Here are the top 10 places to learn to dance in Colombia and ensure you can enjoy an unforgettable experience in a country that’s proud of its traditional rhythms and irresistible beat.
Where to go salsa dancing in Cali
Cali is the salsa capital of the world and it’s a city synonymous with rhythm and style. Colombia’s third biggest city is one of the best places to learn to dance in Colombia, moving your hips to the beat of salsa stars such as Grupo Niche, Joe Arroyo and Son de Cali, amongst others.
Dancing like a Colombian from Cali is quite the challenge. Both first-timers and those-in-the-know will need to master the quick flicks and split-second turns that make salsa in Cali the world-class spectacle it is. This is only achievable thanks to the lively salsa clubs and bars dotted across the city, where beginners can learn the basic steps and turns before they progress. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Zaperoco: This ‘temple of salsa’ has been one of the city’s most beloved since it opened, in 1993, and it has an atmosphere so infectious even the introverts will find themselves on its dancefloors. Zaperoco has been showcased by publications such as the New York Times, and websites such as Trip Advisor.
Address: Avenida 5 Norte #16-46, Cali, Colombia.
2. Siboney Club Discoteca: Siboney Club Discoteca has been inspiring Colombians and visitors to pull out their best moves since 1981, and it’s the ideal place to experience the spirit of Cali and the effect it has on your feet.
Address: Carrera 23b #7-74, Cali, Colombia.
3. Tin Tin Deo: Classic salsa, son and Afro-Latin beats come together at Tin Tin Deo to lure Colombians and visitors into dancing the night away. It has been the meeting place-par-excellence for those in search of an authentic Cali experience since 1987.
Address: Calle 5 #38-71, Cali, Colombia.
Where to go dancing in Cartagena
No-one could wander the colorful streets of the walled city of Cartagena and not be swept away by the rhythm of its music. Beats such as champeta, vallenato, salsa and reggaeton are key to the city’s nightlife and more and more places are encouraging visitors to learn to dance in Cartagena.
First-time dancers will breathe a sigh of relief when they sample vallenato’s basic steps, before moving on to the more advanced rhythms of salsa or champeta. Whether you’re a beginner or someone who already knows their way around the floor, here are our tips for places to polish your steps in Cartagena:
4. Bazurto Social Club: Colombia is all about salsa and vallenato but, in Cartagena de Indias, champeta is the rhythm of the day. Bazurto, in the lively Getsemani neighbourhood, just outside the old city walls, is the perfect place to dance champeta with all the self-confidence and sophistry of a local.
Address: Carrera 9 #30-42, Cartagena, Colombia
5. Donde Fidel: Cali may be known across the globe as the world capital of salsa, but Cartagena has stand-out salsa venues too. Donde Fidel, close to the historic clocktower, has caught the eye of many a TripAdvisor user for being one of the best places to salsa dance in Cartagena.
Address: Portal de los Dulces, Carrera 4, Cartagena, Colombia
Where to go dancing in Barranquilla
Barranquilla is booming, enjoying a growth in its tourism and expansion in terms of its bars and clubs. These are just some of the reasons why this coastal city has become a favorite among Colombians and international visitors keen to explore Colombia.
Whether you visit Barranquilla during its world famous festival, or enjoy it during down time, the following are unmissable places to move your feet to a Colombian beat:
6. La Troja: La Troja has been influencing Barranquilla’s music scene for more than fifty years and is so key to its traditions, it was declared part of the city’s Cultural and Musical Heritage by the District Institute of Culture. La Troja is an unmissable spot for anyone eager to learn to dance in Barranquilla.
Address: Calle 74 Carrera 44, Esquina, Barranquilla, Colombia.
7. Barullo: Located in the heart of the Plaza del Parque shopping mall, Barullo is extremely popular, especially amongst the city’s newest dancing generation. It has a varied musical offering, which makes it the ideal place to make new friends and experience different beats.
Address: Calle 99 #53-40, Plaza del Parque, Barranquilla, Colombia.
Where to go dancing in Bogotá
Bogota’s nightlife has something for everyone, from craft cocktails and award-winning cuisine to live music venues with rhythms as diverse as the capital itself. Lose yourself in rock, funk, reggae, salsa and more, in a city that dances to every beat imaginable.
The sheer variety of Bogota’s bars, clubs and live venues means you can experience Colombia’s best loved rhythms in one night. Such an eclectic offering is part of the city’s charm and testament to its cosmopolitan character. Here are some of its must-visit sites:
8. Galeria Cafe Libro: Galeria Cafe Libro is where salsa, son and Caribbean beats come together in a place so popular it has venues in two different areas of the city, recreating the intensity of a night spent salsa-dancing in Cali.
Addresses: Transversal 15B #46-38 (Palermo) y
Carrera 11ª #93-42 (Parque 93), Bogotá, Colombia.
9. Theatron: This mini-village of bars, discos and clubs is the jewel in Bogota’s LGBTQIA crown and one of the most-visited dance spots across the capital. Its music varies across its multiple spaces, so you can test your moves to techno, reggaeton, champeta, salsa, merengue and more.
Address: Calle 58 #10-32, Bogotá, Colombia.
10. Quiebracanto: Quiebracanto is a firm favorite among Bogota’s increasing volume of international visitors, thanks to its proximity to some of the capital’s most interesting tourism destinations. It’s a pioneer in the art of salsa dancing and one of the best places in the Colombian capital to pick up the most important steps.
Address: Carrera 15 #17-76
11. El Bembé: El Bembé is located in La Macarena neighbourhood near downtown. The place has a Salsa ambiance inspired in Cuba and Cali, it has an atmosphere that invites to dance. On its wall decor you’ll find the principal icons of this famous genre worldwide. A place to enjoy Caribbean cuisine and dance.
Address: Calle 27B #6-73
Check out these Colombian cities and experience the best of the country’s nightlife to understand why it captures international visitors’ hearts, night after night. No matter whether you’re a complete beginner, or you already have a few dance moves up your sleeve, Colombians love to share their expertise and welcome everyone onto the floor. Visit these places to learn to dance in Colombia and you’ll be part of a rewarding experience that’s key to understanding Colombians’ culture and style.
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