All good nights in Cartagena revolve around the “Havana club.” Simply put, it’s among the best small live music venues in Latin America. Whether you like Salsa, can’t dance to save your life, or are a serious aficionado, if you can’t have fun here you don’t belong in Colombia. My all time favorite live Salsa experience is dancing here, the band made up of mostly 60+ year old pros, simply killing it. James Brown would be proud to watch these gentlemen “do it to death.” What makes it even more amazing is their banter with the crowd, excited encouragement to get you up and moving – no canned Señor Frogs tourist nonsense here; these men mean business! One of my favorite moments here was the first night in Cartagena, my good law school buddy Jorge and I flanking my 19 year old nephew and teaching him the basic salsa steps, and we called out to the band during a small break between songs “El Cuarta de Tula!” The bandleader nodded in recognition of our refined taste, and fired up the horns for a rousing rendition. One of our last nights we hauled a chiva full of people from all over – Portuguese, Bolivians, Colombians, Gringos – and to a person we were thanked, hugged, and a fine time was had by all. I’ve sent several people there since and they all gush. If it’s quiet when you go, give it until the 10-11pm hour and watch it go. If you’re into partying with drunk Aussies and the backpack set, all of Calle 30 next to Havana will be full of it.
Address: Café Havana, Corner of Carrera 10 y Calle 30, Cartagena, Getsemaní, Colombia