Cartagena Travel Guide

The theater was built in 1911 to celebrate 100 years of Colombian independence.

The quietist of Cartagena's four quarters, it's also where to find the best arepas in town. Most visitors tour the neighborhood in one of the horse-drawn carriages that clop-clop past the bright colored walls and overgrown balconies.

Housed in a 17th-century monastery, El Coro bar, at Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara, lures locals and guests alike with pitch-perfect mojitos and the prospect of glimpsing writer and occasional barfly Gabriel García Márquez.

The tropical-fruit-colored façade hides a marble interior that offers a cooling respite from the hot city streets.

The busy Centro district revolves around the Plaza de Bolívar, an overgrown public square where teenage couples kiss and palenqueras - women who sell fruit from enameled tubs balanced on their heads - amble past old men playing chess on rickety card tables.


Bill Gates and Spanish King Juan Carlos I are devotees of this pint-size workshop where tailor Edgar Gómez Estévez has been creating his white linen guayabera shirts for 35 years.

A lively bar just a short taxi ride from the central city with music on Fridays. Dancing couples spill out onto the balcony and salsa music lasts late into the night.

A museum full of historical dioramas and crude 18th-century portraits of governors and generals. The first floor displays torture devices that illustrate how a little wrought iron might shape one's faith.

There's dancing almost every night at this bar deep inside the iffy part of Gesemaní - take a taxi here and back.