from night to night. If it is open it has a great beer garden atmosphere, sitting in the garden under the banana trees.
A popular place for locals and backpackers to chill and it’s just around the corner from the hostel. This plaza is one of the best in Cartagena and is a great place to hang out in the evenings. Cheap beer (or Aguadiente) is available from the shop on the corner. There is also a large variety of street food and is usually busy all evening. it’s also a good place to go late at night, if you want to stay up chatting then grab a beer from the hostel and head down here (so others can sleep). Turn right from the hostel and take the next left, it´s the big church one block up.
(Phone #664 7005; Calle Arsenal, Getsemani; Entrance fee 15,000COP, drinks around 8,000COP; 9pm-4am) MASSIVE BAR/ NIGHT CLUB with a wide range of music, live dancers on the bar and has very flirty atmosphere. Terrible décor! Guys, if you notice girls being very friendy theres a fair chance it´s not for your good looks and boyish charm! Walk out of the hostel and make a right, follow the road all the way down to the Centro de Convenciones and make a left, its on the second block on your left hand side.
(Calle Media Luna, turn right out of the hostel and it´s the next corner on the left; 10,000COP entrance & cocktails around 12,000/15,000COP but very strong) Cartagenas most famous Salsa bar, and it´s most popular, usually very busy on Fridays and Saturdays.
Newish on the Cartagena scene, this bar became very popular very fast. It´s now one of the better bars on a Friday and Saturday night. It´s also open late and has a good crowd of locals until close. It´s yet to be discovered by tourists. It´s basically across the road from the hostel, slightly on the left with the green doors.
(Phone #664 3127; Clock Tower, Old City; 11am-2am) We recommend a visit to this famous salsa bar, in the square behind the clock tower. Beers are only $3,000 and you can sit out in the square watching the locals dance. Look out for Fidel, you´ll recognize him from the many pictures inside. Head to the city entrance, go through the clock tower and turn left.
There is a smart but quiet roof bar on the terrace on top of this hotel. $5,000 a beer is justified by the view. Ask at the door to go upstairs. and they might let you in if they feel like it. Turn left from the hostel and go 2 blocks to the street just before the bridge, turn right and it´s on the next main corner on the right.
Casa de la Cerveceria
(Phone #664 9261; the end of Getsemani, right where Calle Larga and Arcenal meet on top of the little fort; 4pm-4am) Good happy Hour from 7pm-9pm, a live Dj most nights and if you get hungry there’s a grill, empanada snacks and ceviche for under 40,000COP. Left from the hostel, turn right before the bridge and
Hard Rock Café
Next to Fidel´s, drinks are not cheap here, occasional live music and free wifi. Behind the Clock Tower, basically above Donde Fidel and around the corner.
(Phone #664 8787; behind the Clock Tower, Old City; cover 12,000COP, beers around 10000; 8pm-4am)
Music ranges from regaeton, vallenato, meringue, and salsa. Décor, atmosphere and décor are all great. It has huge plasma screens playing music videos and it’s packed on weekends. Again, if a girl is paying you a lot of attention and you think she´s too good for you, it won´t matter, if you know what we mean…….
(Phone #664 1372; Camellon de los Martines, Getsemani; 7pm-4am; Tue- Sat) right off of the Media Luna, Quiebra Canto is a nice free entrance salsa bar on a second floor that over looks the entrance to the old city and the Pegasos. Some times has live music and there’s tons of street food venders right out front for the late night munchies. Turn right from the hostel and about two blocks up on the left, in front of the park.
This is where all the cool people go. One of Cartagena´s best clubs, Fragma has 3 different music and dance areas, with something to suit all tastes. It´s not cheap and make sure you dress up, your average backpacker gear isn´t going to get you through the door. It´s on the same street as Cafe del Mar, in front of the wall and up just a little bit.
Small club with electronic music, interesting place to see, usually a large selection of hookers…. It´s in the old centre so ask around, everyone knows where it is but it´s hard to explain.
Cafe del Mar
(Phone #664 6513; Behind Santo Domingo, Old City; Drinks 18,000/16,000COP; 5pm-Very Very Late) A popular place on top of the city walls looking out over the sea. Great music at night with live dancers, comfortable couches or bar tables with stools, save money by staying outside and buying drinks from the street sellers instead of going into the cafe area and still enjoy the music. It is also a great place to watch the sunset from. It´s on the otherside of the centre, right on the wall.
Boca Grande & La Boquilla beach bars
Although few and far between, there are a few good beach bars along the coast, from Boca Grande in the south to La Boquilla in the north. There is a good one on the road back from La Boquilla which is a great place to stop for a break after a bike trip to the beaches there. Boca Grande has a large selection of beach cafes during the day and a whole bunch along their main street. Most of the bars on the beach aren’t open at night time but it’s a great place to grab some beers and just go and sit on the beach. It´s safe from crime but don’t go swimming at night time though as you’ll have problems with the cops. Theres also a section of Boca Grande which is kinda like Miami, bars, restaurants and cafes. Not a bad spot to hang out for awhile.
Bar el 21
This cocktail bar, on the 21st floor of Hotel Capilla del Mar in Boca Grande, has good views of Boca Grande and the old town. The glass windows reflect a bit too much light from inside the bar, so if heading there after dark, we prefer sitting in the open air smoking area. Prices are not cheap.
This a shopping centre located 20 minutes and 10000 pesos by taxi from the city centre. The area has a bunch of bars and clubs spread along the main road that can be worth a night out. Right near the shopping centre there is a liquor store where people just hang around the front and drink. Walking back from there is where you´ll find the bars and clubs, towards the city. Just don´t expect this area to be any cheaper than the centre though.
Chiva City Tour
Jump aboard the Chiva Bus and immerse yourself in Cartagena’s fascinating history. This is a fun way to discover the city. Bilingual guide, transport and entrance fees are all included.