Perched on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Cartagena is bracing for a tourism boom (hint, hint: Get there now).
Conrad Cartagena, a hotel that’s equal parts modern and luxe, recently opened up in an up-and-coming district called Serena Del Mar. The hotel has its own beach club, and gets bragging rights for having the first and only TPC (Tournament Players Club) golf course in South America, designed by Jack Nicklaus. Plus, the hotel curates cool experiences for guests — including a dinner at Interno, a restaurant inside the San Diego Women’s Prison.
At this non-profit dining establishment, the food is prepped by inmates, who are trained by some of the country’s top chefs and hired as paid employees. The program is designed to help with social reintegration, while generating income for the inmates’ families and helping them gain workplace skills. Tropical floral murals adorn the restaurant and pop music plays, lending an upbeat vibe, and the fish ceviche is superb.
After dinner, take some salsa-dancing lessons in a studio and try out your moves on the street, where live music plays in popular squares.