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Hot salsa

Leaving our spot, my fellow voyeurs and I stop off at one of the many night stalls framing the square. Here, freshly pulped fruit cocktails, meat skewers and my favourite, areppa con huevo, are served up piping hot by locals touting these sinful street snacks to anyone wandering past. Made from fried maize and resembling a large hash brown, each patty holds a fried egg inside, which you then smother in piquant cilantro dressing and sour cream for only 1500 Colombian pesos (50p). It’s the perfect pre-bender snack and we all wolf one down before heading off to encounter Cartagena’s older musical stalwart: salsa.

The cultural equivalent of tango for the Argentines, salsa forms part of Colombia’s staple musical diet. For a true appreciation of this sexy, sultry dance form, it doesn’t get better than Getsemani’s Cafe Havana. Deceptively shabby on the outside, this five-year-old nighttime haunt pulses with live Latino bands and a sweaty, mojito-swilling crowd from 10pm until 3am. We squeeze our way into the packed, dimly lit bar, where monochrome prints and tobacco-stained walls do a good job of echoing Castro’s Cuba.

I spy a spectrum of nationalities attempting to perfect their two-step. They’re swiftly shimmied off the dance floor by two locals who make Mick Jagger’s snake hips seem stiff by comparison.


Colombia's Cartagena on the Caribbean coast offers a life more colourful
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