Learn the remarkable story of Nobel Prize–winning author Gabriel García Márquez
Trace the writer’s path through his beloved Cartagena with a local historian
Refresh with cold-brew coffee and shop for literary classics at a charming bookstore-café
The novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and screenwriter Gabriel García Márquez spent a brief yet influential period in this Caribbean port city; in fact, his ashes were interred here after his death in 2014. Gabo, as he’s affectionately known, was born some 90 miles east, in the Colombian city of Aracataca, in 1927. As a young man he veered from the law career his father had prescribed for him and found a new calling as a journalist while studying in Cartagena. Years later—after a succession of acclaimed novels and a Nobel Prize in 1982—the author chose Cartagena as the location for the Gabriel García Márquez Foundation for New Latin American Journalism (FNPI), founded in 1994. The foundation continues its work to advance excellence in journalism in Ibero-American countries and the Caribbean. You’ll touch on that legacy and much more of Márquez’s astonishing career as you walk in his footsteps on the Route of García Márquez tour, led by the historian and language scholar Marelvy Peña-Hall. Dressed in the traditional white garb of Cartagena locals, Marelvy glides you through the city’s twisting streets to the palm-shaded university courtyard where the author took up his pen, to the doorstep of colonial-era homes that set the stage for Love in the Time of Cholera, and to a convent-turned-hotel featured in Of Love and Other Demons (notice the massive portrait of the artist on display in the courtyard). If you’re not up on the work of Colombia’s most rightly celebrated writer, the charming Ábaco Bookstore and Café has you covered. While the stock is mostly Spanish-language books, there’s a selection of English titles as well, including a corner dedicated to the beloved Gabo. Refresh with a limonada de coco or a cup of cold-brew coffee at one of the shop’s communal tables.
The Conrad concierge can confirm upcoming schedules and book your walking tour with Marelvy Peña-Hall, or you can contact her directly on the number and website below. You’ll meet in the Centro, about 30 minutes from the hotel by taxi.