With temperatures regularly creeping over 30 degrees, the best way to enjoy a coffee in Cartagena
is out in the fresh air. From chic rooftops to breezy oceanfronts and shady colonial courtyards, here are some of Cartagena’s most stunning open-air cafés.
Malagana Café Bar
Located in the hip Getsemani neighbourhood, Malagana Café Bar serves food and cocktails out on an intimate mosaic-tiled rooftop terrace. With only a few tables, the atmosphere is cosy and the service personal. A word of warning: arrive early! The terrace is very popular and fills up quickly.
Folkore Colombian Café
Cafe, South American, $$$
One of only a few coffee shops in Cartagena that open at the crack of dawn, Folklore Colombian Café is a godsend to early-rising coffee fiends. Friendly, passionate staff here share their knowledge on where the coffee comes from, the roasting process and flavours. And the best bit? There are a handful of tables out on the stunning colonial-style terrace out back, complete with mosaic fountain and swaying palms.
Juan Valdez Café La Mansión
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, $$$
No doubt you’ve heard of Juan Valdez: it’s a multinational coffee chain – but Colombia is where it all started. At Juan Valdez Café La Mansión, you can sip on some of the country’s finest coffee while you watch the world go by out on their lovely colonial-style patio.
Cafe La Trinidad
Cafe, South American, $$$
With tables facing Getsemani’s buzzing Plaza Trinidad, colourful Café La Trinidad is the perfect spot for people-watching. On busy days, the tables sprawl right out onto the road. Grab a strong tinto and get stuck in! They also serve delicious breakfasts and light lunches for as little as COP7,000 (US$2.45).
El Baluarte San Francisco Javier
Bar, Cafe, Contemporary, $$$
Standing atop Cartagena’s old city wall, El Baluarte San Francisco Javier sits on one of the oldest structures in the city. A topnotch afternoon coffee here comes with epic views of the Caribbean sea and the lovely Santa Teresa square below. Make sure you stick around for a while to watch the sunset.
Bar, Cafe, Mexican, Mediterranean, $$$
Laid-back Café FICCI serves freshly brewed coffee and snacks out on the streets of the lovely Santa Teresa Plaza. With the huge old city wall and lush trees acting as a shield from the sun, this is the perfect spot for escaping the hot afternoon rays with a good book. Great for people-watching, too.
Café Del Mar
Bar, Cafe, South American, $$$
This spot is hugely popular with tourists, and it’s easy to see why: it has one of the best views in town. Located right along the old city wall, you can enjoy an afternoon drink here with uninterrupted views of the sea and Cartagena’s skyline. After sunset, Café Del Mar shifts from chill-out café to late-night party place.