For us, travelling is synonymous with wonder, it’s the gateway to the world. At Transat, our employees are travel enthusiasts who live this love for travel and thirst for new discoveries each day.
Nothing is more fun than sharing our passion for travel and the destinations we have fallen in love with. We accompanied our Flight Attendant, Leanne, to Colombia to help you discover a piece of this naturally and culturally rich destination.
Once a shady neighbourhood mostly made up of locals and youth hostels, today, Getsemaní is modern and trendy. Leanne loves its ubiquitous and creative street art, its ultra-colourful houses and its music, whether in salsa clubs, in cafes or in the streets. Here are her recommendations for visiting the Getsemaní district.
Getsemaní’s bustling culinary scene
In recent years, several trendy restaurants have opened their doors in Getsemaní. With their cuisines diverse, many have given way to modern Colombian cuisine, which highlights local ingredients.
Visiting a local market, or even a supermarket, while travelling is ideal for two reasons. First, it allows you to discover rich and local ingredients. There’s nothing more enticing than a fresh fruit and vegetable stall! Secondly, it lets you get a feel of the destination. For Leanne, going to the market is an opportunity to observe people and their daily routines and, of course, chat with them.
For the more adventurous travellers, Mercado Bazurto is the market to visit in Getsemaní. We recommend going to buy avocados, mangoes or other fresh fruits and vegetables. Although it feels perfectly safe, as with any busy area abroad, keep your personal belongings and valuables close and out of sight.
Av Pedro De Heredia, Cartagena, Bolívar
During her last visit to Cartagena, Leanne had the opportunity to meet Colombian chef Alejandro Ramirez from restaurant Taqueria Municipal.
As its name suggests, the restaurant serves Mexican dishes, but with a Colombian twist, thanks to the chef’s incorporation of local ingredients. The sea bass tiradito topped with a sour cream and passion fruit sauce is a must-try.
Calle de la Media Luna # 10 – 46 Local 1, Getsemaní, Cartagena, Bolívar
El Gramo Cevicheria
Looking for a quick, but fresh and delicious meal that won’t slow you down? As its name implies, El Gramo Cevicheria Express serves ceviche made from local ingredients that are ready in no time, travel well and are packed with flavour! First, choose your fish or seafood, followed by your vegetables and finally, your preferred seasoning, or choose your ceviche according to the pairings they offer.
Stroll the streets of Getsemaní
Just like in Cartagena’s Old Town, one of the most enjoyable things to do here is simply wander its winding streets. Be sure to admire its array of houses, each more colourful than the next. As if there weren’t enough colours to take in, Getsemaní is home to stunning street art that spices up the landscape and makes the contrast with the old city of Cartagena all the more striking. Don’t miss it!
Get a feel for Cartagena in Plaza de la Trinidad
Make your way to the end of Calle de la Sierpe, where you’ll find Plaza de la Trinidad (Trinity Square), a lively place where locals gather every evening to play music, dance and party. If you really want to get a feel for the place, visit Plaza de la Trinidad after 8 pm, the moment it awakens.
That said, before 8 pm, Plaza de la Trinidad is a nice spot to enjoy a drink or coffee and watch people go by. Take a seat at Solar Bar & Food, where they serve innovative (and strong) cocktails and where you can also eat. Or, head to Cafe de la Trinidad, right in front, for an equally enjoyable view of the square.
Plaza de la Trinidad, at the intersection of Carrera 10 and Calle 29 (Calle de la Sierpe)
Street art and creative murals on Calle de la Sierpe
Calle de la Sierpe, one of Leanne’s favourites areas, is known for its beautiful murals. You can easily wander the area for hours, observing each detail of the area’s colourful street art. You’ll even spot one of Colombia’s most famous personalities, writer Gabriel García Márquez.
Start your visit at Plaza de la Trinidad, make your way to Calle de la Sierpe (also known as Calle 29) and let yourself be carried away by the murals and colourful houses typically found in Getsemaní.
The sunset over Las Murallas
Take a break from action-packed Getsemaní and head north of the old town to Baluarte de Santa Catalina, next to Plaza Las Bovedas, to admire the beautiful sunset. This spot is less crowded than Baluarte de Santo Domingo. But we also recommend watching the sunset from there, in Cartagena’s Old Town, as it adds an additional charm.
#1- a, Av. Pedro De Heredia #1158, Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
Salsa nights at Quiebra Canto
Latin countries are renowned for their love of music and dance. In Cartagena and looking to learn to dance with the locals? Visit Quiebra Canto, a popular salsa bar open since 1979 and located in the Getsemaní district, like Leanne did.
Colombians are late, so don’t expect the action to start until at least 9:30 or 10:00 pm. Once the place comes to life, you’ll surely find a dance enthusiast keen on showing you the basics!
Note: Google Maps currently states that the bar is closed (in fact, they’ve simply just changed their address), but if you visit their Facebook page, you’ll see that they are indeed open.
Parque Centenario altos. Edificio la puertadel Sol
Cra. 28 B No. 25-119 Segundo piso, (Cartagena, Colombia)
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Photo credits: Air Transat