Best Bars in Cartagena

From the tropical rhythms of vallenato, salsa, merengue, and reggaeton, to more contemporary ambiances such as dance, and chill out, Cartagena’s weekends are vibrant and perfect for shaking your troubles away.

At 10 PM, the night is young. After dining and having some cocktails in the historical center, you’ll have to keep on walking and make sure you get into one, or maybe all of this four bar suggestions. Make sure you have comfortable shoes and don’t worry about dress code since you’re in a Caribbean, stress-free destination, where dancing it’s what is all about.

Outside Cafe Havana.Outside Café la Havana. By:

Start your bar hopping with “Café Havana” ( Step outside the historical center and walk by the “Camellón de los Mártires” (Corridor of Martyrs). Just five minutes later, in a street called “La Media Luna” (The Crescent Moon), in a small corner full of local and visitors, you will find this Cuban and Latin live music bar. Enjoy their powerful mojitos with the company of musicians who played with the legendary Joe Arroyo, Colombia’s salsa idol, among others. Stop and take a picture at walls lined with photos of the owner’s friends; wooden tables, and the live band playing salsa, merengue and Cuban rhythms. Just to give you a sense of the reputation of this place, one of their visitors, among other national personalities is Hillary Clinton.

Inside Cafe Havana.Inside Café la Havana. By:

With no doubt a great start for your magical evening.

Tu Candela outside.Tu Candela outside. By: Google Images

By now you are a couple of mojitos into the night… be careful with those, the party is just starting. At midnight the streets of the Old City and Calle del Arsenal are bursting with life and music. It’s time to fire this party up at “Tu candela” (Your Fire), as it name advocates. Located in the heart of the historical center, this bar is well-known because of its popularity among tourists. Get the best Latin music package here. Featuring local rum as a must, reggaeton, salsa, and merengue. This bar is also famous for the scandal of Obamas Secret Service agents in Cartagena; they say they meet here… I guess will never know.

Stay there for an hour or two and continue your Latin dancing journey.

Inside Tu Candela.Tu Candela inside By: Google Images
Outside Mr Babilla.Outside Mr Babilla. By: Google Images

At 2 AM things can start getting wild and next stop is in “Mr. Babilla” ( or Mr. Alligator, a very unusual name and character for a club. The icon of this place reflects the joy of Cartagena, good drinks, snacks and the music variety. Is a different nightclub concept, featuring an environment full of colorful and curious objects, collected from our culture, makes this a place have everything from outside at a nightclub, that once was a typical local house.

Inside Mr. Babilla.Mr Babilla inside By:

A mixture of rhythms from vallenato, hip hop, merengue, salsa, reggaeton, etc., will get you dancing in the floor, bars, and tables.  Order a whiskey or continue with local rum. Share the dancing space with locals at this colorful place. I don’t want to stop you from dancing, but I have to mention that it’s almost 4 am and you have to keep on going…

Outside Cafe del Mar.Outside Café del Mar. By: Google Images

The sun is rising and it is time to tune things down at “Café del Mar” (, literally located on top of the walls surrounding the historical center. Offering trendy music, lounge style décor, and one of the best sunrises you’ll ever experience. The ocean view is astonishing. Just sit at one of the tables beside the walls, order a black cherry mojito or white sangria cocktail and a small appetizer, and just watch the sun rising from the Caribbean ocean with chill out music as a background. Without words, this experience will ignite your spirit and relax your whole body. Is almost like a spa for your soul. It’s a spiritual experience. You won’t want to leave the place.

Sunrise at Cafe del Mar.Sunrise at Café del Mar. By: Google Images

Enjoy your hangover… remember you are in Cartagena. Go to the beach, order a cold beer and catch some sun. If you haven’t got enough just try another bar next night and get the most of Cartagena’s nightlife; a free style dancing experience that promises keeping your spirit up even when getting back home.



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