The Old City - the heart of this…
Watch the Sunset Atop the City Walls in Cartagena
One of the most noticeable and iconic historical structures in Cartagena is the Old City wall that surrounds the oldest portion of the city. This wall was built during the Colonial Era to help repel attacks from pirates, privateers, and invading armies. Now the wall has become an amazing tourist attraction in Cartagena and visitors to the city can stroll along the top, take in the sites, and even sit down for a cocktail or two at some of the best bars and restaurants in Cartagena (right on the wall itself). In fact, spending an afternoon and evening watching the sunset from atop this historic wall is a must-do on anyone’s list when vacationing in Cartagena.
Indeed all of the travel blogs you will find consistently list watching the sunset from the wall overlooking the city itself among their top 10 things to do in Cartagena. Isn’t it time you experienced what everyone else is raving about?
Baluarte is Spanish for bulwark—a type of defensive fortification usually built from earth or stone. In Cartagena, Baluarte refers to a number of battlements that sit at strategic points along the wall. These reinforced areas would have been where defending troops and guns were placed to fend off attacks.
Nowadays these imposing stone fortifications offer people vacationing in Cartagena an unfettered view of the Caribbean Sea beyond. A perfect spot for selfies, elegant photos, and special occasions (like marriage proposals) these baluartes remain an integral part of Cartagena’s identity.
However, two of these baluartes have been transformed into beautiful little hideaways featuring good food, fine cocktails, and the most amazing views available in the heart of Cartagena and perfect to watch the sunset over Cartagena.
Baluarte San Francisco Javier
This open-air cocktail lounge offers excellent drinks with amazing views day or night. It’s a great place to stop and get out of the sun for a bit if you’re walking the walls during the day. And many a traveler has spent a lazy afternoon here watching the sun slip into the sea while the attentive staff takes care of their every need. If you’re hungry, the menu offers a variety of tapas paired perfectly with cold beer, expertly mixed cocktails, and fine liquors.
When the sun does finally set and the red glow fades from the sky, this nightspot comes alive with live music, dancing, and a bustling crowd of beautiful visitors from far and near. While there are much more raucous nightclubs in Cartagena, Baluarte San Francisco Javier offers a laid-back, intimate vibe where you can still have quiet conversations, get to know new friends, and plan tomorrows adventures.
(It’s also a very romantic spot for lovers vacationing in Cartagena to begin a very special evening.)
Café Del Mar
Café Del Mar is a bit of an institution in Cartagena. For the past 20 years, it has been one of the best places to go if you’re looking for an amazing night under the stars. Here you’ll find an open-air lounge, a full drink menu, and plenty of people with which to mingle and watch the sunset.
On certain nights there is music as well (usually modern dance music provided via DJ) and after the sun goes down this place really livens up. It’s a sort of Ibiza-esque nightclub dropped atop Cartagena’s historic wall in which people can party until the early hours of the morning.
One Wall Two Very Different Experiences
These two very different baluarte bars offer people vacationing in Cartagena two great options if an afternoon atop the city’s wall is in their itineraries or to watch the sunset in Cartagena.
One offers a laid-back local vibe (Baluarte San Francisco Javier) in a quiet atmosphere that heats up as the sun goes down—a place where people can come, relax and enjoy Cartagena for the Caribbean jewel it is.
The other offers lively Mediterranean mojo (Café Del Mar) in an environment where one can literally rub elbows with a young and hip crowd who love to party.
But who says you have to experience just one? If you’re vacationing in Cartagena for a week or more, why not plan an afternoon at each of these great spots atop of this famous Caribbean landmark?