Cartagena Nightlife Everything You Need to Know


Cartagena Colombia is one of my most favorite cities in the world. My first time there I didn’t know what to expect. Over 10 Trips later I feel like I kind of know the place. Today we are going to talk about Cartagena Nightlife. The Best Nightclubs, Rooftop Bars, The Beach Clubs, and so much more. One of the first things I think I should let you know is  Cartagena is the Most expensive city in Colombia. So you can expect to Bring some extra money. A lot of the Locals reference the city as a Little Miami and I definitely can understand why. Cartagena is a beautiful place with a lot of culture and History. It’s important that you remember that you are in Colombia and Things can definitely happen so remember to humble yourself and don’t get too carried away when partying.


Cartagena Nightlife Experience


Cartagena has one of the Best Party scenes in Colombia. It has the Tallest Bar in Colombia along with another that has been famously rated as one of the Best Bars in the World. You can party with both locals and Tourists.


The Best Bars in Cartagena Colombia


  1. 51 Sky Bar

51 Sky Bar is the Tallest Bar in Colombia. It sits on the 51st floor of the Estelar Hotel located in Barrio Bocagrande. Here you can witness the Best Views in all of Colombia. It has a panoramic 360-degree view so you can see the entire city and the Sea. I’m all about a nice view, so you know it had to be put high on the list of The Best Bars in Cartagena. You can expect a Live DJ to get the party going and people dancing. You have both outdoor and indoor seating so if the Cartagena weather is too hot for you, there is a place where you can chill out. They have impressive drinks and a food menu if you want to get something to eat too. If you want to visit a place with great vibes then I highly recommend you check out 51 Sky Bar. On Google, they have over 800+ Reviews and a 4+/5 Star Rating.


  1. Alquimico Rooftop Bar

Alquimico is one of the most famous Bars in Cartagena Colombia. It has been rated as the Best Bar in South America and #10 out of 50 of the best Bars in the World. I think it’s a really impressive Title to have on your resume. Located in the Historic Old City of Cartagena also known as the “walled city”, it’s surrounded by all the Nightlife in Cartagena. You might want to get there early because there is always a line out the door. This place is 3 stories with something unique on each floor. You can expect creative drinks and a Full food menu and as the bar states on their website that they support the local economy by using Local Products. If you want to experience an upscale Bar while visiting Colombia then you definitely need to check them out. On Google, they have over 3500 reviews and a 4.5+/5 Star Rating.


  1. Cafe Del Mar

Cafe del Mar is a rooftop bar with one of the Dopest vibes I have experienced. Sitting on top of the Wall in the Old City you get a nice sea breeze coming at you. As the name suggests they specialize in serving fresh seafood, and amazing drinks. One thing that you should know is that it’s always packed and you might want to book a reservation especially if you plan on going with someone or a group. Depending on the time you get there you can catch a live musician setting the tone making this destination a place you will always remember. If you are lucky enough to catch the sunset there, you will not be disappointed.  I highly recommend visiting Cafe Del Mar. They have over 18,000 Reviews and a 4.5+/5 Rating on Google Maps.


  1. Mirador Gastro Bar

I first found out about this place because I was looking for a fancy breakfast one day. Inside this place looks pronominal. Later on, I realized that they have one of the Best Rooftop Bars in Cartagena sitting just in front of the Clock tower also called Torre del Reloj or Boca del Puente which is the Old City main entrance. You get an incredible view and a nice breeze at night making it one of my favorite places to visit. You can expect awesome and creative drinks served by some of the most skilled bartenders in the city. You can also expect some delicious food and makes a great place to bring a date. They have over 3000+ Reviews and a 4.5+/5 Rating on Google Maps. 


  1. Cafe Havana

Being one of the Most Famous Salsa Bars in Cartagena you already know what to expect. This place has live salsa bands setting the mood and a night full of dancing in your future. It has an authentic atmosphere and an always packed crowd. If you are looking for a night of dancing and Cuba-style food and drinks then you have found the place with vibes you are looking for.  On Google, they have over 5500+ Reviews and a 4.3+/5 start Rating


The Best Hookah Lounges in Cartagena

The Best Hookah Lounges in Cartagena


  1. Terraza Bar El Portal

So The hookah lounges in Cartagena are expensive for some reason. I will say out of the other places I have been this place is actually cheaper. Here Hookah costs about 150,000 pesos which is about 30 dollars. It also has a great rooftop view of the Clocktower Square. This place is definitely one of my favorite places to go but for some reason, it has unflattering Reviews on Google. Most of them speak about the prices. This place currently has under 100 Reviews and a 2.5/5-star rating.


The Best Night Clubs in Cartagena


  1. Taboo Disco Club

If you want a real Colombian Night Club experience then Taboo Disco Club is where you should be heading. You can expect a lively crowd. Mostly with other Colombian Tourists coming from different cities and wanting to party also. Not a lot of Gringos in this place. The prices are fair for Cartagena, especially being in a tourist area but they are still not exactly what I would call cheap, but definitely cheaper than some other nightclubs I have been to there. They are located in the Barrio Getsemani that’s right next to the walled city. On Google Maps they have over 2000+ Reviews and a 4+/5 Star Rating.


  1. Delirium Gastro Bar

One of the most popular places for American tourists who want to listen to HipHop Music. You will find both American Men and Women here mixed in with a lot of Colombian Women also. The DJ plays some of the latest American Hip-hop and has a Nice playlist. The drinks and Hookah are overpriced in my opinion, for instance, a hookah costs 250,000 pesos. If you do the currency exchange it would be the equivalent of $55 dollars today. 1 drink cost 28,000 pesos. if you do the exchange that’s $6.20 cents. So expect to spend a lot of money. The Bar is always packed, so it’s better to just get a section and a bottle of your favorite drink, if you are actually planning to spend some time there. The place gets really packed and it can be a tight squeeze. Still, I’m sure anyone that goes there will have a great time. This place has over 600+ reviews and a 4+/5 Star Rating on Google Maps. Delirium Nightclub was recently shutdown in 2024.


Cartagena Sunset Cruise  

Cartagena is known for its stunning sunsets and vibrant nightlife. Night cruises are a popular way to experience the city from a different perspective. There are several types of night cruises in Cartagena, catering to different preferences and budgets.


One option is the sunset cruise, which typically lasts around 90 minutes and takes passengers along the bay of Cartagena. These cruises are ideal for those who want to witness the breathtaking sunset while sipping on cocktails and listening to music. Some sunset cruises also offer dinner or appetizers on board, making for a romantic evening with a loved one.


For those who prefer a livelier atmosphere, there are party boats that offer open bars and pulsating music. These boats cater to a younger crowd and are perfect for celebrating special occasions like birthdays or bachelorette parties. Many of these party boats also offer a nighttime skyline tour, showcasing the illuminated beauty of Cartagena’s architecture from the water.


Cartagena Beach Clubs at Night

One of the most known Islands in Cartagena is Tierra Bomba. One of Cartagena Beach clubs that I visited Palmarito Beach club for a night Party. I actually think It was during Halloween. They are always throwing different Night parties at Palmarito Beach Club such as a neon night party. You go by boat leaving from the port across from the walled city. On the boat ride, there it was a party itself. Music blasting and people dancing on the boat. Once you arrive at the location you can party until it’s time to go.


Things you Need to take to Cartagena


In Cartagena Colombia, things can happen. Travel Insurance should be purchased the minute you pay for your flight and accommodations. Travel insurance can help cover your medical bills if you get sick or injured in most cases. It can help cover a portion of the cost of your phone if it gets pickpocketed or snatched. It’s something that you should definitely be prepared for.  You always want to protect yourself against delays and flight cancelations. I highly recommend getting travel insurance if you are planning to visit Cartagena. Find out more about Travel Insurance


Cartagena gets very hot. The sun is no joke there. It was the first place I ever remember being sunburnt. I highly recommend you bring some sunscreen Protector on your Trip to Cartagena Colombia.


I definitely recommend bringing some insect repellant because Yellow fever is passed through mosquitos, so you will want to have all the protection that you can get. I would rather have travel insurance and not need to use it if you know what I’m saying.


You will want to have a phone plan that will allow you to use your smartphone around Cartagena. Most people’s cellphone provider will work in Cartagena but if you don’t have the right company or plan you can expect to spend up to $10 a day on data. I also recommend you check out my list of Best Travel Apps so you have everything downloaded when you arrive.


Bring a Backup smartphone just in case your phone is pickpocketed, stolen, or lost. Things can get missing fast when you are in Colombia so you will want to make sure you have a backup phone. You will still want to be able to communicate if your phone disappears or it breaks.


Cartagena Nightlife


Does Cartagena Have Good Nightlife?

Yes, Cartagena is a great place to go and check out. You may want to spend up to 5 days in this city because the tourist zone is really not that big. Nightlife is good but not comparable to places like Medellin or Bogota where the nightlife is better.


Is Cartagena a Party Destination?

Honestly, I think of it as more of a getaway than a party place. Yes, you can surely have a great time but this place is not a party destination such as Thailand, Vegas, or Miami. I think more of a historical place with beautiful beaches but Cartagena Nightlife can definitely be fun.


Is it safe to walk around Cartagena at night?

If you are inside the wall city then I would typically say yes depending on the time but I have definitely heard of instances where people have been robbed and drugged there. I have personally witnessed someone getting their iPhone snatched out of their hands. You want to use extreme caution.


What to wear in Cartagena?

It gets extremely hot in Cartagena. Especially during the summertime. I recommend you take casual clothing and be prepared to sweat. There are beaches there so you can also take clothing that you would wear to the beach. Never wear Jewelry anywhere in Colombia. You are asking to be robbed regardless if the Jewelry is real or fake. You can wear the bead accessories that you can buy off the locals but never wear anything that looks like gold, emeralds or diamonds. Find out where to buy Jewelry.


Is Nightlife better in Medellin or Cartagena?

Hands down the nightlife is better in Medellin. In Medellin, there is so much more that you can do there. It is also bigger and spread out. It would take me a long time to try and go to every place in Medellin.


Should I bring cash to Cartagena?

I recommend that you use an atm machine to retrieve all of your money. I would only bring USD for backup cash and leave it at the apartment or hotel. To get the best Exchange rate in Cartagena use the Bank ATM Machines. I recommend using Bancolombia ATM machines.


If you want to use a Taxi to take you to the atm which I don’t really recommend lol. You can tell them Cajero Bancolombia. I have heard of others having success with BBVA ATM machines but I think it has something to do with them having a Charles Swab Account. I tried and the fees were too high for me.


When using the atm machine it will offer you a conversion rate with the option to decline it. That Conversion rate is absurd. My first time running into this was my trip to Medellin. I knew what the Currency exchange rate was supposed to be because of my Travel Conversion App. I declined the transaction thinking I would need to go to a different bank, but that is when it started dispersing my cash. Worried about what just happened I checked my bank account and realized I got a better rate.


That is when I started noticing that Most atm machines in South America, including Brazil will always try to get you to accept a horrible conversion rate. Always Hit decline the conversion and only accept the atm fee to continue if the fee seems to be a decent fee. Always take the maximum amount out of the atm so you are not running back and forth adding unnecessary fees. If you have USAA or Charles Swab they usually refund you up to a certain amount of atm fees a month.


Do They Accept Dollars in Colombia?

You should never be paying for anything in dollars. You will just be ripping yourself off. Always go to the ATM Machines at the banks. They may ask you about accepting a rate, that always hit decline because it is a terrible rate. Then it will disperse your Colombian pesos at the best-going rate of the day. Again I repeat never pay for anything in USA Dollars.


When is the best Time to Travel to Cartagena?

I always have a great time in December but maybe December – February when it’s not too hot and not that much rain. May- November it rains more than a little bit.


How many days do I need in Cartagena?

I would say 3-5 days. In that amount of time, you should be able to see everything and spend a day or 2 relaxing. I recommend that you check out some Beach clubs and soak up some sun. Some people who are in groups usually rent a yacht and party.


What to expect when in Cartagena?

You can expect a lot of vendors trying to sell you stuff. Any service that someone does will want payment. It could be something as simple as someone offering to show you around. A massage on the beach even if they say it’s a free sample will cost you. There are people who walk down the street with a speaker and start talking to you and will ask you where you from and what’s your name. If you engage with them they will then perform a rap song and want payment at the end. If you don’t want any one service just say Gracias. Even then that will not be enough. I have learned to just ignore people. You will encounter a lot of different types of people, it will definitely be overwhelming if you have never experienced this before.


Is Cartagena Safe for Tourists?

I will say for the most part yes. Most tourists never leave the tourist areas. There is a heavy police presence in the Wall City but I have witnessed fights and people getting their phones snatched. You can easily be pickpocketed. You should never wear jewelry to Cartagena. Your chain or Necklace will most likely get snatched. Don’t Carry around a lot of money. Never throw money in the streets or in the club. Armed Robberies do happen in the Walled City and the other tourist areas day and night time.




Cartagena Colombia is one of my most favorite cities in the world. I personally just love the culture there. I think they have great-tasting food and I love being able to get on a boat and go to a beach club with the nice blue water. Visiting different beach clubs in Cartagena is how I spend some of my days. I think Cartagena nightlife is great, although it is not popping as much as other cities that I have been to. I love the music they listen to and hanging out with the locals. While things aren’t necessarily cheap they are not as expensive as being in Miami. I recommend anyone wanting to go to Colombia should probably check out Cartagena first. I think it is a lot safer than other Colombian cities.

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