National Geographic Traveller (UK)


The neighbourh­ood has become one of Cartagena’s most exciting corners, full of bars, restaurant­s and boutiques tucked away in colourful streets. Here’s what not to miss


Ten years ago, the only tourists venturing from Cartagena’s UNESCO-listed Old Town and into Getsemani, the adjacent neighbourh­ood, were backpacker­s looking for super-cheap hostels, and those lured to the red-light district. But over the past decade, government investment in the area has been a remarkable success: what exists today is a district that’s — whisper it — more fun to explore than the traditiona­l tourist sights. Streets awash with bright, vivid colours are now home to boutique hotels, rooftop bars lit with festooned lights and pintsized cafes for whiling away the afternoon.


Stylish locals flock to this 30-cover restaurant, which opened in 2018 and has since made it into the Latin America section of the World’s 50 Best restaurant­s. The 10-course tasting menu will take you on a journey through Colombian cuisine, with plates that might include smoked fish fritters with kimchi and prawns with coconut milk and water apple. celelerest­


Book ahead for this excellent little restaurant, set up by chef María Josefina Yances to lovingly showcase the best of Colombia’s diverse food scene, which differs from coast to mountains and beyond. After she died in 2014, her nephew took over, doing an equally impressive job. Signature dishes include the mote de queso (yam and cheese soup topped with grilled aubergine).


When the Aguila beers catch up with you, do as the locals do and head to this church square. In the shadow of the buttercup-yellow Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad church, street vendors sell loaded hotdogs and burgers until gone midnight — the Colombian equivalent of a late-night kebab. Love people-watching? This is the spot.


Step inside this cafe and you’ll feel like you’ve entered owner David Arzayus’ laboratory, where shelves and counters are stacked with coffee machines and grinders from across the decades. It’s a great place to try some of Colombia’s best produce if you can’t make it to the coffee region.­al


This fuss-free, family-run restaurant, with its yellow plastic chairs and tiled floors, is one of the best places for inexpensiv­e Colombian classics like arroz con pollo (chicken rice) or lengua en salsa (beef tongue in rich tomato sauce). Alternativ­ely, take the chefs’ cue and try the changing menu of the day.

39-22 Calle 10


You’ll have your pick of rooftop bars in Getsemani, but this one, located above a hostel and named after the family’s grandma, Waldy, has a lovely, relaxed vibe and is seconds away from the graffiti murals of Calle de la Sierpe. 91 Calle 29

 ?? ?? The colourful streets of Getsemani, Cartagena’s trendiest neighbourh­ood
The colourful streets of Getsemani, Cartagena’s trendiest neighbourh­ood
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