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Cartagena Nightlife, Colombia

Cartagena Nightlife - Salsa, Salsa, Salsa!!!

If you aren’t in the mood to party when you set out to explore Cartagena at night, chances are you will be before long. 

 Chivas, or wooden rumbeando (meaning “party”) buses charging about $20 to tour you around the city, are equipped with a band playing traditional local music and inevitably, a crowd singing right along with them.  Rum-and-Coke or the equivalent is served to fuel the party.  The entire tour takes two to three hours, with a stop for a Colombian fried snack (which your bus fare covers) inserted somewhere in the process.  At the end, you are dropped off at a disco in Boca Grande to continue partying. 

A couple of crossover bars popular with both tourists and locals include Babar, which offers cocktails and a wide variety of music to dance to, and La Carbonera, where you’ll usually find hordes of local college kids dancing to salsa, reggae and electronic dance music.  

 The area known as “La Escollera” near the beach contains several bars and pubs that stay open until 3 a.m., after which partygoers can head to the beach to hear local artists playing vallenato.

As you make your way through the city, you will be entertained by various individuals striving to earn your tips by doing tricks with fire and hats, singing and dancing, and selling various souvenirs and flowers. 

Although many establishments in the Old Town area especially can charge pretty high entrance fees, a relatively inexpensive option is one of the many open-air cafes that also dot the area.  There you can sit, mingle with the locals if you choose, and enjoy the entertainment.

For a quieter version of nightlife, you can rent a horse-drawn carriage from which you can admire the majesty of the great architecture and historic sites while resting your feet and breathing in the pleasant night air. 

No matter your fancy, Cartagena is sure to please.   

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