Mini guide to Cartagena, Colombia

via travel and leisure:

The oldest port city in the Americas continues to enchant travelers with new openings, not to mention warm Caribbean breezes, Spanish-colonial mansions, and Afro-Cuban rhythms at lounges like La Vitrola. JetBlue launched nonstop service from New York’s JFK in 2012 and has just added a new daily route from Fort Lauderdale, FL. Clued-in cruise lines have been stopping here for years, and luxury hoteliers are angling for real estate. The InterContinental recently opened in Bocagrande—Cartagena’s ritziest suburb—and in 2016, Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi will launch her second stylish boutique hotel in the Old City, while Viceroy christens Convento Obra Pia, a restored 17th-century convent in the artsy neighborhood Getsemani. For souvenirs with a decidedly Colombian flair, join the well-heeled visitors wandering medieval cobblestoned streets in search of locally sourced emeralds (among the world’s finest), which can be custom-designed at Lucy Jewelry, or a bespoke guayabera shirt from Ego. —Nora Walsh

Cartagena is one of the most be one of the most beautiful cities in Colombia; full of history and wonderful architecture, it offers something for everyone, you will see that 3 days will seem like a minute and you will want to stay and or come back.

Stay:

  • Sofitel Santa Clara
  • Casa San Agustin
  • San Pedro Hotel
  • Hotel Quadrifolio

Eat: everything and anything seafood, just like bubba! , fried, stewed, raw, eat it!

La Vitrola Do what you must to land a reservation. Even if you have one, you may still have to talk your way past the guard at the door. No web site, call 575-660-07-11.

Casa de Socorro huge servings of traditional Colombian fare such as cazuela, a seafood stew in a coconut milk base that comes with fried plantains and the ever-present coconut rice. It’s on Calle 25 (aka Calle Larga) in the Getsemani neighborhood near the convention center and definitely worth visiting.

Alma in the Casa San Agustin hotel, a 17th century colonial mansion updated with modern amenities and courtyard pool.

1621 Hotel Santa Clara‘s gourmet Restaurant 1621 specializes in dishes reflecting Caribbean cuisine with a French flair. The hotel used to be a convent and the nun’s ate in what is now the restaurant dining room.

El Santisimo French trained chefs prepare classic Colombian dishesi. The restaurant is housed in another former convent, hence the icons, angels and statues of hooded monks lording over the dining rooms .

Don Juan Chef Juan Felipe Camacho trained in San Sebastian, where modern Spanish cuisine was invented, and the vibrant flavor of tapas informs his creations.

Vera Colombia’s leading fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi has a stylish boutique hotel which you should also check out, and her restaurant features Italian fare in high style and lush gardens.

Club de Pesca Situated in the ancient San Sebastian fort with an outdoor deck virtually adjoining the marina and its huge yachts, Club de Pesca has delicious seafood, ceviches and cazuelas along with dazzling views of the harbor.

See:

  • Walled city
  • Castle san Felipe de Barajas
  • Cathedral San Pedro Claver
  • Plaza Santo Domingo
  • Go to Islas Del Rosario
  • La Popa Monastry and Convent
  • Just walk around the cobblestone streets

Myriam Acevedo for www.thiscolombianeatsandtravels.com

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