Although I don’t recommend taking the free walking tour, I do recommend spending an afternoon wandering and exploring the street art and beautiful neighborhood of Getsemaní. Most tourists visiting Cartagena stay inside the walled city section of Cartagena (Old City and San Diego). An area that is now filled with fancy shops, restaurants and hotels. Getsemaní isn’t as shiny and new but it has so much charm and character.
SEE ALSO: A City Guide to Cartagena, Colombia
Getsemaní is experiencing a surge in tourism growth with new restaurants and hotels/hostals coming into the neighborhood and renovating many of the historic and colorful buildings. Although this is creating more tourism and is helping to increase the value of the properties, it is also pushing out many of its longtime residents. The neighborhood is still figuring out how to reconcile the two and live together in one space.
A few years ago Cartagena decided to help bring the neighborhood together by inviting artists from around the world to add some art to the streets that represented the sentiment of the community. Much of Cartagena’s long history was created outside the walled city in Getsemaní. I recommend watching this video before you go to learn a little bit more about the area. Getsemaní is not to be missed.