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The Getaway: Cartagena, Colombia

The Getaway: Cartagena, Colombia

by Rakhee Bhatt

With its colorful architecture, warm atmosphere, fresh cuisine and welcoming citizens, Cartagena is a place where the good times naturally flow. Located on Colombia’s northern Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a port city that was once protected by a fortress to guard against pirates and storms, but has since integrated old world and new world architecture in singular fashion so as to render the locale a must visit for all travelers. Here, where to sip, savor, see and stay while in the charming city of Cartagena.

SIP

The Getaway: Cartagena, Colombia
Café San Alberto

Café del Mar

Colombia is celebrated for their fine rums, so do the liquor justice by ordering a classic mojito or piña colada at this alfresco spot situated on the old city walls. Come early in the evening to snag a prime seat to gaze at the sun as it sets over the Caribbean Sea.

Café San Alberto

Taking a scientific approach to the country’s beloved daily drink, this coffee shop is serious about their Colombian bean brews. Producing the single origin beans under a five-step selection process, the ethically grown beans come from their own farm in the Buenavista region of the country. Enjoy a quick espresso to start your day or relax over a cold brew.

WHAT TO WEAR

SAVOR

The Getaway: Cartagena, Colombia
Candé

Candé

Tickle all your senses at this elegant restaurant that turns dinner time in to an experience that is sure to be remembered for years to come. Tuck into traditional dishes like the Posta Cartagenera, comprised of slow-cooked sirloin steak covered in a sweet sauce and served with white coconut rice, as you watch folklore dancers move through the space.

La Cevichería

The late, great Anthony Bourdain dedicated an episode of his show No Reservations to Cartagena and made sure to stop at this restaurant to sample the fresh fish dishes gleefully doled out. People watch from one of the outdoor tables or the white and blue Mediterranean-inspired inside to feast on plates like the Colombian Ceviche Temptation where prawns are stacked in a lime and lemon juice.

WHAT TO WEAR

SEE

The Getaway: Cartagena, Colombia
The Rosario Islands

The Rosario Islands

Hop on board a speed boat to jet off to this stunning archipelago, which forms a national park specifically created to protect important coral reefs. Located about an hour from Cartagena and easy to access, these islands are surrounded by clear blue waters idyllic for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming. Dock on one of the islands for lunch and drinks in an unforgettable setting.

Old Town Walking Tour

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, the Old Town of Cartagena offers something for everyone. Stop by a fresh fruit stand to get a cup of sweet papaya and mango to savor as you gaze at colonial homes splashed in a variety of paints that have wood balconies adorned with lush flowery plants. Pay to have your photo taken with the colorfully outfitted Palenqueras balancing heavy bowls of fruit on their heads before swinging by Plaza Santo Domingo to see Fernando Botero’s bronze sculpture “La Gordita,” which is said to bring luck to all who touch it.

WHAT TO WEAR

STAY

The Getaway: Cartagena, Colombia
Casa San Agustin

Movich Hotel

Head to the center of the city to stay in this hotel that shows off its Caribbean influences through the contemporary décor. Stay in one of their luxury rooms that has a plush king bed and bright windows or in the bayside suite that has a private balcony. No visit here is complete without time spent on the rooftop terrace that offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of Cartagena as well as an infinity pool.

Casa San Agustin

The guest room ceilings at this boutique hotel are made from wood that is centuries old, evoking the rich colonial history of the surrounding. Book the grand duplex suite prestige, perfect for a large group to share the two king rooms, the living-dining space and a balcony with a view. Make sure to enjoy a few laps in the hotel’s blue tiled swimming pool during your visit.

WHAT TO WEAR

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