Photos - Salsa Legends in Black & White
Mr Trumpet Man -
It may look like it's been in Cartagena for decades, but Café Havana is only just celebrating its fifth anniversary.
Since it first opened its doors in (the then) unfashionable Getsemani in 2006, this buzzing Cuban bar has transformed perceptions of the area, luring a ritzy crowd off the beaten track with the help of a live salsa band.
The charismatic Spanish owner has successfully transformed the city's hottest bar on a minimal budget, leaving much of the de-constructed interior untouched whilst covering the tobacco-stained walls with evocative monochrome prints of salsa legends, including Compay Segundo, Celia Cruz and 'Michi' Sarmiento in their heyday.
If the interiors and the Havana Club mojitos don't summon up sympathetic feelings for Castro's Cuba, the rhythms of the house band certainly will. With air conditioning the only notable change since it opened, the live music remains the big draw.
The band comes on around 11pm. After being energized by the first set, you'll have just enough time to pause for breath and charge your glasses before they beat out more pulsating baselines until a disrespectable 3am.
Despite Brazilian-style hyper-inflation in the bar's pricing over its short life on the Media Luna, Café Havana remains one of the most democratic spots in the city.
If you're not tripping the light fantastic then sit back and enjoy the Austrian backpackers in flip-flops tripping over themselves as they try and dazzle the city's glitterati with the precarious results of a two week salsa class.