The Restaurant Gato Negro is located in a 300-year-old house in Getsemaní, a neighborhood which is part of the historic centre of Cartagena. We serve breakfast and light meals, and offer free tourist information. In a relaxed atmosphere you can meet friends and locals, read, write or surf on the internet with your own laptop using the free wifi. Just the place I was looking for and often missed while travelling.
In the area you have the choice between about 25 hotels. The cheapest beds are a couple of dollars, but you can also spend the night in one of the carefully renovated colonial buildings converted into a hotel boutique. Travellers like Getsemaní because it is easy to feel part of everyday life. In the late afternoon locals and foreigners meet in the plaza in front of the church to chat while children are running around chasing each other.
A riot on this square on 11th of November 1811 led to the Acta de Independencia. Cartagena celebrates this date with a carnival and the election of Miss Colombia. Getsemaní like the centre of Cartagena changed o lot in the last couple of years. The good news is that it is much safer than it used to be.
Colombians from the interior and foreigners buy property either to open a business or to spend their holidays. In a few years time the original population might find it impossible to afford living here. A process we also observe in European cities. The Gato Negro is part of it. On the other hand: How can the colonial and republican architecture be preserved as part of the world heritage without investing money the locals just do not have or do not want to spend?