Cartagena Food and Wine Tours
Enjoy the goodness of the walled city
Nestled beside the Caribbean Sea, you’ll find the glamorous Colombian city of Cartagena. Brimming with colonial architecture, bookshop cafes and art galleries, Cartagena is a creative hub and cultural centre that’s played host to many celebrated artists and writers. The mesmerising fortress Castillo San Felipe de Barajas and the historic monuments of the old town justify its reputation as a UNESCO world heritage site, and during the day the city boasts a chilled ambience despite often brutal heat and humidity. As the sun goes down, Cartagena really wakes up, with a glitzy nightlife you won’t want to miss.
Chocolate, coffee and ceviche are the three Cs of Cartagena’s trendy gastronomic scene. Whether it’s morning, noon or night, locals will always have the time for a good cup of coffee. Some of the best in the city can be found on roadside coffee stands where you can grab a strong and sweet espresso to keep you going. Cacao plantations surround the city, so chocolate in Cartagena is, to put it lightly, a big deal. Most Colombians prefer to drink their chocolate, and in this respect Cartageneros don’t deviate from the norm. In many of the city’s cafes, bars and restaurants you’ll find cups of rich, dark chocolate on offer, often sweetened with sugar cane for an indulgent post-dinner treat.
Located directly on the seafront, it is not surprising that Cartagena also prides itself in a wide selection of seafood dishes. The ceviche of Cartagena is renowned for its freshness and bold flavours. The fish, usually caught that very morning, is mixed together with mandarin and lime juices that mingle together for a sharp, juicy delight. A firm favourite on the food carts lining the streets of Cartagena is Arepa con Huevo, a corn cake sandwich filled with egg and mincemeat before being deep-fried. If it sounds rich and comforting, that’s because it is. Take yours with hot chilli sauce and sour cream for a truly authentic Cartagena snack.
Tropical fruits such as papaya, banana and pineapple are blended together to create delicious smoothies, ice creams and refreshing lollies. You’ll also find Cartagena's markets displaying some rarer fruits, such as lulo and corozo. With almost year-round heat, these cold and fruity treats are the perfect accompaniment to the relentless sunshine. Tres Leches is a delicious vanilla cake that further cements Cartagena’s place as a sweet-toothed foodie’s paradise. The three milks hinted by the name are cow’s milk, condensed milk and caramel milk, which are soaked into the sponge before baking.
Cartagena prides itself in sweet delicacies and unique dishes. Both street stalls and restaurants offer rich, hearty food as welcoming as any of the locals. After a draining day strolling around the historic sites or soaking up the sun by the sea, this comfort food capital will pull you into its embrace and never let go.