Surrounded by beautiful, historic buildings, Plaza de Bolívar is the heart and soul of Cartagena’s old town. The city’s emblematic Palenque women dressed in bright dresses purvey artful arrangements of the Caribbean’s bounty of exotic fruits. In the shade of palm trees, couples swoon, old men play chess, shoeshine merchants tout for business, and tour groups convene beneath the iconic statue of South American liberator Simón Bolívar. In the evening, as the heat subsides, you can feel the quickening pulse of the city right here as drums beat and impassioned dancers demonstrate that quintessential South American fusion of music and life.