The Ultimate Men’s Guide To Nightlife In Cartagena, Colombia
For men curious about nightlife in Cartagena, Colombia – you’ve come to the right spot.
Let’s just say I have a little experience partying in this wild beach city…
“Nos subimos?” / Shall we jump in?
I was standing on the sidewalk in Cartagena, Colombia with my date and the party bus had just pulled up.
We had just gotten out of the museum and we were waiting for an Uber to take us to a restaurant.
But when life offers you a chance, you must grab it with both hands.
This yellow school bus-turned-disco on wheels was my chance.
I didn’t give her time to think about it:
“Vamos!” / Let’s go!
I paid the 20,000 pesos, pushed my date on the bus, while grabbing her ass with both hands, and climbed on.
This was the Cartagena party bus – “La Chiva” as they call it locally. La Chiva cruises around the city, stopping periodically at tourist spots and designated pickup spots.
On its route, it picks bemused tourists and up Colombians who would rather dance the night away in a bus without windows than sit in the back of a taxi.
I’m not the best dancer even when conditions are perfect. So trying to bust out my best moves while standing on a moving bus and hanging on to the bus strap was too much.
At the same time, I was trying to grind up on my date, trying to peek out the window at the passing tourist sights, and trying not to fall over when the driver slammed on the breaks at a red light.
That’s too much multitasking for a man.
We passed the place we were going to eat at. We soon came up on my street. I had to make another executive decision: Let my date enjoy herself doing salsa moves on the shaky bus…
Or go to my room so I could try out my own moves?
“Nos bajamos.” / We’re getting off.
The party bus dropped us off right outside my building – I tipped the driver and climbed out.
My girl enjoyed the dancing bus so much and was now in the mood for sex.
As soon as we got upstairs, she headed to the bathroom – maybe she sweated a lot on the 10-minute bus ride. I lay on the bed with the hands folded behind my head waiting.
She vaulted out of the bathroom door and onto the bed. We started kissing slowly.
We danced all night long. Well, something like that.
Your Guide To Cartagena, Colombia NIghtlife
So you’ve landed on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, or you’re headed there soon and you want to know how that party life stacks up.
Well, Cartagena nightlife can’t compete against the nocturnal activities of Bogota, but it’s still pretty good.
Cartagena is certainly more rocking than semi-sleepy Santa Marta down the road.
So in this article, I’m going to give you a crash course in Cartagena nightlife…
The best clubs, the worst clubs, how to stay safe, and how you can weasel your way into the panties of a Cartagena girl after a night of drinking and dancing.
Let’s get to it.
Just understand – nightlife in Cartagena, Colombia is different than anything else you’ve ever experienced. In ways both good and bad.
What To Expect Of Cartagena Nightlife
Two groups dominate the Cartagena nightlife scene: middle-class Colombians on holiday, and backpackers.
Partying with either of these groups has its upsides and downsides. For example, it’s easier to hook up with a Colombian girl on vacation or a gringa on the backpacker trail.
Inhibitions are down.
But there’s one big downside that comes with holidaymakers and gringos populating the nightlife. It’s the scourge of single men in Latin America. It’s that frustrating experience where you get talking to a girl for 30 minutes and then realize you’ve wasted your time…
Can you guess what I’m talking about?
Nightlife in Cartagena is ground zero in Colombia for hookers. They come in their droves from other parts of Colombia, attracted by the scent from the wallets of gringo travelers and wealthy Colombian men.
And the worst part? It’s hard to tell in the bars and clubs in Cartagena because these girls will act and dance just like every other woman in there.
When you get talking to a girl at a party in Cartagena, follow the golden rule:
Verify before you trust.
Always ask her what she’s doing in the club, see who her friends are, and clarify if she sees you as a customer or not.
Here’s another curiosity of nightlife in Cartagena:
Everything starts late.
My theory is that it’s too hot to work during the day, so people wake up late, work late then go out late They try to live most of their lives while the sun is down.
If you go out to party in Cartagena before 11 pm, you’ll be all alone with your strawberry daiquiri. Well, your daiquiri and a bunch of Colombian hookers asking you to buy one for their company.
Music-wise, you can expect a mix of everything when enjoying the nightlife in Cartagena, Colombia. Reggaeton reigns supreme, as does salsa in certain clubs. Electronic is popular at a few spots.
There’s also a few genres popular only on the Colombian coast…
English Levels In Cartagena
If you’ve been to any other cities in Colombia you’ll know that English levels are generally low. But how about English in Cartagena?
Better than average is the answer. Because the tourism industry provides most of the work for locals. English levels are higher than in Cali, Colombia – for example.
The second reason that English levels are passable in Cartagena is that middle-class Colombians vacation there. These families tend to be better educated and thus have had more English lessons in School, have studied or traveled abroad.
And of course, many of the hookers speak enough English to close their deals. If she’s alone in the club, speaking English to you, and living in Cartagena – she’s not free.
Still, it’s always better to learn some Spanish before traveling to Colombia. Trust me on that.
Best Nights To Party In Cartagena
Bars and clubs in Cartagena are quiet during the week. It’s not as dead as other places, but I wouldn’t waste your time.
Take the chance to get out of the city and explore some nature. There are so many tourist activities on Colombian coast that you shouldn’t even be thinking of partying during the week.
Save Thursday – Saturday for the boozing and dancing in Cartagena clubs. And explore the jungles, forests, beaches, and mountains during the week.
When the weekend rolls around, they’ll be enough nightlife in Cartagena to keep you happy.
Clubs In Cartagena
There are two areas in Cartagena city where people go out:
1. El Centro Historico
You’ll likely end up in one of these areas while partying in Cartagena. So, here are some of my favorite clubs in Cartagena to party at:
- La Movida: This is where the “in crowd” of Cartagena party. Rich Colombians and wealthy gringos mix like the 20 dollar cocktails. Don’t go if you dress like a backpacker.
- La Jugada: Popular with locals. La Jugada gets crowded on weekends and there’s always a long line to get in.
- Cafe Havana: Located in Getsemani. This place brings a little bit of Cuba, or Cali, to Cartagena. Head here if Mojitos, live salsa music, swivel hips, and spins are your thing.
- Mister Babilla: This is the modern mega-club of Cartagena. 3 large rooms filled with friendly girls. Some might be too friendly so have your prostitute radar on. Mister Babilla only really gets going at 12 pm so pre-drink at home before you head to the club.
- Fragma: If you’ve been in Colombia for a while, I know how you feel – you’re sick of Salsa and Vallenato music. Fragma is the place to get some respite. They play electronic music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Safety In Cartagena
The working girls bother you at night and try to get inside your wallet. But who bothers you during the day, trying to get your money?
Can you guess?
All kinds of hustlers. Cartagena has plenty of them. Want a taxi ride? Need to buy a souvenir for your family?
These people are harmless and are just after your money.
At night in Cartagena, you need to be on your guard. This means not getting paralytic drunk or buying drugs from a source you don’t trust.
Have I scared you away from Cartagena yet?
Don’t be. The local police make it a priority to protect travelers – unlike Cali where the police don’t give two hoots about foreigners.
Just pay attention here, as the charm of the city makes it easy to forget about the dangers of Cartagena.
Online Dating In Cartagena
Tinder dominates the online dating scene in Cartagena but there are so many hookers on the app, you’ll waste hours chatting to a girl and suddenly she’ll break out her price list.
You’ll feel like throwing your phone into the sea. I seriously thought about it.
Then I found out that the girls on Colombian Cupid were far less likely to be hookers.
The Ultimate Guide To Cartagena Nightlife
Partying in Cartagena is fun, but many of the idiosyncrasies of Colombian nightlife exits here too.
Similar to Cali, people go out in large groups and stay with their own all night. But sun, sea, sand, and sex, are your thing…
Nightlife in Cartagena, Colombia is what you want!
About the Author
Living and traveling around Latin America, Papi Chulo learned a thing or two about dating stunning Latinas. Now, he's sharing that information with the world. If you've ever wanted to meet stunning, exotic women - the time is now!