Bars that showcase Colombia‘s rum culture and restaurants run by celebrity chefs line the cobbled sides of hip Getsemaní’s coolest stretch.
Just outside the ancient walls of Cartagena’s exquisite Old Town, the once-seedy barrio of Getsemaní has blossomed into a hip, artsy neighborhood that’s caught the eye of savvier travelers. Here, colorful, crumbling colonial architecture is crowned with cascading flowers or emblazoned with street art. Musicians liven up leafy plazas with impromptu performances. Come nightfall, the throb of cumbia (Colombian folk music) spills from numerous dance bars. You’ll find all of this and more along Calle del Arsenal, so join us on a stroll along this vibrant slice of Colombian-Caribbean streetlife.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Even among the veritable rainbow of buildings in Cartagena, the striking facade of this restored mansion leaps out. Step inside and the color scheme continues, combining jazzy graphics with a tropical boho vibe. You can pick a budget-friendly mixed dorm or treat yourself to a private room and ensuite. Beat the heat with a dip in one of the hotel’s two pools. Come evening, get in the mood with coconut-infused cocktails and Afro-Caribbean tunes at the rooftop bar. Don’t worry, a sunrise yoga session the next day will help clear your head.
Opened by the Rausch brothers – Latin America’s biggest celebrity-chef siblings – Marea joined their impressive portfolio of restaurants in 2012. While they’ve brought their magic touch to the refined menu of international cuisine, it’s the waterfront setting that really steals the show. As you’d imagine, the market-fresh seafood here is standout, especially when prepared in traditional Colombian specialties such as the sublime arroz marea. Regular live music also cranks up the romance.
One glance at the entrance of this gastrobar and you know it’s going to be fun. It was opened by the mayor’s son, Abraham Dau, in 2017 with the aim of showcasing Colombia’s rum culture. It’s home to the world’s largest collection of Colombian rums, which can be enjoyed straight, in an expertly-mixed cocktail, or paired with some chocolate on the side. There’s a great dining menu, too, full of spicy Caribbean flavors and local ingredients – their ceviche might just be the best in town.
Connecting Calle de Arsenal with parallel Calle Larga, Pasaje Leclerc is an old tucked-away bazaar that most visitors overlook. But take time to browse the crowded stalls and – being away from the main tourist hotspots – you can find some real bargains, especially if you’re in the market for some Colombian handicrafts. Don’t be shy of a haggle: most stallholders will oblige a small discount.
Housed in an architectural slice of colonial Cartagena, this popular bar-restaurant is a great spot for good food, strong booze and unpretentious fun. It draws a healthy mix of up-for-it locals and curious tourists for sizzling steak, cold beer and a dance floor that gets increasingly packed through the evening. Expect some full-on rumba expertly executed by the native costeños, some of whom will take to table tops by the end of the night.
If you’d rather tuck into some street food, then the Terraza Municipal is where several of the finest food trucks in Cartagena congregate, offering everything from pizza and sushi to tacos. It’s a big open waterfront plaza where crowds of locals meet friends and families to chat, eat, drink and – when the mood takes them – dance. Dusk here is particularly magical, with spectacular sunsets and lots of garland lighting. Festivities often go on into the night.
While you’re spoilt for choice for nightclubs along this stretch, none offer up as much ritz and glitz as Discoteca Farándula. They roll out Ibiza-esque levels of clubbing pizzazz, from the dynamic lit-up dance floor to metallic rococo seating and caged dancers dangling from the ceiling. Expect a glammed-up crowd who aren’t afraid to strut their stuff. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
If you’re looking for somewhere that really bottles the magic of historic Cartagena, it has to be Casa Lola. It occupies two beautifully restored 17th- and 19th-century buildings, lined with an ornate facade teeming with plant life and interiors that leave you cooing with delight. Rooms combine eclectic decor with comfort where it matters, like 500-thread-count sheets, pillow menus and garden views from many. There are lots of cozy nooks, including a snug mezzanine library – but the real highlight is a rooftop terrace where you can recline poolside, crafted cocktail in hand.
Set atop ancient ramparts at the end of Calle de Arsenal, this “casa de la cerveza” certainly delivers on its name with a long list of national and international beers to choose from. The menu is largely centered around flame-cooked steaks and seafood, as well as plenty of traditional Colombian fare. It’s a fine spot to soak up some Caribbean sunshine, but head there at night and you’re treated to a spectacular view of the twinkling Cartagena cityscape across the water.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.