Cartagena is a city in Bolivar, Colombia. It is located on the Caribbean Sea on the northern coast of Colombia and was the first Spanish colony on the American continent. The city has also become one of the first havens for liberated slaves in the Americas. It’s a diverse city with several fascinating things to offer tourists, and it has become among the most visited cities in the country. Peak times to visit is during December holidays and the holy week as the schools are out, and most Colombians head to the city.
The city can be classified into two parts. The walled colonial city has many top clubs, restaurants, and hotels. There’s also a long stretch of hotel towers and condos that are in the beachfront. This area is known as Bocagrande. The majority of the budget hotels and hostels in Cartagena are found in Getsemani area around the Calle de la Media Luna. Prices and quality can vary, so it is best to do some research and read reviews in advance.
The 3 Best Party Hostels in Cartagena
1. El Genoves Hostal
El Genoves Hostal is situated in a high-end part of the city in San Diego, which is enclosed the walled city. The hostel is close to San Diego Square and Fernandez de Madrid Square in the old town. It’s on the most beautiful streets in the town and is close to a lot of bars, restaurants, and leisure venues. Also, the hostel in a historic house that highlights colonial-style architecture in the city. There are also several amenities available to guests, such as air conditioning, a refreshing pool, and a terrace on the top floor of the building. There’s also a television room where guests can relax and a full kitchen where you can prepare your meals. Wi-fi and free breakfast are also included in the price of your room.
It is a pleasant and clean hostel with approachable staff and a great social atmosphere. It also has private double rooms and dorms that can accommodate four, six, and eight people. It’s an excellent place for all types of travellers, whether you’re travelling alone, as a couple, or with a group of friends.
Price: $14.97 to $29.94
Pros: Nice area, beautiful decor and architecture, and great amenities
2. Viajero Cartagena Hostel
El Viajero Cartagena Hostel is enclosed inside the walls of the city. It’s located in an area that is rich with history and character. There are colourful and quaint streets and many great restaurants and cafes nearby. The hostel is a beautiful 19th-century colonial house that has two huge patios where you can chill out. There’s also an on-site bar that blasts music if you want to dance and serves delicious cocktails. They also organize nightly activities where you can experience a fun atmosphere and socialize with other guests and locals.
This hostel belongs to a chain of hostels in the area that has already received several awards and positive reviews from guests. They are found in popular tourist destinations throughout Latin America, and you can be assured this hostel also has the same quality
The hostel has shared dorms and private rooms that you can choose from. Single, twin, double, and four-bed private rooms are available and six, eight, ten, and twelve-bed dorms are available. There are also female-only and co-ed rooms that are offered. You can also avail of the free breakfast that is included in the price of the room.
Price: $11.78 to $17.82
Pros: Located inside the city walls, great on-site bars, and free breakfast
3. Hostel Mamallena
Hostel Mamallena is another popular hostel in the city, and it has a very social atmosphere to stay. Although they don’t classify themselves as a party hostel, there always seems to be something going on. There are a bar area and patio where you can hang out. Also, every Wednesday night they organize a party in Calle Media Luna, which is very close to the hostel. So, other guests will surely be heading out for the night to enjoy the fun as well. It’s easy to find other travellers here that want to hang out and have a good time.
The bar is in front of the hostel and stays open until about 2 in the morning. They also serve reasonably priced drinks, and it has a pleasant vibe. The hostel also has a lot of great amenities for guests, including a tiny shared kitchen, helpful and accommodating staff, and air-conditioning in all rooms that is on 24 hours a day.
Also, their shared dorms can accommodate up to eight people, and double or four-bed private rooms are available too.
Price: $12.25 to $17.50
Pros: Great bar and amenities
How Is The Nightlife in Cartagena?
It’s Hot: Since this is a Caribbean beach city, it’s sweltering. So, don’t pack your suits or even a blazer when you go here. Cartagena is very sexy, and you’ll be walking in its venues. Also, dark jeans and a button-down shirt will suffice in most places.
Working Girls: There are more prostitutes in the city than anywhere in the rest of the country. So, don’t be surprised if the girl you’re talking to turns out to be one.
Not Cheap: This is a very touristy city. So, prices are going to be a lot more expensive. Drinking in Cartagena is also not cheap. The rates were higher compared to anywhere else in Colombia. Also, the typical price for drinks in the city’s bars is $8, and there is usually a cover charge that you should pay to gain entrance into clubs (this is generally between $4 and $10).
When to Party: Usually, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday nights are very lifeless. But things get a lot better during Wednesday and Thursday nights and the busiest times are during Fridays and Saturdays. Don’t visit clubs before 1 am unless you want to get in for free (usually before midnight).
Lots of Tourists: You surely see a lot of foreigners exploring the clubs and bars in Cartagena, especially in Bocagrande and the old city.
No Great Venues: There are also a lot of exciting places to party in the city, but there’s no perfect place. But you can’t find a single place that’s good even on weeknights.
The Best Bars and Clubs in Cartagena
1. Bazurto Social Club
Probably the most ‘Caribbean’ themed nightclub in the whole region, Bazurto Social Club is situated just outside the walled city. It is also within a two-block area of the other top clubs of the town, Quiebra-Canto and Cafe Havana. With a youthful and fun crowd partying until 4 am every night from Thursday to Saturday. They also have a live champeta band that’ll make you dance, Bazurto is the place to enjoy a local night out in Cartagena.
2. Tu Candela
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Barack Obama’s runaway secret service agents, Tu Candela is undoubtedly a must-visit. While we don’t recommend continuing down their troublesome path, they were spot-on with their choice of club. Tu Candela is always jam-packed with party animals, but the excellent atmosphere, a wide range of music selections, and reasonably priced drinks more than makeup for the clammy vibes.
3. Cafe Havana
Cafe Havana is the best place to exhibit your salsa skills in the city. Found in the Getsemani area, probably Cartagena’s nightlife capital, Cafe Havana is open five nights a week until 4 am. With a beautiful bar, live salsa music, and a lot of ceiling fans. So, you’ll need those if you want to dance as hard as the regular patrons. It’s also among the most exciting nightclub experiences in the city, so much so that even Hillary Clinton danced the night away in Cafe Havana after the Summit of the Americas in 2012.
4. Donde Fidel
Another top-quality salsa place, Donde Fidel is more akin to a bar than a club, but it’s open until midnight and is a great place for dancing, so it still makes the cut. It’s situated inside the walled city and is also a cool place to unwind with a quality rum during the daytime if you’re not into dancing. But if you want to experience the old-school Cartagena, Donde Fidel is the perfect place to go for a great night out.
5. Fragma Club
You might have noticed that several clubs on this list tend to focus on traditional Colombian music such as champeta and salsa, so Fragma Club will be a breath of fresh air for those travellers who can’t abide those Latin American styles. Situated inside the walls of Cartagena’s old city, it’s the city’s premier EDM venue and is always filled with euphoric revellers until 4 am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Cartagena, the capital of Bolívar departamento. It is located in northern Colombia, in the north portion of the Cartagena Bay. The old walled sections of the city, including the San Felipe de Barajas fortress (which was built during the 17th-century), lie on a peninsula and the Getsemani island. Still, the city now reaches over the islands of Manzanillo and Manga and the mainland on the foot of La Popa Hill. In the old section the ornate cathedral, the Church of San Pedro Claver, the Palace of the Inquisition, the central plaza, and the University of Cartagena are located.
Founded in 1533, Cartagena de Indias gained popularity after the mid-16th century when vast fleets docked annually to ship gold and other products of northern South America to Spain. The city was also once a centre for the Inquisition and a slave market.
In 1811, the province of Cartagena proclaimed its independence from the Spanish, and years of struggle followed. After being captured by Spain from 1815 to 1821, the city was retaken by revolutionary forces. In the early national period, Cartagena maintained its status as Colombia’s leading port, but weak connections with the interior handicapped it. By the 1840s, the city’s population and commerce declined. But in the 20th century, it experienced a revival and is now Colombia’s fifth-largest city. Plus, if you wish to extend your adventure, you can also explore other tourist attractions in neighboring cities like Cusco or Medellin.
Is It Safe In Cartagena?
Absolutely! Cartagena’s crime rates have plummeted in recent years, and it is now the safest metropolis in Colombia. Here, we go into everything you need to know about keeping safe in Cartegena, from its safest neighbourhoods to stock scams, to using Uber, and much, much more.
Why Is Cartagena Famous?
Cartagena is a colonial city located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, and the historic walled city remains alongside the ultramodern skyscraper-filled Bocagrande. Cartagena is also famous for its castles, culture, history and colourful buildings. Also, the town was invaded many times due to its prosperity and reputation for great treasure.
Is Uber Available In Cartagena?
Just as in any other country, Uber is less available in remote locations. However, it is widely accessible in two dozen cities across the country. It includes Colombia’s big metropolises— Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, Cali, and Barranquilla, and many others.
What Should I Wear In Cartagena?
Cartagena is a tropical city with remarkably hot and humid weather; dress accordingly in loose t-shirts, short flowy dresses, maxi skirts and sandals. Also, women should opt for hip jeans, a pretty shirt, sandals (not flip-flops) flats or heels if you want to dress up your outfit.