Cartagena is one of the most beautiful and colourful cities I’ve ever visited.
Situated on the Caribbean coast, it’s got a decidedly different vibe to other places in Colombia.
Whether you come for sightseeing, shopping, or the coast, there’s something for everyone. However, being on the coast, it’s hot and humid in Cartagena throughout the year.
Average humidity levels are around 80%, with temps hovering between 25°C and 30°C. We visited in early February when the temps are on the cooler side, and the sea breeze cools down the city. But, from friends who’ve visited in spring, summer or fall, I’ve heard Cartagena can get quite hot and sticky.
Even though Cartagena isn’t anywhere near Colombia’s coffee-growing region, you will find a few spots that rival spots in coffee-central places, like Medellin and Bogota.
From small espresso bars to speciality shops with a slew of awards to show for their brews, any coffee lover will find something to enjoy in Cartagena.
With only three days in Cartagena, we didn’t work and thus, can’t vouch for any of these spots being good for nomads.
However, we were able to connect to WiFi at most of them, and found them perfect for cooling off with a cup of coffee, or refreshing fruit drink.
Four Cafes in Cartagena, Perfect for Cooling Off
Cafe de la Mañana: Ace for breakfast in the old city. We loved this spot so much, we came twice.
It’s small, but spacious. Expect to wait a bit for a table during peak meal times. There’s WiFi for those without cell service, and overhead fans to help cool the air.
We thought the vegetarian breakfast, which came out to ~$7 USD per person was priced well for how touristy most of Cartagena is. It included scrambled eggs, arepas or hummus toast, fresh fruit and vegetables, plus fresh-squeezed orange juice, and coffee, which you can asked for iced.
Here, we tended to linger for a bit after breakfast, reading and relaxing. Usually, we ordered another round of fresh fruit juices to try.
Already familiar with guanábana (soursop) from my time in Asia, as well as lulo and granadilla from my time in Medellin, I was delighted to find another tropical fruit here to try on their menu- corozo, which has a berry taste- similar to strawberry.
All up, this is a great spot for brekkie and a refreshing drink. Although, as there’s not air-con, I’d imagine it gets quite hot in the city’s warmer months.
Abacao Libros y Cafe: Bookstore meets cafe, always a favourite combination of mine.
Here, you’ll find great iced coffee, tall glasses of limonada de coco, and cold brew cocktails.
The air-con is strong, WiFi is available, and there are plenty of seats at the bar, as well as a selection of small tables.
They’re pretty lenient about letting you browse books while you sip your drinks.
Cafe San Alberto: Operating off the belief that coffee is a science, brews here come from a family farm in the heart of Colombia’s coffee region.
The staff knows their coffee stuff and is eager to help explain their brews to ensure you select the best drink.
Of course, I had the cold brew. Super good, definitely among one of the better cups I’ve tried over the years.
The cafe, itself, has two levels, and strong air-conditioning. There’s also WiFi and tasty pastries (we liked the guava roll).
Cafe del Mural: The definition of a hidden gem in Cartagena’s up and coming, hip Getsemani ‘hood.
Tucked down a side street, the cafe’s decor is vintagey and beautiful. If you prefer to have your coffee alfresco, there’s ample outdoor seating amidst a garden area with loads of cool street graffiti.
Three other spots we enjoyed in historic, city centre:
- Folklore Colombian Coffee: Good brews and breakfast
- Boundless Coffee: Cafe meets mezcal bar
- Juan Valdez: The Starbucks of Colombia, good for those times when you need a caffeine fix early or late, or just need WiFi while on the go. The location at 3-158, Cl. 33 #396 has a small terrace that overlooks the old town wall
Have you ever been to Cartagena? Did you visit any cafes while you were in the Caribbean city?
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