Top NYE Parties
This city sure is pretty and there’s an abundance of spectacular settings to see in the New Year in Cartagena. Finding the hottest spot to party harder than you have done all year is where we come in.
Whether you like to get dressed up and rub shoulders with Cartagena’s elegant elites at a ritzy hotel gala or prefer to get proper mashed with the crazy kids at Bourbon Street, there’s a special New Year’s Eve guest-list with your name on it.
Cartagena’s standout New Year’s Eve parties are normally of the pop-up, one-off variety. Popular variants on the same one-off theme include some stunning rooftop efforts with ridiculously photogenic backdrops, a house soundtrack and a brilliant view of the fireworks, the impromptu street party with a Tropi-Pop vibe, gallons of cold beer and the local hooch, aguardiente, or the floating NYE experience aboard a fancy catamaran laden with bubbly.
Almost every year, the top pop-up usually involves a 16th century ruin mixed in with a celebrity DJ borrowed from the Storyland Dance Festival lineup and an insanely good-looking, globe-trotting crowd.
The name and venue changes every year but we always have all the deets and digits needed to get you in.
Send us an email if you want us to keep you in the loop.
Best NYE Feasts
A fabulous meal is a wonderful way to say goodbye to what’s been a whirlwind year and there are some delicious, gourmet spreads being cooked up by Cartagena’s top chefs. Our favourite Cartagena restaurants get booked out fast on New Year's Eve, so if you want your last meal of 2016, to be your best meal of the year you are going to need some assistance.
Firstly, here's the spoiler. You can forget about getting a table for two at La Vitrola on NYE as it gets packed out by the president’s kids and their mates.
No need to worry there are some more spectacular culinary spreads being laid on at the likes of Carmen, which serves up a five-star, five-course meal that will knock your socks off.
Other New Year’s Eve gourmet wizards include the talented Rausch brothers who divide and conquer for one evening at Marea by Rausch (seafood treats and a brilliant view of the fireworks) and El Gobernador by Rausch, a top table place in the Hotel Bastion.
Other standout NYE feasts include the steak-fest at Red Knife, with a luxury view of the fireworks on the rooftop and the seafood treats on offer at El Kilo or La Perla, two of the city’s most scintillating purveyors of top-notch ceviche.
Unfortunately, most of these brilliant restaurants like to keep their creations under wraps until the last minute. It can take until late December to get our hands on the full culinary line-up.
We know what’s on the menu before anyone else so if you want to find out more about the most sensational New Year’s Eve feasts send us an email.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
“Where to watch the fireworks in Cartagena on New Year’s Eve?” is a popular question in the build up to New Year in Cartagena. There are plenty of top spots to appreciate the stellar display of firecrackers lighting up the Caribbean sky.
Our favourite spots for taking in the show is on Cartagena’s historic walls close to the Sofitel Santa Clara Hotel (they kick off the fireworks early in a bid to steal some of the city’s thunder) or by the San Pedro de Claver church, which is up close to the main event fired off from the Parque de la Marina.
For the money shot there are some spectacular rooftop settings to help you frame the girandolas and chrysanthemums against Cartagena’s picturesque, up-lit colonial cupolas.
Marea by Rausch serves up a great angle as the aperitif to a top meal, as does the rooftop celebration of the Movich Hotel.
To avoid the crowds and enjoy a special moment with friends, rent a boat and drop anchor in the bay with a select crowd looking for a more exclusive midnight celebration.Get More Info
Recovery in the Islands
One of the reasons Cartagena is such a world class New Year’s Eve destination is the city’s stellar hangover cure. Nothing beats a NYE come-down quite like a dip in the aquamarine Caribbean. Our favourite Caribbean pick-me-up recipe normally takes two days.
On New Year’s Day hit a Caribbean beach club to keep the buzz going as long as you can. On January 2, head to Cartagena’s Rosario Islands with the in-crowd.
There’s nothing quite like skipping town on your own private yacht to hit the Rosario Islands with the rest of Cartagena’s New Year’s Eve jet-setting crowd. A friendly warning to travellers who like to leave things to the last-minute, trying to find a boat on January 2 is a little like trying to find a polar bear in a snowstorm.
Amidst the blur or white bobbing boats lined up at the quay, there’s definitely one out there for you but until you’ve put your name on it you’re stranded on dry land.
It certainly pays to book ahead if you want to ensure your dreams of a 50-ft SeaRay SeaDancer don’t turn into you stuck in the last chalupa left in the bay, or even worse a plastic chair perched on the insanely crowded Bocagrande beach.
When you do get yourself sorted, the highlight of your New Year party in Cartagena awaits. For party animals, Cholon is where the party’s at. Drop anchor with plenty of likeminded revellers in party bay. There will be up to 300 boats out there with the same plan in mind.
If you prefer to skip the crowds then rent a sailboat to overnight and head a little further to the San Bernardo archipelago. Likewise planning ahead is essential if you want your New Year’s Eve dream to become a reality. Boats are scarce.Rent a Boat
Pre- and After-NYE Parties
Each year, New Year’s Eve extends itself even further into Cartagena’s day and nightlife calendar with a host of pre- and after-parties built with the party crowd in mind. The Storyland Dance Music Festival is the biggest of the bunch but there are some other high profile parties worth adding to your schedule.
In the build up to New Year there’s a floating party in the islands, the regatta reggaeton, that normally takes place on December 29 or December 30, which you really shouldn’t miss.
The king of Bogota’s nightclub scene, Gero Basile throws an all-dayer, the Wild Brunch for a dressed up crowd on January 2 and there are plenty of luxury brands trying to tag their labels onto the influencer crowd in town by throwing parties in abandoned ruins and swanky new venues.
The details – price and what’s included – and their dates often get confirmed as late as December. We’re always the first to hear what’s what so send us an email if you want us to keep you in the loop.Sign Up for More Info
Finding a Place to Stay
You really need to start your search for somewhere to stay in Cartagena over New Year in January. The city’s stunning stock of colonial villas get snapped up fast and finding somewhere in the heart of town is complicated.
Rents go through the roof for the hottest dates in the year. We’ve got the keys to some great villas and some of the city’s best vacation rentals in Cartagena.
They’re going fast though. If you want to ensure that you’re in the best spot and not staying in the wrong part of town, you better get looking and booking.
Check out some of Cartagena's hottest houses and vacation rentals here.
If you want us to help reserving something then send us an email with information of how many people in your group and what sort of budget you have to play with.
Find Somewhere to Stay
The Ultimate NYE Experience
If you want New Year’s Eve in Cartagena to go smoothly and don’t want to miss out on a second of the festive fun, you will need to enlist a little local support. Our talented team of local travel experts are on-the-ground dedicated to organizing your perfect itinerary. From families to fun-lovers we’re here to help plan the perfect New Year’s Eve experience for you.
Whatever New Year’s Eve experience you’re looking for in Cartagena, be it a week-long party marathon or a scintillating mix of history, culture and islands for the family, we’re here to help build your ultimate New Year’s Eve itinerary.
If you need help booking the dream house for your group, organizing a perfectly-paced itinerary of inspirational day-time and nocturnal activities, table reservations at the city’s best restaurants and bars, then we know the city better than anyone else.
With us, the perfect New Year in Cartagena is a piece of Christmas cake.
Let us know how many people in your group and what you’re interested in and one of our talented team of travel experts will get straight back to you.Plan the Perfect NYE in Cartagena