Cartagena

Cartagena Travel Guide

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.

Ego

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.

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