Wedding Bells (West) - - Registry -

Strolling the rain­bow-hued streets of Carta­gena’s old town, it comes as no sur­prise the beau­ti­ful Colom­bian city in­spired an en­tire lit­er­ary genre. This is the place that fu­elled the imag­i­na­tion of No­bel Prize–win­ning Colom­bian au­thor and god­fa­ther of magic re­al­ism Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez. It is a place where he en­vi­sioned the fan­tas­tic in­ter­min­gling with ev­ery­day life.

To see Carta­gena is to re­al­ize this sur­real dream. Perched on the Caribbean Sea and en­cir­cled by an elab­o­rate stone wall built cen­turies ago to ward off in­vad­ing pi­rates, the city’s old town tells the story of Carta­gena’s his­tory as a thriv­ing port. Mag­nif­i­cent churches and colo­nial man­sions burst­ing with bougainvil­lea ap­pear around ev­ery cor­ner, so­lid­i­fy­ing the city’s sta­tus as a UN­ESCO World Her­itage Site.

To ex­pe­ri­ence Carta­gena to the fullest, book a stay at an ex­clu­sive bou­tique ho­tel; there’s nowhere more hon­ey­moon-ap­pro­pri­ate than Casa San Agustin. Step through the prop­erty’s or­nate gates and you’ll dis­cover a tran­quil es­cape where his­tory meets moder­nity. With just 20 guest rooms and 11 suites spread across three exquisitely re­stored 17th-cen­tury colo­nial homes, Casa San Agustin has the in­ti­macy of a lux­u­ri­ous fam­ily home with all the thought­ful ameni­ties of a five-star ho­tel. A palm-fringed court­yard frames a pool set against an an­cient aque­duct, while orig­i­nal fres­coes adorn the walls. At the heart of the prop­erty sits Alma, a mod­ern Colom­bian restau­rant with world-class fare and live mu­sic, which is rated among the best places to dine in Carta­gena. This ho­tel is a true re­fec­tion of the city, high­light­ing the area’s rich past and ex­cit­ing fu­ture as one of the most fash­ion­able des­ti­na­tions in South Amer­ica.—Jen

Some ho­tels are worth plan­ning a hon­ey­moon around, and Casa San Agustin is one of them.

Rooms at Casa San Agustin are filled with thought­ful de­tails. Dine al fresco at Alma restau­rant. O’Brien

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