Bazurto Social Club
Part of the golden triangle of late-night dance venues in Cartagena's Getsemani, the sabrosura pura (pure flavour) music policy at this hip resto-bar keeps a lively, young-at-heart crowd coming back for more.
Bazurto's playful name draws its inspiration from the city's riotous open-air market. The brainchild of owners Fadia de la Rosa and Jorge Escandon the duo wanted to find a home for Cartagena's roots culture in the historic centre when they first opened for business in 2010.
Praised for 're-discovering' the city's Afro-based musical heritage, DJs and live bands keep Bazurto's play-list fresher than most places with a healthy mix of Champeta, Terapia, Cumbia and Reggae that attracts a bohemian crowd bored by Cartagena's 'crossover' dominated dance floors.
Bazurto's creative team decked the bar out with classic photos of historic figures from Cartagena's illustrious afro-Caribbean history, notably great images of the country's first boxing world champion, Palenque's very own 'Kid Pambele'.
Each chair carries the face of one of the popular bar's most celebrated patrons from Nobel Laureate, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, to salsa legend Joe Arroyo.
While this lively bar normally gets going about 22:00, there are some excellent happy hour combos to choose from from 19:00 onwards.
The kitchen specializes in seafood treats and local bar bites that will ward off the adverse affects of one too many of the house cocktail, the Machacao.
Our tip: line your stomach with a satisfying seafood platter, an 'Angry' Fish Salad or the Miraculous Ceviche (Ceviche 1,000 Agroso) before you get into the groove.
Other affordable early bird specials include the Champetasburger with soda for USD$5.75 or a prawn ceviche and a Corona beer for less than USD$10.
After you've finished your dinner and knocked back a couple of happy hour Mojitos, rise to the challenge of free salsa and champeta classes from the ryhtmically blessed, in-house dance group.
This trendy bar's owners have also produced a line of conversation-starting T-shirts that have spruced up the fading wardrobes of more than one or two flashpackers passing through Cartagena.
THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE
* A bar that is 100% Cartagenero. Cut to the chase and get to know the city's most popular drinks, music and culture in one place
* Zero watering down of the local culture
* Earlybird specials between 19:00-22:00 that include 2-4-1 cocktails and great combos
* The house cocktail, the Machacao, an alcoholic fruit salad made with lime, soda, rum, grapefruit and honey is as refreshing as a cold Cartagena shower
* Live music that gets you in the groove even though you've never heard any of the songs
* Learning to dance to all sorts of Cartagena roots sounds with the real experts
* Interiors with as much personality as Cartagena itself
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* Bazurto's a popular after party venue for low-key celebrities during the festival season
* Thursday nights are great for trying out your salsa moves early doors
* If you're expecting a David Guetta mix at some point in the evening you're in the wrong place. This bar is strictly local