Colombian designer Lucía Echavarría, the creative mind behind whimsical accessories brand Magnetic Midnight and the recently-launched furniture collection, Magnetic Midnight Maison, pays homage to Colombian craftsmanship with her work. She shares her favorite places, spaces and hidden gems in vibrant, richly-colored Cartagena.




My Favorite Place to Stay: La Casa que Besa el Mar

A big part of the charm of Cartagena is its architecture and the unexpected jewels you can find behind each facade. In the walled city center, La Casa que Besa el Mar is one of my favorite houses for rent. Owned by Andrea Villegas and local artist Valentino Cortázar, this home has the most wonderful views of the sea.

My Favorite Restaurant: Salón Tropical

By far the best food and drinks in the city! It also has a great live band and all the art is done by local artists and artisans.

My Favorite Museum or Gallery: The Zenú Gold Museum

This museum on Plaza Bolívara houses a beautiful collection of Pre-Columbian jewelry and pottery. It's smaller than the one in Bogotá, but definitely worth the visit.



My Favorite Cozy Pub or Bar: Donde Fidel Salsa bar

For an afternoon drinking Costeñita, the local beer. The owner is a salsa aficionado and has the best collection of music in the city.

My Favorite Coffee Shop or Café: Café Época

This is the place to get the best coffee and a great breakfast.

My Favorite Bookshop: Abaco

This is a nice bookshop in the old town, that also has some great coffee.

My Favorite Shop: Casa Chiqui

A treasure trove! As well as a perfectly curated selection of furniture and crafts from all over the world, the owner, Chiqui de Echavarría, designs the most beautiful earrings and her own take on mochilas (backpacks) made by artisans from all over Colombia.



My Favorite Park or Green Space: Jardín Botánico

A 30-minute-drive from the city center, this botanical garden is an oasis to spend the morning or afternoon away from the heat and liveliness of Cartagena.

My Favorite Hidden Treasure: Rosita de Benedetti’s pastry shops

The best coconut and mamey pies. They are something I associate a lot with Cartagena, as locals always have them at home. She has small shops around the city where you can order them. 

My Favorite Thing to Do in Cartagena: Walking

During the day, I love to walk around the historic center. It’s a good idea to visit the old fortress, Castillo San Felipe. At night, around Getsemani, a neighborhood just outside the walled city that has the best salsa spots to go dancing. Here, the party always ends up spilling on the streets!


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