Though Cartagena, Colombia might be known for its rich history and incredible colonial architecture, Cartagena’s booming party scene will help you clock up those clubbing hours like there’s no tomorrow.
While Cartagena’s size cannot compare to the mega-clubs of New York or Las Vegas, it makes up for any shortcomings with spirit to dance the night away. Music here is serious business and the salsa beats, booty bass and hipster house make for a heady cocktail of going out options to try out whilst you’re passing through. Below is a the Viva Air list of some of the top rated nightclubs and salsa bars that you must visit on a night out in Cartagena.
1. La Movida
This club was inspired by post-Franco Madrid, and has become a favourite hangout for a crowd that likes to finish their Cartagena nights off in style. There’s two settings with a reggaeton-heavy playlist mixing with the local air-conditioning addicts inside. The prices here aren’t for the light-hearted but if you settle down and buy a bottle for the night it could save you some pesos. The prices may keep the backpackers away but you can rest assured that this club is filled with internationals and locals alike.
This bar is located in Centro which 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.
Pros: A well traveled playlist that anyone can love along with inside and outside dance floors.
Cons: The club maintains the right to deny entry if you are not dressed appropriately so dress to impress. The prices of the drinks are reflected for the upscale feel of this club.
TripAdvisor Rating: 3.5
2. Café Havana
A great venue in Cartagena for Salsa-lovers with a live band playing classical Cuban music, good drinks and friendly service. Located in Getsemani and opened in 2006, this club has grown along with the area to become renown as one of the most up and coming places in Cartagena. Live music starts at 11pm so it’s best to get there an hour early to find a seat either inside the venue or on the patio outside. The music keeps playing until 3 am so once you arrive there’s no need to move anywhere else- plus the mojitos are a must-have. Despite inflation, Café Havana remains one of the most democratic spots in the city to enjoy a taste of Cuba and all it has to offer.
Pros: Live music and fantastic drinks that uphold its the Cuban namesake.
Cons: Get here early because the place gets packed. No longer is it a hidden gem, but rather a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.
Café Havana, 2019.
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.0
3. Bonche Bar
Bonche was an entrepreneurial pursuit that opened in 2017 with the hopes of filling a gap in what the owners believed Cartagena nightlife was lacking. That means drinks, food, music in a cool-vibed, casual space.With simply too much creativity to merely follow the typical cocktail crowd, Bonche bar offers a truly eclectic mix of booze options. Rooted in its Carribean vibrancy and charm, Bonche offers a unique charm thanks to it being located in a renovated colonial manor. While located on the sleepier side of Getsemani, this bar offers Classic cocktails, all made with premium brand liquors, are VERY reasonably priced. With Margaritas and Martinis costing USD$6 a pop. This would be an ideal spot to start your night out in Cartagena- might as well grab some of the delicious food offerings here as well! The angus burger is a favourite on the menu.
Pros: Great food with delicious reasonably priced drinks…need I say more?
Cons: Being a new bar some nights could be quieter than others.
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5
4. Barzurto Social Club
Yet another popular nightclub located in Cartagena’s party central of Getsemani, Barzurto Social Club offers Caribbean colors and designs and a lively atmosphere. This is the best club to hear Champeta music, a style specific to the area around Cartagena. The music is Champeta which is a genre that got really going in Colombia in the 90s and since gained popularity. It is mashup of different music styles in the Atlantic coast area, mainly from poor areas. It is fast, heavy in beat and you will sweat dancing to it. Don’t worry though, the club also play reggae and afrobeat music that you can’t help but dance to. Come after 11pm and you’ll see a sweaty dance floor with a mixed crowd of Colombians and tourists. The setting is not too sophisticated, but it looks authentic and colorful.
Pros: Open late, cool AC, and a cheap cover charge along with fairly priced drinks.
Cons: It is small for the best it can offer: champeta music and dance classes. At least a Saturday it can be very crowded, and thus not much space for dancing.
TripAdvisor Rating: 4.5