Agua de Mar Restaurant

Gourmet Tapas and Scintillating Cocktails that Will Make Your Evening

Book ahead to ensure you get a chance to savour Cartagena's gourmet tapas destination, Agua de Mar, living proof that culinary dreams can come true.

  • This Is What We Love

    • Not getting a table and 'having to' drink your way through the bar's exceptional optics
    • Blowing the budget with an opulent selection of caviar and champagne
    • Following Mar's culinary travels in what is a very special tapas menu
    • Fighting with your fellow diners for the last of the classic croquettes
    • The owner's unbridled enthusiasm for what she does
  • What You Need To Know

    • Agua de Mar is open for lunch
    • Tapas don't come cheap here but the complex flavours are worth their elevated price tags
    • The bar closes when the last person leaves
  • The Details

    Type of Food: Tapas

    Hours and Days: Mon-Sat: 12:30-15.00 & 19.30-23.00 | Sun: Closed ?

    Price Range: $$$

    Address: Calle del Santísimo 8-15, Cartagena, Colombia

    Neighbourhood: San Diego

    Rating: TIC User Rating

    Rating: Trip Advisor


    Our Full Review

    Those lucky enough to have tasted one of the popular San Diego bar's 15 gin and tonics or the tantalizing tapas menu will appreciate why the owner dropped a successful life in Spain to make her fantasy come true in Cartagena de Indias.

    The upbeat owner, Mar Alonso, traded a decade moving the financial markets in Madrid to live the stuff of dreams in the jewel in Colombia's Caribbean coast in 2012.

    The more than satisfactory outcome is this stylish culinary mecca, built around a well-travelled fusion of tapas with other cuisines and a wonderfully worked cocktail list.

    Forget shared platters of Manchego cheese, Iberian hams and papas bravas, Agua de Mar's menu is the extraordinary product of two decades of culinary experiments by the owner and executive chef.

    Everything from the grilled lamb cutlet served on a creamy bed of saffron rice to the Mekong Scallops served with a citrus and soy butter, blends the couples' fascination with the flavours of India, Thailand and Japan with the tapas and gin bars of their former stomping ground, Madrid.

    You can't go wrong with our three favourites—the Dordoña prime angus fillet steak with Foie Gras and a Pedro Ximénez reduction, the noodle paella with squid, mussels, prawns and alioli and the gazpacho with a skewer of Iberian ham.

    Adding to the restaurant's exceptional culinary offering is a  remarkable selection of cocktails, notably an unbeatable selection of gin and tonics that add a rosemary or cardamom flourish to Agua de Mar's overall experience.

    Go for the food. Stay for the gin and tonics. The bar's open well into the early hours.


  • San Diego

    A healthy mix of sub-cultures makes San Diego one of the most interesting and varied districts in the city, something reflected in its diverse gastronomic offering.

    San Diego is formed by 16 blocks north of Calle de la Universidad de Cartagena and west of Calle San Agustin and Calle de la Moneda and stretches to the Baluarte de Santa Catalina and the walls that protect the city to the north. 

    Architecturally the houses are smaller and were built principally for the military, artisans and clergy. There are fewer of the two-or three-storey holiday homes for the ultra-rich that characterize the centre and you will still find traditional families living in some of the more modest houses in this part of town. 

    After Cartagena's moneyed classes swapped the claustrophobic centre for expansive mansions in Manga and later Bocagrande and Castillogrande in the mid-19th century it took the renovation of the former Santa Clara Monastery, converted for the hotel chain Sofitel into the city's pre-eminent hotel in 1995, to put this barrio back on the map. 

    Colombia's farandula, or celebrity set, has since colonized San Diego including John Leguizamo who bought a place here after filming Mike Nichols' Love in the Time of Cholera.

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