Getsemaní is a neighborhood just outside the walled city of Cartagena. In the past it had a reputation of being seedy and dangerous, but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. I stayed in Getsemaní during my trip to Cartagena and found it to be a bit run down but still a lively and friendly place to stay. There are several good bars and restaurants to hang out in even if it is off the tourist path. Historically, it is where African slaves used to live during colonial times. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage listing of Cartagena.
The attraction in Getsemaní, much like the old town, is wandering through the streets. I found several colorful buildings, some refurbished and others not. There was also a good amount of graffiti art.
There are a few buildings of note, mainly colonial churches. Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad, sitting on a small plaza, is the biggest of the churches. It doesn’t look very big but has a cavernous interior when you walk inside. Just outside the church is a small monument.
Iglesia de San Roque and Iglesia de la Santa Orden are the other two churches. Neither were open when I walked by.
Two very beautiful theaters sit next to each other opposite the old town. Teatro Cartagena and Teatro Colón look like they haven’t been used in ages, but you can tell they were once very grand places.
Parque del Centenario is a large park with several tall trees, benches, and some fountains. It’s nice to walk through.
While Getsemaní is great to see during the day, it really comes alive at night, especially on Saturday. I spent a good hour in the plaza in front of Iglesia de la Santísima Trinidad. There were several people sitting on the wall watching kids play football while street vendors sold street meat and fresh juice. Some restaurants had people seated on the sidewalk eating pizza, crepes, sandwiches, and pasta. It was a great scene to be a part of.