Best Coffee Shops to Work in San Miguel de Allende

Wanna share...?
Share on Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone

Best Coffee Shops to Work in San Miguel de Allende

May 21, 2019

Looking for a cafe to work with good wifi?

The best part of being a digital nomad is choosing where to work (city, country), and at the micro level: Which coffee shop today?

To me, the place to get in computer time (or do some writing) has friendly staff, decent wifi, great coffee, plenty of power outlets. Plus, it isn’t so busy that I feel I’m getting in the way of their regular lunch business in taking up a table. If you’re visiting San Miguel de Allende, here’s a run-down of my favorite places to get connected.

I’ve created a map that might also be helpful!

At the end of the day, if you fancy a cold beer or margarita , don’t miss my posts on The Best Rooftop Bars in San Miguel and What to Do in San Miguel de Allende!

Inside Cafe

  • Wifi 80% 80%
  • Coffee 90% 90%
  • Food: You can’t do better! 100% 100%
  • Not too busy (except weekends) 80% 80%

Possibly the friendliest coffee shop in San Miguel, owned by a couple who are from Mexico and New Zealand. With excellent coffee, this is one of two places in town where you can get a great flat white (or a beer, depending on how the mood takes you).

The downstairs area (one floor up from street: featured in the header image) has lots of power outlets and decent sized tables. It doesn’t have a ton of natural light, but fun decor and ambience make up for it, and the space is generally not mobbed.

When you’re ready for lunch, the food on the open air terraza upstairs is amazing. You can’t do better than the breakfast and lunches here, which have tons of vegetarian and vegan options. On the weekend they have an unlimited chilaquiles buffet with coffee, fruit and juice. And it’s not only me who thinks the chow is amazing. The food here gets rated as #1 in all of San Miguel on TripAdvisor!

Working at Inside Cafe, I rarely feel like I’m in the way, as the lunch crowd pass through to visit the upstairs restaurant. Saying that, it can get busy on weekends with people waiting for a table upstairs, so a better fit for working on weekdays.

Geek & Coffee

  • Wifi: Best in Town 100% 100%
  • Coffee 80% 80%
  • Food 80% 80%
  • Not too busy 90% 90%

A little further from the center (although not much), Geek & Coffee is located next to the amazing art center that is Fábrica La Aurora. 

With dual fiber connections, you won’t find better connectivity and for that reason this is one of my personal favorites. A great place to settle in for the day and enjoy the expansive garden and view of the duck pond. 

They have plenty of outlets both inside and outside, good coffee, and a have a broad choice of drinks and food, with a great value daily special. Or you can always skip out for a break and visit one of several great restaurants in Fábrica La Aurora next door).

As an added bonus, this is the spot to come if you’re having computer issues. The ‘geeks’ here are ten times more qualified than Best Buy, and a hundred times friendlier. I’ve seen them help with problems ranging from ‘I can’t get my iTunes to work’ to my iPhone won’t connect.

Geek & Coffee has been known to get a little busy mid to late morning with local business and mom’s meetings, but of all those listed, this is the largest location (due to its expansive garden), so even with a crowd, things normally work out just fine.


  • Wifi 80% 80%
  • Coffee 80% 80%
  • Food 40% 40%
  • Not too busy (and super central) 90% 90%

This place is a hidden gem, right in the center of town, with good coffee and super cute presentation on wooden boards. It has three levels: the street where you enter, an upstairs level that I like best because it is usually quiet enough to stay focused and a terraza roof deck with a cute view.

Friendly Mexican staff, and enough space to not feel cramped. Ki’bok has a limited food menu (mostly vegan options like quinoa bowls), but the upside is you won’t get chased out by the lunch rush.

This is a place where I can easily pass a big chunk of the day, spreading my manuscript out on the table and getting editing done.

La Mesa Grande

  • Wifi 70% 70%
  • Coffee 50% 50%
  • Food: Broad Selection 80% 80%
  • Not too busy 50% 50%

Named after its largest table that spans the whole cafe, La Mesa Grande is a gathering place, with a wide breakfast and lunch menu, and various fresh breads for purchase, including pizzas.

It’s a great central choice, but one note that with its central (super convenient) location, it can get busy with the tourist crowd over lunch hour, especially during high season and holidays.

Although I’ve never been asked to leave, I have been known to clear out over lunch as I felt like I was preventing them doing business by taking a whole table for work. But this is rare and not usually the case in the mornings or late afternoon.

Plenty of power outlets and separate tables (in addition to the large central table), and the coffee is decent, although not among the best in town.

Cafe Arab’ella

  • Wifi 60% 60%
  • Coffee 70% 70%
  • Food (some great middle eastern options) 70% 70%
  • Not too busy (but check hours) 90% 90%

A new kid on the block. If you’re staying near the San Rafael neighborhood (close to San Juan de Dios, the second largest food market in town), this cafe has a friendly owner from Ohio, a quiet vibe and nice food ranging from bagels in the morning to lunch that includes flatbreads,  dolmas, chicken kebabs and a Mediterranean plate with hummus.

The hours are a bit more unusual (they take a break during the day), so check out their Facebook page for latest hours, but this is a cute neighborhood spot which provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the center. It’s rarely too busy and is also located right around the corner from Shelter Theater and often open before shows.

Plan to use the wifi with digits in its title (not Centro Villanueva) and the speed is actually pretty decent.


Special Mention

These are more cafes I love, and where I sometimes work, however, for various reasons they don’t quite make the cut of the top places to work, in general (but if you’re a writer don’t miss Cafe Zenteno the first one).

Cafe Zenteno

There are several Cafe Zentenos in San Miguel de Allende and in my opinion (other than the BuonForno bakery) these have the single best coffee.

The Zenteno I love for working is located inside the Bellas Artes complex inside a converted convent. You couldn’t imagine a better setting to jot down a few words or dream away a part of the day.

However, this cafe doesn’t make the ideal list above due to a lack of power outlets (let’s face it the laptop only lasts so long!).

However, it’s perfect if you’re just looking for a spot for a couple of hours or want to write by hand in a fabulous outside locale. This spot is so San Miguel it belongs in the movie. Complete with blankets over the chairs if it’s a chilly day.

There are two other locations of Cafe Zenteno by the same owners with the same great coffee. One is small and on the corner of Hernandez Macias (quiche and cookies), while the other on Canal Street has a beautiful open courtyard and serves breakfast or lunch (it also has a different name, La Sacristia, just to confuse you!). You’ll recognize each of the Zenteno cafes by the tables with dried flowers under the glass. And, of course, the same great coffee.

Cafe Rama

I love this breakfast and lunch spot close to the Rosewood hotel, which has a cool spin on breakfast, including an interesting asparagus dish and a nice take on a croque madame.

I’ve been known to work here: their wifi is good, and they have some of the coolest decor and art. However, to me it’s always felt like more of a restaurant than a cafe to work for the day.

A great spot to have breakfast and catch up on work before touristing for the rest of the day.


The gorgeous fireplace at Cafe Rama


At the moment I write, there is only one Starbucks in San Miguel, right on the Jardin (main square) and that’s part of the problem with this as a work location, it’s just too busy!

Starbucks is generally mobbed, chatty, has big lines to get a coffee, and perhaps I’m a little biased, but even if Starbucks Mexico is a separate company, why would you spend your time in Mexico there instead of at any of the amazing local cafes above?

Saying that, Starbucks has the most gorgeous courtyard of any I’ve seen around the world, which is worth a visit just for the joy of taking a photo!

Short version: if you can’t live without your Starbucks specialty drink fix go ahead, but there are better, quieter places to work, with much better coffee.

Starbucks Courtyard


Was this post helpful? Did I miss your favorite? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

My day job is that I’m an author of fiction, so if this was valuable, the best way to support me is follow my newsletter and encourage your friends to buy my books!

Interested in hearing more about my travels and adventures as a digital nomad author? You can follow my Instagram or Facebook , where I post regular updates on my exploits. 

More on San Miguel de Allende

Check out these other posts on our beatiful city!

Best Coffee Shops to Work in San Miguel de Allende

The best part of being a digital nomad is choosing where to work (city, country), and at the micro level: Which coffee shop today?

To me, the place to get in computer time (or do some writing) has friendly staff, decent wifi, great coffee, plenty of power outlets. Plus, it isn’t so busy that I feel I’m getting in the way of their regular lunch business in taking up a table. If you’re visiting San Miguel de Allende, here’s a run-down of my favorite places to get connected.

Rooftop Bars of San Miguel de Allende

Rooftop Bars of San Miguel de Allende

Wanna share...?
Share on Facebook
0Tweet about this on Twitter
Email this to someone

The town of San Miguel de Allende doesn’t have beaches, so the best location to enjoy fresh lime margaritas and watch the sunset is one of San Miguel’s numerous rooftop bars.

Since my partner and I seem to have made a habit of hanging out at them, here’s our view of the best rooftop bars in San Miguel, with a few restaurants thrown in for good measure. There’s a map of rooftop bars here which includes several more that aren’t in this blog post. There are also posts here on the Best Cafes to Work and What to do in San Miguel.

The Big Daddys of San Miguel Rooftops 

These are the bars you’ll see referenced in the tour books. For the full San Miguel experience, plan to visit at least one of these while in town. In my opinion Atrio, Quince and Rosewood have the best views, cocktails, and staff.

Luna Tapas (Rosewood)

Luna Tapas (Rosewood)

Luna Tapas Bar (Rosewood)

The best known of the San Miguel rooftop bars and thus also the busiest. Drinks are fancy and not cheap, but it’s worth it for the view over all of San Miguel from a unique vantage point. Plan to come about an hour before sunset and hang out here until you head for dinner. You’ll want to make a reservation on weekends or holidays and if you can’t get in, skip over to  one of my favorite backups: Nena Hotel, just across the road.

How to Find: Inside the Rosewood hotel, which is a ten minute downhill walk or short taxi from the Jardin (centro). Enter the lobby, turn left before the main courtyard and left again to take the elevator (or stairs) to the top floor. On busy days they have a waiting list on the ground floor and won’t let you go up to the roof unless a spot is available.

Tupi DF Roofbar

Tupi DJ Roofbar

Where as Rosewood is the place to be to watch the sunset when it gets late (past 11pm), Tupi is where you can dance to a DJ  under the stars. This is where you’ll find the young expat (and sometimes Mexico histper) type crowd. Great DJs come in often from Mexico City.
How to Find: Above Tupinamba Restaurant, right on Zacateros. Pass through the courtyard that runs along the side of the inside of the restaurant and clime the stairs on your left at the back (before entering Mercado de Carmen which has a neat food court with several options for a quick bite).



The closest you can sit to the Parroquia without being inside a drone. More of a restaurant with great Asian fusion food than a bar, but also has a small lounge hangout area. Like Quince, this is a great place to  arrive before sunset and see Parroquia light up before you leave. Reservations recommended on holidays and weekends.
How to Find: Right off the Jardin on Cuna de Allende (before Quince if coming from Jardin). Check out the gorgeou tree in the lobby adn then head right and up the stairs in the diagonal corner from where you entered.

Quince Rooftop

Quince Rooftop

Quince Rooftop

One of best bars in Centro with an outstanding view of the parroquia. Come here before sunset for drinks and enjoy watching them ring the bells, followed by lighting up the church. Fun flirty wait staff and upscale food. Prices to match.

How to Find: Located on the street down the right side of the Parroquia (Cuna de Allende). You’ll enter through a courtyard. Head up the stairs on your right beyond the fountain. May require a reservation on busy weekends, but generally available earlier for drinks (before dinner reservation time).

Quince Rooftop Facebook

Mama Mia

Mama Mia

Busy busy popular!  On weekends and holidays there’s a waiting list at the very front entry of the building. Often has live music downstairs.

How to find: Entrance to Terraza bar is on left about half way into the restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Mama Mia.

Mama Mia Web Site

La Azotea

La Azotea

Nice chill bar that sometimes has a DJ spinning.

How to Find: Upstairs above El Pueblo Viejo restaurant at Umaran 6 in Centro (turn right inside before you reach the restaurant).

Photo courtesy of Pablo O from San Miguel (via TripAdvisor)

La Azotea Facebook

La Chula

La Chula

Funky more locals place. Good DJ spinning some nights. This is where to come for late night dancing (if you can get in), and salsa on certain weeknights, but skip the food, although I recently heard they started a brunch on weekends that might be worth a try.

How to Find: A few doors down from Mama Mia

La Chula Facebook

The Hidden Gems

Here are some less mobbed San Miguel de Allende rooftop bars with stellar views and a more laid-back vibe. To be honest, most of these I prefer to the bars above. Once you get sick of hanging one street off the Jardin (main square), you can’t go wrong with any of these!

Nena Hotel

Nena Hotel

An excellent alternate to Rosewood. Awesome views of the Parroquia and downtown. It’s located right opposite on same street as the Rosewood Hotel, but on opposite side of the road and the view is from a little less high. Try the margaritas!


How to Find: On the same street as the Rosewood Hotel. Enter the courtyard and go straight pass the fountain, through the lobby and up the stairs to the right.

Nena Hotel Web Site

El Palomar / Antonia Bistro

El Palomar

El Palomar Hotel

It’s a climb, but you’ll be rewarded with the best view over the  whole city. We tend to come here for margaritas or a cocktail and then move on to dinner in town, but they are well rated for food, too (if not cheap).

How to Find: Head up San Francisco from the Jardin and it’s 3 blocks up the hill on right side. Enter hotel entry from San Francisco (stone doorway), turn left into hotel and climb, climb, climb!

El Palomar Web Site

Sabroso Taquería

Sabroso Taqueria

This is my favorite rooftop for grabbing a quick bite to eat and a beer in centro, with a full bar. They are very reasonably priced and the tacos are to die for. Try the Costra, where your meat is wrapped in grilled cheese and then a tortilla. 

You can also order from the Chicago deep dish pizza place downstairs. A key tip: the stuffed pizza is what Americans would call Deep Dish (not the one called Deep Dish).

How to Find: Right next to Tupinamba restaurant (and Tupi rooftop) on Zacateros. Pass through the restaurant with rows of benches and up the stairs painted in rainbow colors at the back to reach the rooftop.

Sabroso Facebook Page

Chiquita Sunset

Chiquita Sunset

Great wood-fired pizza, beer and wine. Order downstairs by the pizza oven before climbing up to the deck on top of this tiny hotel.

How to Find: Up the hill from the Jardin on Corroe. To reach the terraza go straight past the beer wall on one side, up the stairs, past the 5 or so hotel rooms, around the corner and up more stairs.

Chiquita Sunset facebook

Salon Oaxaca

Great Tlayudas

Mezcal, worm salt optional

Salon Oaxaca
Awesome Oaxacan style food (try the mushroom tlayuda- it’s like a filled Mexican flatbread).  Ask the friendly owner downstairs to tell you about his different mezcals, all brought in from Oaxaca. How to find: it’s on Insurgentes. Go through the bar and out to the right, up the stairs to the roof deck.
Salon Oaxaca Facebook



A new kid in town, spread out over several levels (don’t be misled by the small entrance and keep climbing). Super central and sometimes has live music one level up from street.

How to Find: Super central, on Hidalgo, less than a block from the Jardin.

Ocre Facebook

Bond 007

Bond 007 Gin Bar
More of a bar to hang out than a restaurant. Good mezcal and one of best gin selections in town. How to Find: A short walk away from the Jardin on Hidalgo. Once you find it, keep climbing the stairs from the street and keep climbing past the first bar. Bond 007 Facebook

Baja Fish Taquito

Baja Fish Taquito

Baja Fish Taquito
Great fish tacos close to the jardin, with beer and wine to match. How to Find: A few gentle blocks up the hill on Mesones. Enter and go up the exceedingly narrow stairs on your right. Baja Fish Taquito Facebook

More Options with Great Food

Here are some more awesome restaurants that have great food options, but don’t forget there’s also Baja Fish Taquito for tacos and seafood and Chiquita Sunset for pizza (above).


Pegaso Restaurant
Great food menu with amazing deserts and rumored the best flan in town. Friendly staff and fun decor (the items on the wall are for sale). How to Find: It’s on Correo one block away from the Jardin. Entry is left and up the stairs. Nice view away from town to the houses on the hill behind downtown. El Pegaso Facebook

La Unica

La Unica

Fancy restaurant with upscale seafood optoins. Restaurant has the best view as bar is behind it, so not right on the terrace.

How to Find: not to be confused with La 21Unica (a fun downstarirs bar on Jesus /upper end of Pila Seca), La Unica is on Diez de Sollano, a few doors down from The Restaurant. It’s not instantly obvious that they have a terrace, so ask at the desk after you enter.

La Unica Facebook

MX Sushi

MX Sushi & Terraza
Nice sushi and lounge atmosphere.Great fish tacos close to the jardin, with beer and wine to match. Try the MX roll. How to Find: Enter the restaurant and head up the stairs at the back.  

The Best Bar in Town

Of course, if I’m honest my favorite bar is our own back patio. So easy and accessible, and there’s always cold beer ready in the fridge. How to Find: Give me a call and come on over!  
Our own rooftop

Humility, Curiosity and Empathy: A Thank-You to Anthony Bourdain

*** Ten Minute Read***

Two days ago I decided to write a blog post about Cartagena, Colombia because it’s been three weeks since we left and returned to San Miguel de Allende. I intended to title the post A Love Letter to Cartagena and use a music video (this one by Carlos Vives) to illustrate the cultural complexity of the Caribbean coast, with its unique African and musical heritage, breathtaking beaches, and talk about how, surprisingly, Cartagena felt like the safest and most welcoming city of its size I’ve visited.

However, when I sat down to write, I kept circling around specific interactions I had during my five months there, and pondering how often my cultural context got in the way of reaching correct conclusions.

Yesterday when I woke I was hit hard by Anthony Bourdain’s suicide.

On a tough day, I decided that even if I risk offending some, I should write that other article in my head, this one, in his honor.

If there was ever there was a patron saint of digital nomads like myself and my honey (those who live and work from different countries to broaden our experience of the world), it was Anthony Bourdain. He was the model of the humility, curiosity, kindness, and empathy it takes to bridge an uncommon background and find the common humanity with a person from a different place and culture.

Anthony Bourdain challenged our perceptions of places like Colombia, and Syria, and Lebanon, and Cambodia, and Congo; regions of the world that are so easy to write-off as war-torn, violent, stuck in the permanent strife of civil war or poverty. With the gifts of humility and optimism, he guided us through a different view, an insiders view.

Bourdain helped us see not the stereotype, but the hope, the optimism, the common reasons to eat good food, and laugh, and enjoy family that exist in us all, no matter how dire the surrounding circumstances. That’s why his choosing not to continue with his own life so affected me.

This was my first tweet, upon hearing the news.

I can’t pretend to know what happened. What I do know is to me, the world feels especially cruel right now. In the last two years it has become acceptable to say online and in person things I would never have imagined hearing.

In the US, in the media and on twitter, we talk of immigrants from other nations as if they were ‘less than’, using (without much thought) words like alien and illegal to describe other humans. (This a good article on the impact of de-humanizing language in immigration and this article explains the impact of rhetoric on our actions). What those articles explain, and what terrifies mea bout where we’re headed is de-humanizing language creates “a mental loophole that lets us harm other people”.

The US is already treating asylum seekers as having less human rights than Americans. We lock mothers and their children in jail for nothing more than requesting their legal right to asylum from violence. (And yes, I realize I’m verging on political here, which I try to avoid on my writer social media accounts, but on this topic I don’t care.) I can’t relate to a world where fellow humans are considered to have lesser rights than me, merely by fact of being born in a different location. (If you are not familiar with how the US is incarcerating legal asylum seekers including children this is a great educational article as is this).

So in the current climate, what can any of us learn from my tiny universe of interactions in Colombia over the last months? Let me give three examples of why sharing Anthony Bourdain’s humility gets you further than any pre-conceptions from our own history or culture-driven perceptions.

Example 1 Finding an apartment. Who exactly is on commission here?

I mentioned in my post on First Impressions of Cartagena that it seemed everyone in town was trying to help us find an apartment. After a week there, we had help from a stranger we met on a Facebook group (now a close friend- hi Jessie!), Edgar the taxi driver who drove us from the airport the first day, the cook in our guest house, and a random tour-seller we met on the street while searching for a certain building.

My initial assumption: Everyone saw dollar signs. The rich (AKA American) white folks are looking for somewhere to live and so there is money to be made. It didn’t bother us, but the people showing us an apartment were being paid a commission.


The breathtaking view from the apartment we were lucky enough to find, with a lot of help from our friends

The reality: No-one other than the landlord was making money on the transaction. So why were folks helping us? This was exactly the welcome that Bourdain referred to in this article. For so long Colombia has held the reputation as a dangerous nation that when a US couple wants to experience the reality of living in this wonderful country with an open mind, Colombians are, as said by Anthony Bourdain with words better than I can find, “heartbreakingly welcoming and happy to see visitors who have come to their beautiful country for something other than to talk about narcos and violence.” 

Example 2 Sending status photos on WhatsApp (of everything!)

One day we messaged Edgar (same taxi driver as above) to see if he could drive us somewhere. He responded by explaining he could not drive that day (similar to Mexico City, Cartagena has traffic restrictions, based on registration number, controlling which days your car can be on the road). Our response:  ‘No problem, makes perfect sense’. A minute later Edgar sent us a photo of him washing his car, suds and all.

Another day we had an appointment with our land lady who had volunteered to take us in her SUV to the local Home Depot-like store to buy some desks. She explained that she needed to change our time because her doctor’s appointment had been rescheduled, and we said  ‘no problem’ (Don’t forget she was doing us a favor!). Next thing I know she whips out her phone and is showing me the entire text interchange with her doctor’s office.

And it goes on—sending a photo of your location when you are running late, sending a photo of you under the bed covers when you are sick… I have countless examples!

My initial assumption: Here’s what I thought locals were thinking: “I don’t think those Americans trust me, so I’ll show a photo to prove that I’m not lying to them.” Which to be honest, I was both surprised and a little insulted by. Why would I assume someone I barely know is lying? Do they think all Americans assume the worst of others?

The reality: This isn’t something special that was being done for us, the gringos. In Colombia everyone does this ‘send a photo of where you are, right now’ thing. I’m willing to be debated on the why (my answer is only as good as the handful of people I asked), but the common answer was ‘it’s a way of letting people get close/ get into your life.’

As opposed to not being trusted, we were being let into the inner circle of someone’s life and offered friendship.

Example 3 Blackface at Carnaval

This one is going to make some of my American and British friends squirm (and that’s the point folks, so stick with me). In February we were lucky enough to attend the Carnaval in Barranquilla (Amazing! Second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro).

As we watched the parade, groups of young boys in black face paint invaded the stands, running up and down the aisles, growling and bearing their teeth at the tourists. Was it scary? Yes, especially given the officials were chasing them away from us, as if we were at risk of harm.

Image Credit: El Universal

My initial assumption:

“Wow, blackface. This is so racist, and out of line in today’s world, right?”

My context for blackface is US American history where it is so beyond “not ok”. It’s offensive, it’s demeaning, it’s born of white people painting their faces black for entertainment, creating a caricature of a black person.

I had a powerful emotional reaction to the hundreds of black kids running around dressed like this. It must be sign of a backward culture, of a respect for the other that has not yet caught up with the US, which is ahead in these matters of respecting black history and not being offensive, right?

The reality: 

Colombia’s black history has similarities, but also diverges from the US. The similarity is a history of slavery (what is today the main square in Cartagena with the famous yellow clock tower was one of the largest slave markets in the world).

There’s a fascinating (and romanticized) history of how the diversity of music that exists only in Colombia is due to slaves being brought from many regions of Africa, with no common languages, and music filling the void.

The dance and character at Carnaval (referred to as Son de Negro) was created by the Afro-Caribbean community as an example of defiance of the Spanish. This costume, with the black face paint commemorates the greatest rebellion where the black enslaved community fought for their freedom. The grimaces on the faces of the men (now more often boys) are mocking the Spanish conquerors, after their escape.

So is blackface in Carnaval racist?  If it is, then it’s institutionalized racism because Son de Negro is one of the official costumes of the Barranquilla Carnaval and one of the most popular. The carnaval website describes the costume as a cultural celebration of Afro-Caribbean identity and history and the teens running around at Carnaval wear it with pride.

This is a great example of what Anthony Bourdain taught us about humility and respect for the other. It’s not my job, as a white Brit-American with a different historical context, to bring my perspective and my history to the question. When something like this make me feel uncomfortable, that’s my challenge to overcome, not Colombia’s.

Thank you Mr Bourdain, for helping me understand that often the situations that fire up our discomfort circuits are the most valuable, if we can find the humility, curiosity and empathy that to ask the right questions.



 If you’re interested to read more about the gray line on blackface and Carnaval this is a well thought-out articleThis article talks of how, of the 10-16 million Africans who survived the slave voyage, 60-70% ended up initially in the Caribbean and Brazil.

Also – currently the Afro-Colombian population is far from having equal rights and opportunities. FEM in Cartagena is an organization that is fighting to right that inequality.

Best Bars in Cartagena to Watch Sunset

Best Bars in Cartagena to Watch Sunset

My favorite part of living in Cartagena is listening to the sound of the ocean while I write, but second comes the sunsets.

The most popular spot to watch the sun dip over the ocean is from the old city walls. So why not combine that with the mellow vibe of a good drink in your hand? Below are three bars on the walls where you can do just that. For fun, I also included a few more rooftop bars with breathtaking views.

Each of the first three bars will cost around 30,000 pesos for a cocktail (less for beer), but in my opinion it’s well worth it. Here’s a GOOGLE MAP of where to find them all.

Cafe del Mar

This the best known of the three bars on the walls. Lots of space, nice views directly out over the sea and toward the skyscrapers in Bocagrande. Can have a bit of a party vibe, depending on the night, so not always the place if you ‘re looking only to chill.

El Baluarte

This bar has the best cocktails of the bunch, and it’s right in the center of town overlooking both the ocean to one side and inland to Plaza de Santa Teresa, where the Hotel Charleston and the Naval Museum are located. Convenient if you are heading to dinner or any other activity in the historic centro after your drinks.

Casa de la Cerveza

This is my favorite of the last three. It doesn’t look out directly over the ocean like El Baluarte and Cafe del Mar. Instead it’s on a corner of the ramparts with 360 views over the lagoon and Castillo San Felipe on one side, the skyscrapers of Manga behind, and the towers of Bocagrande toward the ocean. This is where the photo at the top of the page was taken as I watched the pelicans dive.

This location is close to the Getsemani area of town, which is fun to wander at night. Lots of great bars and restaurants and a neat mural wall I could stare at for hours.

Insider Tip: Getsemani has a free open air Zumba class on Sundays at 7.30pm in Plaza de la Trinidad. The class is given from the steps of the church and is a blast, either to participate or just to watch with a beer in hand. If interested, you can see a quick video I created here on my author Facebook.

Rooftop Bars in Cartagena

If you’re interested in other rooftop bar options, here’s a few that I particularly like.

Movich Hotel

Also a great place to catch the sun going down, although it does have a 50,000 peso minimum (think a drink and an appetizer each). Good option go go hand out at their pool in the afternoon for a few hours.


This is fun hotel with a rooftop pool that is fun day or night. On the way up the elevator, check out how each floor of the hotel has wall and door art by a different artist. Drinks were less expensive here than any of the bars above.

You can find locations for all the bars above and a few more in the Map of Rooftop Bars.

Prefer the sunset without the booze? Juan Ballena has a great article on Best Places to View the Sunset in Cartagena. I second his recommendation of the mall, Plaza Bocagrande, which looks right over the beach. Also a good spot to escape into air conditioning if you’re wandering that area during the day!

Want more rooftops? Hatsoff, a fellow Brit Nomad, also has a great article on 5 Rooftop Bars in Cartagena.

Interested in hearing more about my travels and adventures and path to publication as an author? Follow my Instagram or Facebook where I post regular updates on my exploits. Or sign up for my somewhat irregular newsletter.