Travelling throughout Central and South America for six months, I knew there would be a lot of salsa dancing. Having taken classes of ‘Cuban-New York’ style salsa when I was in Brussels a few years ago to the theme song of ‘Oye Como Va’ and enjoying many impromptu salsa dancing lessons from Latin friends over the years, I knew I would enjoy this part of the Latin American lifestyle.
When I heard Cali was the ‘salsa capital of Colombia’ I was sure to make my way there for a fun filled final weekend in Colombia!
Luckily, I already had friends travelling there so I knew there would be a crew and so I made my way to El Viajero. The hostel offers free salsa classes every day, the perfect way to get in the mood for a night on the Cali tiles.
On Friday night, myself and a gang of six fellow gringos found our way to a salsa club in downtown Cali and I was happy to dance with all of the guys (although some were better than others, as my toes soon discovered). A few Colombians thrown in the mix, and a good night out dancing was had! The walls are covered with images of salsa bands and famous singers, and although the dance floor space is limited-ish, it gives you enough room to bailar the night away! Aguardiente (the local fire-water) is served by the bottle and we got through a fair few that night… I couldn’t remember the name of the bar, but a quick Google search led me straight to it – Zaperoco! Unfortunately Thursday night is the big night for live salsa bands, so I just missed out but next time I’ll make sure to get there for some live salsa!
The following night, with a bigger crew in tow including a number of Colombianos we had met in the hostel, we hopped in another taxi slightly further out to the strip with serious salsatecas. La Sucursal del Cielo – the biggest discoteca in Cali is literally a warehouse behind a petrol station and it was absolutely heaving with beautiful Colombianos dolled up to the nines and ready to dance! The main dancehall features a huge wall and ceiling filled with LED lights that flash in time with the Latin beats, and feature messages to guests wishing them Feliz Cumpleanos amongst other things! We settled into a booth but didn’t sit down too long and danced into the early hours to traditional salsa mixed with even more upbeat and crazy reggaeton – handy for bigger groups including gringos to dance together! It cost about 10,000 COP per person for entry and although I didn’t have ID with me (a necessity!) I still got in, well that is after a thorough search and pat-down. Security was very tight!
Two nights out in Cali left me feeling a bit delicate but it was the best way to end a wonderful six weeks in Colombia!