La Perla

A Peruvian Pearl in a Caribbean Paradise

Cartagena has its fair share of Peruvian pretenders muscling in on the Caribbean ceviche scene but La Perla—the first to put Cocina Novoandina on the menu in Colombia's Pearl of the Caribbeanstill takes some beating.

  • This Is What We Love

    • This place doesn’t just do ceviche, it also has incredible tiraditos (sashimi with sauce)
    • A cocktail menu that’s just as much of a head turner as the food. We would come here for the Pisco Sours alone!
    • The savvy owner also owns two other restaurants in the city, El Kilo and Clemente. They have the golden touch when it comes to serving up great food and atmosphere
  • What You Need To Know

    • La Perla is a petite restaurant and gets busy on the weekends so it’s best to reserve a table

    • There are lots of fish and meat on the menu, but it is not alight with many veggie/vegan options

    • Wining and dining here doesn’t come cheap. Make sure you bring the plastic

  • The Details

    Type of Food: Peruvian, Contemporary

    Hours and Days: Mon-Sun: 12:00-15:00 & 19:00-23:00 ?

    Price Range: $$

    Address: Calle de Ayos 4-42, Cartagena, Colombia

    Neighbourhood: Centro

    Rating: TIC User Rating

    Rating: Trip Advisor


    Our Full Review

    La Perla has established itself as a swish landmark on one of Cartagena's best tasting streets, Calle de Ayos.

    Nestled in with other culinary favourites, El Bistro and Zaitún Restaurant & Bar, this contemporary Peruvian specialist has established itself as one of the first stops for gourmands looking for great food at great prices.

    Famed for its tiraditos—thin strips of fresh tuna or sea bass cured intiger milk (Peruvian marinades with a Capiscum or yellow chilli kick) or Nikkei variations that incorporate Peru's strong Asian gastronomic ties—La Perla has managed to stay one step ahead of the Andean pack by freshening up its menu at least once a year.

    Peruvian chef Carlos Accinelli works closely with owner Roberto Carrascal to ensure the menu gets a facelift as regularly as the petite diner's stylish interiors.

    There's no shifting the stars of the show though with neither the classic Ceviche Corvina (sea bass ceviche) or the Lomo La Perla, a sirloin steak served with a Roquefort-laced sauce served on a bed of creamy mushroom rice, showing any signs of going out of fashion any time soon.

    The owner's passion for cocktails comes through in La Perla's impressive selection of Caribbean creations with the bar staff making the most of Colombia's rich variety of fresh fruits to add a new twist to some staple South American tipples.

    Standout tragos worthy of an evening to remember include the Mojito Mango Biche made with green mango or a Pisco Sour Maracuyá, given a little extra zip with lashings of Passion Fruit citric goodness.

    Carrascal's personal favourite, a Martini La Perla involves Hipnotiq Vodka and Tanqueray Gin mixed with basil, cucumber, lemon and Blue Curaçao that will leave your friends green with menu envy.


  • Centro

    Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city. 

    Centro has lost none of its importance thanks to the universal lure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area. 

    Cartagena's finest hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century. 

    The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze and first whiff of pirates. Today only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list can afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.

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