My favorite part of living in Cartagena is listening to the sound of the ocean while I write, but second comes the sunsets.The most popular spot to watch the sun dip over the ocean is from the old city walls. So why not combine that with the mellow vibe of a good drink in your hand? Below are three bars on the walls where you can do just that. For fun, I also included a few more rooftop bars with breathtaking views.
Each of the first three bars will cost around 30,000 pesos for a cocktail (less for beer), but in my opinion it's well worth it. Here's a map of the rooftop and sunset bars in Cartagena.
Cafe del Mar
This the best known of the three bars on the walls. Lots of space, nice views directly out over the sea and toward the skyscrapers in Bocagrande. Can have a bit of a party vibe, depending on the night, so not always the place if you 're looking only to chill
This bar has the best cocktails of the bunch, and it's right in the center of town overlooking both the ocean to one side and inland to Plaza de Santa Teresa, where the Hotel Charleston and the Naval Museum are located. Convenient if you are heading to dinner or any other activity in the historic centro after your drinks.
Casa de la Cerveza
This is my favorite of the last three. It doesn't look out directly over the ocean like El Baluarte and Cafe del Mar. Instead it's on a corner of the ramparts with 360 views over the lagoon and Castillo San Felipe on one side, the skyscrapers of Manga behind, and the towers of Bocagrande toward the ocean. This is where the photo at the top of the page was taken as I watched the pelicans dive.
This location is close to the Getsemani area of town, which is fun to wander at night. Lots of great bars and restaurants and a neat mural wall I could stare at for hours.Insider Tip: Getsemani has a free open air Zumba class on Sundays at 7.30pm in Plaza de la Trinidad. The class is given from the steps of the church and is a blast, either to participate or just to watch with a beer in hand. If interested, you can see a quick video I created here on my author Facebook.
Rooftop Bars in Cartagena
If you're interested in other rooftop bar options, here's a few that I particularly like.
Also a great place to catch the sun going down, although it does have a 50,000 peso minimum (think a drink and an appetizer each). Good option go go hand out at their pool in the afternoon for a few hours.
This is fun hotel with a rooftop pool that is fun day or night. On the way up the elevator, check out how each floor of the hotel has wall and door art by a different artist. Drinks were less expensive here than any of the bars above.
You can find locations for all the bars above and a few more in the Map of Rooftop Bars.
Prefer the sunset without the booze? Juan Ballena has a great article on Best Places to View the Sunset in Cartagena. I second his recommendation of the mall, Plaza Bocagrande, which looks right over the beach. Also a good spot to escape into air conditioning if you're wandering that area during the day!
Want more rooftops? Hatsoff, a fellow Brit Nomad, also has a great article on 5 Rooftop Bars in Cartagena.
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