The city’s main entranceway is the triple-arched Puerta del Reloj, which gives way to the Plaza de los Coches, a triangular former slave-trading square. Today, it’s where horse-drawn carriages can be hired for romantic tours around the city, and the stage for street performances. In the centre stands a statue of the city’s founder Pedro de Heredia. In the plaza’s covered arcade, Portal de los Dulces, vendors adeptly pluck sweets of your choice out of a sea of huge glass jars. In the evening, several lively bars open up above the arcade.

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