People watching is the name of the game at Donde Fidel, a go-to beer and rum joint in Cartagena's Old Town.
Address: Plaza de los Coches, Cartagena, Colombia
Rating: TIC User Rating
Rating: Trip Advisor
The perfect refuge for newcomers trying to get their bearings, the bar is tucked between the Clock Tower and the Plaza de la Aduana and dishes up a regular serving of salsa beneath the city's historic walls.
There may be few thrills on the bar menu but it won't break the bank either, so order a beer or a bottle of rum, sit back and plot the evening ahead beside one of 'Gabo' Marquez's favourite contemplative spots.
The city's nocturnal nature changes from week to week depending on the crowd in town. An hour or so in this open-air bellweather will give you a sense of whether Cartagena's itinerant population is made up of students, soap stars or businessmen. Get a feel for which direction your crowd is heading and follow them to the place to be.
Inside, the regulars come armed with broad smiles and those signature hypnotic hips. Enrolling in a Cartagena salsa class or two will become almost obligatory after a visit.
Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city.
Centro has lost none of its importance thanks to the universal lure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area.
Cartagena's finest hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century.
The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze and first whiff of pirates. Today only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list can afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.
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