We ventured outside the fabled Walled City and explored the other district of Old Cartagena – Getsemani. While it does not possess the grandeur of the Walled City, Getsamani offers a more authentic Old Cartagena experience as it is a neighborhood where local families still live and where Colombian hospitality is still very much alive. It is also where artistry thrives.
It is also interesting to note that Getsamani, an old working class colonial neighborhood, is now emerging as a hotspot for dining and nightlife. So you’ll get both the authenticity and fun. But just how much longer may this authenticity last?
The homes in Getsemani may not be as grand as the ones in the Walled City but you will find that they are just as colorful and the details are just as fascinating.
The colorful Plaza Santisma Trinidad is a popular gathering place for locals.
Getsamani is filled with expressions of artistry. You will be delighted by many beautiful murals as you meander its narrow streets.
A man sitting next to a painting of his likeness.
Meet Friendly Locals
You will find many food vendors in the street of Getsamani selling local delicacies like arepa con huevo, a corn pancake filled with eggs.
And where there is arepa, you will meet laid back locals just hanging around and enjoying the delicacy.
Keith sitting with friendly locals while devouring his arepa.
We came across some residents who were enjoying their Sunday morning by playing cards in the middle of a narrow street.
More street games and good natured competition.
Experience the Gentrification
This once poor and seedy neighborhood is fast emerging as a trendy spot offering variety of dining, nightlife and lodging options.
Many locals have been selling their homes to foreigners who convert them to guesthouses or boutique hotels. We learned that a home here that a local paid for US$50,0000 few years ago was recently recently bought by a foreign investor for US$400,000. Who wouldn’t be lured?
Will it suffer the same fate as the Walled City where almost all residents took advantage of the skyrocketing property value, cashed in and moved out of the neighborhood?
We just hope that Getsamani retains its charming and soulful vibe amidst the imminent gentrification. And we hope you hurry up and visit this neighborhood soon.