Welcome to the first edition of our City Guide series for 2019, where your favorite artists give you the lowdown on their hometown's best of the best, which will have you feeling like a local in no time. To kick the new year off, we invite house music legend Erick Morillo to take us around the beautiful city of Cartagena, Colombia. The Subliminal Records boss recently played the Buena Vida Beach Festival and was able to revisit his favorite spots in the ever-growing city.
We all like a good drink, so where are the top spots to head to before a night out?
I personally enjoy having a few drinks right across the Santa Teresa hotel – on top of the fort. They have a really nice bar that overlooks the ocean and the scenery is amazing!
Where can you find the best clubs / late night venues in town?
I was told the walled city has several clubs that are happening and attract a great crowd. All of the hot spots are now within the walled city. When it comes to day parties and beach parties, Buena Vida Beach is by far the best event in Cartagena. Over the last three years, Buena Vida Beach has been hosting a 3-day beach party that is truly amazing attracting top artists and music fans from all over Colombia and all over the world.
Brunches are a weekend staple, which spots stand out for you?
I enjoy the brunches at the restaurants located at the Santa Clara hotel. It’s a really nice outdoor atmosphere and the food is delicious!
Best dirty late-night street food option?
Years ago there use to be food huts right across from the clock tour. They served freshly squeezed juices and fried food. It was the best hangover cure in Cartagena. Sadly they removed the huts and now you can find some late night spots in Boca Grande. There is a place called ‘Arepa Pues’ which is open late and it’s a crowd favorite after clubbing and drinking all night.
Where can we shop for records and music memorabilia in Cartagena?
If you are into Salsa, there is a record store called El Bunker and it caters strictly to salsa music. They have a great salsa collection and you can find some really old gems in there. I don’t know of a House music shop, but we may have to open one up within the walled city to get the party started!
Your Sunday escape plan when you need to get away from it all?
In Cartagena, I like taking a boat ride to Playa Blanca. It’s a beautiful island away from all of the city noise and you can really wind down and relax. The food on the island is also delicious!
Something everyone should do when visiting Cartagena, but probably hasn’t?
The tour of the Castillo San Felipe is amazing! There is a tour guy nicknamed ‘Speaker’ and his tours are great and very informative. One can learn a lot about the city’s history and its people. It is definitely a must while in Cartagena!
A track that reminds you of growing up in the city?
Anytime I hear cumbia I’m reminded of the time I spent in Cartagena as a kid.
A gift you can’t leave Cartagena without taking home for friends?
Aguardiente is always a tourist favorite but for me, I like bringing back the milk chocolate dolls they sell by the clock tour and the marimotos, which are salty peanuts that you simply can’t get enough of.