CARTAGENA MOMENTS, PART 2
So after the unplanned day and soup discovery that was Day 1, the next couple days were a little more planned out. we had written down a few surefire stop we wanted to make. First, we wanted to try breakfast at another hotel that was known for serving a lovely breakfast in a beautiful space. We went to the Santa Clara hotel which is located on Calle del Torno, beautiful streets and squares. The Hotel which is run by Sofitel brand used to be a convent dating back to 1621. It became a hotel in 1995, but the best part is how much of the original structure that remains. The outdoor breakfast is elevated by the surroundings of colonial architecture, the arched columns, the balconies facing inside towards the interior garden (almost makes me think of Moroccan riads). The hotel is quite expensive, so, this is a good way to experience a hotel without paying for an overnight stay.
Getsemani was one of the main neighborhoods on our list. I was most excited in visiting as I had heard about the vibrant street art, energy, culture, food and people in the area. I wasn’t checking my watch, but it felt like a 15minute walk outside the heart of Old Town. It was definitely one of my most enjoyable strolls. We spent a little over 2 hours there, people watching, grabbing quick bites of street food, and taking
The plan was to experience sunset at Cafe Del Mar. A very popular hangout for locals and tourists alike. There’s also live music to match the view and to turn up the energy. As we watched the space getting set up, we promised to return, but somehow got carried away and instead ended up walking along the walls of the city, which are slightly elevated and in the evening glow, with the breeze, is such an attractive spot that you aren’t surprised by the lovers, friends and young people that you find also walking along the fortified wall.
Over the course of the trip, we got to check out 3 rooftops on different nights. The first at Alquimico bar– I would describe as more hipster, great energy but chill- I hate to do this but if I had to describe it as anything back in New York, I would call this one the Brooklyn- Williamsburg scene. The restaurant/bar actually has 3 floors, all beautifully decorated and worthy of Instagram photographs. The options and variety there made it my fave space. I also met some fellow travelers that were really cool and we chatted for a decent amount of time. There also seemed to be a good mix of locals as well and the food was tasty. It reminded me so very much of Tantalo in Panama’s Casco Viejo. In fact, Cartagena’s Old City brought back many memories of that other trip.
The 2nd rooftop was at the Townhouse hotel, also had a young (maybe slightly younger) crowd, and the vibe was more Miami in the best possible way. From the cocktails to the use of neon lights and tropical decor. The music, drinks and apps were great. The view was as solid as it gets in Cartagena and the bartenders were fun. The one thing here is that the crowd was mostly non-locals. So if you’re looking to be around locals, this may not be your spot.
Our last rooftop was at the Movich hotel. We went at night and the crowd was older, music and drinks selection you could tell were intended for a more mature guest. Again, to compare, I would count this as more Upper East Side NYC. I wouldn’t say this was our favorite scene but this was by far, hands down, the best view. I would recommend a visit during the day for some truly amazing pictures.
Lest this post get too long, I’ll save my last few tips for the next post. One thing I can share is that I never made it to the modern skyscraper part of Cartagena. There was so very much to do in Old Town and I highly recommend a trip to anyone who would listen. A minimum of 3 nights would be my choice.