Make the most of Mexico City nightlife

When the sun goes down, Mexico City comes alive. Mexico City’s nightlife offers an incredible array of experiences. From the high-end cocktail bar to the kitschy dance club to the timeless cantina, there are options for any mood, budget, and taste. Read on, get on your dancing shoes, and get ready. Here’s how to spend many memorable nights out on the town. This is our guide to the best bars and nightlife in Mexico City.

Plan your night in Mexico City – start off at a casual cantina, followed by a cocktail in a mezcalería or rooftop bar. There are so many to choose from! Then move on to one of the best dance clubs or nightclubs in Mexico City. Scroll down for hot tips, and get in touch if you need help finding a place to stay, or have a group event to plan.

Cantinas (local bars): aka. the Heart of Mexico

Historically, cantinas have been a preferred hangout all over the country. Laid-back and brimming with tradition, cantinas offer affordable drinks and botanas (snacks), and in many cases, full lunch or dinner menus. For centuries, women weren’t allowed in cantinas, but today, things have changed. Cantinas welcome patrons from all walks of life who want to gather around the table for hours, usually to the sound of a classic mariachi or trío.

Some of the most iconic cantinas in town are found right in the heart of downtown. Tenampa is a festive spot that’s ideal for traditional Mexican food and drinks. Believe us when we say they taste even better when paired with the sound of mariachi music. In fact, Tenampa is located in Garibaldi Plaza, the city’s official mariachi headquarters. Another cantina is La Faena, decorated with vintage bullfighting posters and memorabilia. Here, you’ll find a super casual and lively atmosphere. Meanwhile at La Opera, gorgeous interiors will take you back to its origins in 1895.

Mezcalerías: Agave bars in Mexico City

Mezcal has deep ties to Mexican history, culture, and mythology. According to legend, we have the agave goddess Mayahuel to thank for this fascinating spirit. Mezcal is produced in eight Mexican states including Oaxaca (home to most of the country’s production), Guerrero, and Durango. Whether you are already a mezcal aficionado or want to begin your exploration of this agave-based liquid, there are plenty of mezcalerías in Mexico City where you can embark on this journey.

Located in Centro Histórico, Bósforo is a bohemian spot dedicated to artisanal mezcal. Here, you’ll find a wide array of agave varietals and a knowledgeable staff that is always ready to offer advice. The low lighting and groovy world music will help set the mood. Over at Roma, head to La Clandestina, a local favorite for nearly 15 years. This cozy spot serves more than 20 mezcals, most of them from Oaxaca, including some in tasty cocktails. And for a fun, casual night of mezcal-imbibing, look no further than La Botica. Here, you’ll find more than 50 labels on the shelves of its two locations: Centro Histórico and Condesa.

Rooftop bars in Mexico City: See and be seen

Photo by: Toledo Rooftop

Over the past few years, rooftop bars have sprouted up all over the city. Make the most of the city’s mild climate (most of the year) and beautiful views across different neighborhoods. Rooftop bars usually offer a chill vibe during the early evening. Then the atmosphere starts to heat up later on – some of these bars turn into full-blown nightclubs. Depending on your plans, you can stop at a rooftop for a few drinks before heading to a nightclub, or spend the entire night there, soaking in the views and energetic atmosphere. Try these Mexico City rooftop bars and you will not be disappointed!

  • Supra, located in the heart of Roma, boasts modern furnishings, 360-degree views of the city, and a menu inspired by Asian and Mediterranean flavors that pairs perfectly with the house cocktails. Aside from a live DJ, Supra frequently hosts events such as meditation sessions or art shows.
  • Nearby, Gin Gin welcomes guests with a lively vibe and an extensive cocktail menu that, just like its name promises, features more than 50 gin labels. Pair a refreshing gin and tonic with one of their excellent burgers at any of their five locations (aside from two in Roma, you’ll find three more in Polanco, Condesa, and Satélite).
  • If you’re in Juárez, Toledo Rooftop is your best bet. A beautiful building is the perfect setting to enjoy a Baja-Med food menu (Baja California meets the Mediterranean), a long wine, spirit, and cocktail list, and music by live DJs.

Whichever of these Mexico City rooftop bars you choose to explore, remember that cocktails will cost around 220 pesos ($12 USD). Oh, and dress to impress!

If you’re looking to plan a trip to Mexico City and need help finding accommodation, things to do, or tickets to big events like the F1 Grand Prix, Lucha Libra or Day of the Dead, get in touch. We’ll help plan your journey.

Mexico City’s Cocktail Scene: A Toast to Creativity

Photo by: Brujas

As varied and exciting as its culinary scene, Mexico’s cocktail landscape keeps getting more interesting as time goes by. It’s no surprise that many of its cocktail bars are featured in international lists. In this city, you’ll find inventive drinks, excellent service, and original concepts.

Cocktail bars in Mexico City usually open around 6:00 PM and get busier as the night progresses. You can start your evening at one of these bars before you head to dinner or a club. Or spend the night exploring their unique personalities and drinks.

Start with an award winner – Handshake Bar, in Juárez is the #2 bar in North America by 50 Best Bars. Inside a luxurious, intimate space, the team serves deceptively simple-looking drinks that hide careful, creative processes. Roma is home to two other exciting cocktail bars: Brujas, a woman-led den with drinks that honor inspiring women and traditional Mexican herbology, and Rayo, a gorgeous rooftop bar in Roma where every premium spirit-based cocktail tells a story. We also love Hanky Panky, in Juárez – a speakeasy whose address is secret, where the bartenders are part-owners. It’s an intimate space with incredible cocktails… and we can help you get in. Just ask!

Dance Clubs: Show your moves

Cumbia, salsa, merengue, and reggaeton await at some of Mexico City’s fabulous dance clubs. With decades of tradition, these aren’t the type of clubs where dancing is optional. Here, people spend hours on the dance floor, moving to the sound of live music with pure joy. From amateurs to true pros with impressive moves, you’ll find all sorts of couples on the floor. Don’t be surprised if a complete stranger asks you to dance!

In Roma Norte, Mama Rumba is a two-story Cuban bar dedicated to salsa and Caribbean music where a 100 peso ($5 USD) cover will guarantee a night of nonstop dancing. Also in Roma, Club San Luis has been a beloved space for more than eight decades, boasting three live bands per night and an irresistible, old-school feel. Another timeless classic is Salón Los Ángeles, located in Colonia Guerrero. This fun and unpretentious setting has been witness to countless dance contests and parties and has even been used as a filming location in movies and shows. Danzón, mambo, and swing are a few of the genres you can move to when you visit this historic dance hall.

Nightclubs: Party until dawn

Mexico City’s energy continues to thrive well into the night. For an evening of dancing and people-watching, its nightclubs offer a variety of styles, from trendy spaces where you can dance to pop and reggaeton, to dark, sexy spots that host world-class DJs every weekend.

Most clubs usually open around 11:00 PM, and booking a table is a good idea if you plan to go with a larger group to avoid waiting in line at the door. We can help you with that – simply get in touch for the best in Mexico City nightlife! Here are our recommendations:

Dinsmoor, located in Polanco, is a favorite among fans of live DJs. The vibes are always high inside this gorgeous space. Make sure to book a table in advance, as it is small and exclusive, so it gets crowded quickly. Also in Polanco, República welcomes a young, glam crowd to dance to today’s latest hits and toast with classic drinks. Over in Roma, a house that once belonged to the founder of the Mexican Communist party is now the beloved MN Roy, with an impressive rotation of DJs to dance way into the end of the night.

We know you’ll have a great time exploring Mexico City’s bars and nightclubs.
For a fully planned itinerary, we’re here to help you have the best vacation ever.

Medellin Bachelor Pool Party

Medellin Mansion

One of the great things about Medellín is the climate – it’s called the City of Eternal Spring – because the temperatures are mild all year round (72°F – 77°F). So a pool party is a favorite activity for bachelors celebrating their last days of singledom in Medellín and we can help make that happen!

With Two Travel, you can book a house for you and all your friends that’s party friendly. It’s really important to have the permission of the house owner if you want to go all out, and we can do all of that for you. Take a look at just some of the amazing places you could be staying – yes, many have pools, some even have private nightclubs!

All you really have to do for your pool party is get up, get dressed and party. We do the rest!

  • We’ll decorate the pool according to your chosen theme.
  • We’ll make sure all the drinks and food you want are ready when you need them. We can bring in bartenders and chefs. Many of the houses have great BBQ spaces.
  • You might have a great party playlist, but we can make sure the speakers are what you need, and even bring in a DJ.
  • Never a dull moment. We’ll have beer pong, pool volleyball, dance activities and a special bachelor show, so your pool party is unforgettable!

We can also organize security, spa treatments and massages, among other things. Just get in touch and let us do the hard work for you.

Let our team do the Medellín bachelor party planning for you. You won’t regret it. Tell us when, for how many people and your budget and we will do the rest, so you can party like a pro!

Medellin Bachelor Party Special

Medellin Bachelor Party clubbing

Medellin is fast becoming a favorite for bachelor parties and we totally understand why.  So if you’re planning a bachelor party and wondering how to do it, read on. We are experts in party planning and this Medellín Bachelor Party Special is one to book!

Why celebrate your Bachelor Party in Medellín?

  1. The Nightlife: Medellin is known for its vibrant nightlife. The city is home to some of the best clubs in South America, and many of them stay open until the early hours of the morning.
  2. Beautiful women: Medellin is also known for its beautiful women, who are friendly, approachable, and open to meeting new people. This can make it an attractive destination for groups of single men looking to have a good time.
  3. Affordable prices: Compared to other popular bachelor party destinations like Las Vegas or Miami, Medellin is relatively affordable. Accommodation, food, and entertainment are all reasonably priced, which can make it an attractive option for groups on a budget.
  4. Adventure activities: Medellin is surrounded by stunning natural scenery, including mountains, waterfalls, and forests. There are plenty of adventure activities to enjoy, such as hiking, paragliding, and rafting, which can add an extra element of excitement to a bachelor party.

We can organize a full weekend (or longer) for you and your group.  And we love hosting our Bachelor Party Night Special – truly a night to remember. And of course, what happens in Medellin stays in Medellin 😉 

You want a night to remember? Book this Medellín Bachelor Party Special for at least one of the evenings that you’re in town.  We will take care of everything

Here’s what your evening could look like:

  • Warm up at the house : We make sure your chosen drinks are delivered in time for your pre-game, or if you want to go all out, we’ll lay on a bartender and chef to start off your evening with style.
  • Transport and security : No need to worry with directions in a second language, nor being at risk of light fingers (or worse!). Our local team is discreet but on hand, so you can party the night away without concern, wherever you choose for your special night.
  • Bar Hopping in Provenza : We know where to go for the best cocktails, best crowd and best views.  Hopping to a few bars before you go clubbing is a great way to get into Medellín’s party scene, and we can make sure there’s some brilliant bar food available at the best table in the house. Find out more 
  • VIP Club Night : As evening turns into night, when you’re ready, we’ll take you to your chosen club. We have relationships with all the best places, so you get the best tables, the best hosts, amazing cocktails and a front row experience not to be missed! Find out more
  • Back at the house : We’ll make sure you (and your guests) get back to the house safe, and that your fridge is stocked should you want to continue the party into the early hours. 
  • Next day rejuvenation treatments : Be it brunch, IV treatments, massages, or rejuvenating cocktails, count on us for all your next day needs. We’ll have you feeling tip top before your next activity, whatever it may be!

Let our team do the Medellín bachelor party planning for you. You won’t regret it. Just let us know when, for how many people and your budget and we will do the rest, so you can party like a pro!

VIP Club Night in Medellin

Medellín nightclub La Chula

If you’re in Medellin with a group of friends, you’re probably here to enjoy the nightlife. After a day exploring the city, what better way to party than dancing the night away in one of the best clubs in Medellin. We work with groups of 6 or more people, specializing in evenings for bachelor parties. Get ready for a VIP Club Night in Medellín to remember!

Our VIP Club night package is perfect for groups. No need to worry about which club to go to (we know all the best places!), how to get there, get in and get home – we’ve got this! We sort out transport, we get you to the front of the line fast and for groups, we can make sure you get one of the best tables with cold drinks on tap, so you can spend your time meeting the locals.

We highly recommend combining your VIP Club night with our Bar Hopping in Provenza evening. We can do a special package for you. Just get in touch!

If you’re leading a group, you cannot go wrong with these nightclubs. But this is not the limit to our VIP Club night. Just tell us what your group likes, and what occasion you’re celebrating. We’ll take you to the best clubs – VIP style!

VIP Club Night in Medellín recommendations:

Las Palmas

Las Palmas is a well-known upscale area located near to El Poblado. La Chula is the perfect place if you’re looking to dance the night away Mexico style! This is the place for tequila and mariachi bands and right next door is La Chula Urbana if you’re looking for a reggaeton night. With us, you can jump from one to the other! Or we can take you to Bora Bora – perfect for urban music with a touch of Mexico.

Vintrash

Vintrash, located in the heart of the trendy Parque Lleras area, is a vibrant and energetic club that is sure to please any bachelor party. With its colorful decor and eclectic mix of music, Vintrash is known for its lively atmosphere and fun-loving crowd. Whether you’re looking to hit the dance floor or relax in one of the club’s lounge areas, Vintrash is a great spot to celebrate your bachelor party.

Gusto

Gusto, located in the heart of Medellin’s bustling Laureles neighborhood, is a firm favorite for bachelors. With VIP areas, a beautiful local crowd and urban/crossover vibes, you cannot go wrong with a night at Gusto. We can organize a range of bottle service options and VIP packages.

Other clubs we recommend

We have great relationships with the best nightclubs in Medellín. Let us know what kind of a night you want and we’ll do the rest. Try La Molienda, for a truly Paisa start to your evening with horses! For those looking for techno and a more European crowd, try Salon Amador or Sonorama. For those in the know, Dubai is a great place to meet locals and very popular right now. And if you’re looking for reggaeton, Perro Negro is your place.

Get in touch to book your VIP Club Night in Medellín or check out our Bachelor Party Special. Here’s our Medellin nightlife guide for more recommendations.

Bar Hopping in Provenza

Teatro Victoria bar in Medellin

Looking for the ultimate bar hopping experience in Medellin? Look no further! Our team are locals and they know all the best places to party (especially for bachelors) and will make sure your night is one to remember. Bar hopping in Medellín´s Provenza district is the perfect warm up before you head to a club in Medellín. From trendy rooftop bars to hidden speakeasies, we´ll take you to all the best places to party like a local in Medellin.

If you’ve booked a concierge service with us, we won’t simply recommend the bars to go to, we’ll sort out pre-game snacks and shots before you leave your accommodation, sort out transport to Provenza, and get you to the best tables in every place.

Get in touch to book and we will do the rest. Don’t miss out on the best nightlife Medellín has to offer!

Here are some of the top bars in this bar hopping experience:

  • La Octava: This bar has a great selection of beer and cocktails and a fun, laid-back atmosphere. It’s a great spot to kick off a night out in Provenza.
  • El Social: Known for its lively atmosphere, this classic bar offers a great mix of music and cocktails. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
  • Envy Rooftop: Another rooftop bar with a great view, Envy is a popular spot for partygoers. The bar has a lively atmosphere, and the cocktails are fantastic.
  • Mosquito: This rooftop is one of our favorites, bringing in a trendy and beautiful crowd every day of the week to warm up with DJs, cocktails and gorgeous company with a view!
  • Teatro Victoria: A magical place – this is another favorite of ours. You’ll find urban and crossover music, a beautiful fun crowd and a rooftop all in one amazing bar. We recommend this as your last stop for good reason. You won’t want to leave!

Whatever your group, get in touch and we’ll get you into the best places for the vibe you’re looking for. And don’t stop at bar hopping – if you want to stay out late, we recommend our VIP Club Night, and for Bachelors – a Special Party – we’ll pull out all the stops so you have an unforgettable night and even deliver brunch (and more) if you’ve booked a house with us!

Things to do (for everyone) in Mexico City

Angel de la Independencia - Independence angel

You finally did it: you booked your trip to Mexico City. Now it’s time to plan your days there. You know you want to absorb the local culture, do some shopping and, of course, eat and drink as much as possible. But where to start? And how to keep everyone happy during the trip? This guide to just some of the Things to Do in Mexico City aims to help you plan your trip.

In a city as big as Mexico City, your best bet is to plan your schedule by neighborhood and prioritize those that fit your vibe. For example, spend an entire day shopping, dining, and museum-hopping in Polanco, or split your day between trendy, neighboring areas like Roma and Juárez. This way, you’ll save valuable time instead of sitting in traffic. You’ll also get a great sense of what makes each neighborhood in CDMX so unique.

Walk in the City’s Neighborhoods

Young Caucasian woman walking in Mexico City

Walking around Mexico City’s neighborhoods is an incomparable way to soak up the city’s diversity and color. Find charming cafés and restaurants in the leafy streets of Condesa, especially along its main avenue, Amsterdam, or the beautiful Parque España. Nearby, Roma is lined with trendy restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Many of them are housed in gorgeous restored houses from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The dining scene is also strong in Polanco, particularly in the area that surrounds Parque Lincoln. This lovely park is usually populated with local families enjoying a day out. This neighborhood is also your best bet for high-end shopping. Its main avenue, Presidente Masaryk, is home to a fabulous selection of designer boutiques.

Should you want a glimpse of the city’s more whimsical neighborhoods, head to Coyoacán and San Ángel, both in the southern part of town. San Ángel boasts gorgeous cobblestone streets lined with colonial-style houses and bougainvillea. It’s a particularly excellent destination on Saturdays when local designers and crafts makers gather at Bazaar del Sábado to showcase their creations. In Coyoacán, you’ll find a lovely square called Jardín Centenario, lined with restaurants and coffee shops, as well as the aforementioned market and, of course, the Frida Kahlo Museum.

Find out more about Mexico City’s Neighbourhoods in our Where to Stay Guide.

Mexico City’s Bars and Nightlife

When the sun goes down, Mexico City is still buzzing with life. Cocktail aficionados will appreciate the city’s booming mixology scene, present in bars like Brujas, in Colonia Roma. It’s a female-run spot that serves intriguing concoctions with mystical names. While in Roma, plan a visit to Licorería Limantour, a pioneer in the city’s cocktail renaissance. Over in nearby Juárez, the team at Handshake Bar serves creative and exquisitely presented drinks in an elegant speakeasy setting.

Those who want to explore the mystical world of mezcal should head to La Botica, with spots in Centro Histórico and Roma, or visit La Clandestina, in Condesa. With laid-back atmospheres and knowledgeable staff, these bars are ideal for sipping on this agave spirit.

If you feel like dancing, make sure to check out Salón San Luis, in Colonia Roma. The old-school vibe –waiters in white blazers, a live band onstage– sets the mood for a night of cumbia and salsa dancing til your feet hurt.

Two Travel can help your build your journey – from accommodation to day trips to restaurant reservations. Fill in this form and we’ll be your local Mexico City guide from the moment you start planning.

Mexico City for Art and Culture Lovers

With more than 150 museums, it’s safe to say that the Mexico City museum scene covers whatever interest and passion you and your group may have. History buffs will be in awe of Museo Nacional de Antropología, in Chapultepec. It’s a stunning space with 22 halls dedicated to archaeology and ethnography, granting an incomparable glimpse into Mexican culture. Those who love classic art cannot miss MUNAL (Museo Nacional de Arte), in Centro Histórico. The building itself is an early 20th-century masterpiece. Discover Mexican art produced between the 16th and 20th centuries, including masterpieces by Raúl Anguiano and Saturnino Herrán.

If modern and contemporary art is your thing, head to Museo de Arte Moderno and Museo Tamayo, both located in the Chapultepec area, or visit Museo Jumex, in nearby Polanco. These spaces offer fascinating permanent collections and temporary exhibitions featuring some of the most prominent names in art. Mexico City is also home to unique and quirky museums, such as MODO, Museo del Objeto del Objeto. This design-oriented museum in Colonia Roma exhibits ordinary objects that tell extraordinary stories.

Explore Mexico City’s Markets

Exploring Mexican markets is a true feast for the senses. A colorful, loud, and sometimes overwhelming but always exhilarating ride. Although you’ll find markets of all sizes scattered across the city, here are a few of the most iconic ones. Our Cooking Class and Market Tour is a perfect introduction.

Mercado Coyoacán boasts countless rows of traditional market fare – fruits and vegetables, meat, spices and more. It’s also home to quite a few esoteric stalls, selling candles, crystals, and potions. No visit to this market is complete without a stop at its tostada restaurant. Treat yourself to tostadas topped with everything from chicken to shrimp cocktails.

Mercado San Juan, in the city’s downtown area, is a true paradise for those whose travel is led by food. Fresh fish and seafood, an impressive variety of meats (including exotic meats like iguana and boar), and edible insects coexist in the same space as colorful fruits and vegetables, Asian specialty foods, and European cold cuts and cheeses. 

Over at La Ciudadela, a dazzling selection of Mexican crafts awaits. La Ciudadela holds creations from around 350 vendors from all around the country. It’s perfect for authentic souvenirs, offering authentic textiles, silver, pottery, wooden alebrijes, and sculptures.

And for another colorful experience, make a trip to Mercado Jamaica, which specializes in plants and flowers. Although you may not be able to bring your purchases home with you, it is a true spectacle to see the variety of species sold here, as well as some of the creative flower arrangements offered for celebrations such as weddings and quinceañera parties. 

For more ideas on what to do in Mexico City, take a look at our Mexico City Experiences or give us a call to help Build Your Journey.

Traveling to Latin America: 15 Things You Need To Know

Cayo Cangrejo, Providencia

If you’re considering a trip to Latin America in 2023, but struggling to plan your vacation, we understand. This guide will help you decide where to go in Latin America, how to plan your vacation and what to bring and do once you’re here. Read on for our Guide to an Unforgettable Latin America vacation!

Latin America is high on many people’s travel wishlists, and for good reason. The region is popular for its stunning mountain ranges, exotic rainforests, sun-soaked beaches, biodiversity and cultural diversity. It’s also very affordable, whether you’re looking for luxury or a more rustic vacation.

Deciding where to go on vacation in Latin America

Latin America is huge with nearly 20 countries to choose from! We may be biased, but the numbers don’t lie – in the last year, both Mexico and Colombia were two of the most popular countries to visit in Latin America. No matter where you go in Mexico and Colombia, you’ll find a fascinating mix of modern and traditional cultures, awe-inspiring nature and biodiversity, bustling nightlife, world-class cuisine, and the ruins of ancient civilizations.

Planning a trip to Colombia or Mexico

Both Colombia and Mexico are easily accessible by plane from both the US and Europe. You’ll often find good deals if you’re flying from Miami, New York, Milan or Amsterdam. Given their location within the tropics, you’ll find the weather is affected more by the altitude of your chosen destination than the time of year you decide to visit. But be aware that hurricane season hits Mexico in October, so it’s best to avoid that month for your vacation.

Preparing for your Latin America vacation

Barranquilla, Colombia

Colombia and Mexico are both exciting, seductive countries, but some first-time visitors might feel overwhelmed by the demands of the culture and climate. It’s quite different to the USA or Europe. Whether you decide to head to Colombia, Mexico, or another Latin American country, here are a few tips to make the most of your trip to this enchanting region. Follow this guide to learn about the do’s and don’ts of planning, packing, and traveling in Latin America!

Planning

1. Be Informed

Before planning your vacation in Latin America, it’s a good idea to research not only where to visit, but what to expect in each place. Videos, blogs and social media cover a lot of ground, so you know what to pack, what to leave at home, and what risks you might find in each place.

Learn about the safety of the places you’d like to visit. Mexico and Colombia have areas frequently travelled by tourists and areas best avoided. Take a little time to understand which areas (especially of cities) are safe to be in day by night. Understanding the risk of petty theft, food poisoning, or mosquito-borne illnesses will help you make informed decisions throughout your travels.

2. Don’t Over-Travel

Every country in Latin America is unique. From Mexico to Argentina, you’ll find vast differences in culture, art, cuisine, climate, and nature. While it can be tempting to visit as many countries as you can, you may find that you’ll enjoy your adventure more if you cover a little less distance.

Travelling slowly through one country or visiting 2 or 3 regions for a few days each will help you adapt to a different pace of life and more deeply experience what a country has to offer. If you only have a long weekend or a week for a vacation, slim it down to just the highlights or maybe just one city or region. If you love it, you can always come back!

3. Get Vaccinated

Well before your visit, check in with your doctor to make sure your vaccinations line up with current travel health requirements. Also check what proof you might need in order to reduce problems arriving in your chosen destination.

4. Learn Some Spanish or Portuguese

While many people in Latin America speak some English, it can be helpful to know some common Spanish or Portuguese phrases, especially if you will be traveling through smaller villages. Even knowing a few key phrases such as “thank you” or “please” can help your journey go a little more smoothly!

If you don’t have time or need some extra help, hire a concierge service like Two Travel (our whole team is bilingual!) or invest in a translator or bilingual driver who’s a local. They’ll open up your eyes to a more enjoyable experience and reduce the hassle you may experience in some areas.

5. Understand the Local Currency

Almost every independent country has its own currency, which all have different exchange rates. It’s a good idea to be familiar with the currencies and rates before you travel. Even more useful is knowing the going rates for taxis, drinks, meals etc. Knowing what locals and expats typically pay means you’ll be less likely to get caught out with “a gringo price”.

Know what payment methods are accepted wherever you’re going. In both Mexico and Colombia, you’ll find ATMs in towns and cities, and cards are accepted in bars, restaurants and supermarkets. Always choose to pay by card in local currency (your bank will work out the conversion fee and 99 times out of 100, your bank will give you the best rate).

Don’t forget to bring some cash though. Always take money out in the daytime from a secure ATM location – supermarkets are some of the best places to do this. There are plenty of places where it’s advantageous to pay in cash, and if you’re walking on the street, always have a few small notes within easy reach, just in case.

6. Be Mindful of the Weather

If you’re travelling anywhere between the tropics, know that it’s hot whenever you’re close to sea level. It’s the altitude that makes the difference to temperature in this area, and the seasons are more simply “dry” or “rainy”. Avoid Mexico in October as it’s hurricane season. In Colombia, there are no hurricanes, but the rainy season can sometimes disrupt plans, especially if travelling by road.

If you’re travelling to the far south of Latin America for your vacation from anywhere in the northern hemisphere, be prepared for a climate shift! The seasons are opposite to those in the north with peak temperatures in December and January and colder weather in July and August.

Always check what to expect before you pack.

Packing

7. What to Wear

Between exploring the beautiful adventure sport destinations, enjoying sunny beaches, and sampling tantalizing South American cuisine, you may quickly find your suitcase overflowing with outfits! Think about where you’re going and what type of vacation you’re taking.

If you’re heading for a city break and booking Michelin star restaurants, bring your cab shoes and dress up (just check the weather first!). If you’re searching out the road less travelled, the more casual, practical and low key the better. You don’t want to look like a rich fish out of water. If it’s hot, make sure to pack natural fibres – Colombia, Mexico and anywhere in the tropics can be quite humid. If you’re heading up to altitude, make sure to have a hat and shades – the sun can be brutal closer to the Equator.

And if you forget anything, don’t worry. If you’re on the tourist trail, there will be a shop selling you what you need. And if you’re in a big city, some of the boutiques are incredible – keep a little space in your suitcase and make sure to have a day for some shopping.

7. Leave Valuables Behind

Many regions of Latin America are very safe and the majority of Latin Americans are warm and will welcome you to their town or city. However, inflation and the pandemic have hit some people hard. Keep in mind that a minimum wage in many places is just $250-300 USD a month, and although prices are lower than the US, it’s not easy to survive on the minimum.

For this reason, some destinations may have a higher risk of theft, and your iPhone can feed a family for months. It’s a good idea to understand where you’ll be each day or night, and dress appropriately – not just for the weather, but so you’re not a target for petty theft. Only carry the cash and card you need, consider a cross-the-body bag if you’re out in the streets, leave expensive jewelry behind, and don’t go waving that iPhone around in areas where it’s not safe to do so.

While on your Vacation in Latin America

8. Whether or Not to Drink the Water

Let’s be honest, no one wants to be sick on vacation, so we recommend you play it safe with water. Many locals will tell you that the tap water is just fine, and for them it may be. But you never know how you might react to a change in water, and if you have a sensitive stomach, take the safe route and use a water filter or buy your water from a supermarket. When it comes to juices and ice, in hotels and restaurants, you should be fine. Be aware of how you feel the first few days, and take it from there.

9. Taxis and Transport

Taxi scams are fairly common in South America, so take precautions to avoid them. Only take licensed cabs, download the local taxi app, or book transportation with your hotel or concierge. Be aware that in some cities, Uber is a grey area, so it may not be as convenient an app as you’re used to. It can also be a good idea to ask the hotel or concierge for a sense of travel time and cost, which will help you gauge whether or not your taxi driver is being honest with you. Outside of the main cities, make sure to connect with a trusted driver, preferably who speaks English, so you can learn more about where you’re travelling.

10. Staying Connected

Many South American countries and communities don’t have reliable infrastructure. Power cuts can be commonplace, especially during bad weather. Most restaurants, bars, villas and hotels will have wifi, but it’s worthwhile getting a local SIM card if you want to be constantly connected. Short-term data plans are very cheap. If you’ve chosen a concierge, local driver or local guide, make sure to download WhatsApp. It’s the most common communications app across Latin America. On the flipside, if you’re heading out on a retreat or wellness vacation, make sure to turn off your phone and enjoy being disconnected for a few days!

11. To Tip or Not To Tip

More likely than not, you’ll receive help from travel guides, translators, boat captains and drivers during your travels. Tipping is a customary part of South American culture and many of the locals support themselves this way. Be sure to offer something to your guides as a thank-you for their help.

In bars, it’s not customary to tip – it’s at your discretion. In hotels and restaurants, the tip will often be included in the bill. 10% is normal and it will almost always go to the waiters, or be divided equally among staff.

12. Getting the Best Photo

There are countless Instagram opportunities while on vacation in Latin America. Like anywhere, going out early will give you the best light and quieter streets or tourist locations. Don’t put yourselves at risk in getting that perfect shot – no climbing to the edges of waterfalls and cliffs, nor filming in risky neighbourhoods. Take advice from locals and you’ll have amazing photos.

13. Street Shopping

Bartering on purchase prices is an expected part of South American culture. Don’t be afraid to give it a try! But always be respectful as you negotiate a price – remember that the salesman will be much more affected by a reduced amount than you will be.

14. Try Local Cuisine

South America offers a wide array of delicious cuisine. Don’t be afraid to try out the street food, where you can experience authentic local favorites. Follow the crowd, and your nose, to find the best places. Food poisoning is common in parts of South America, so be alert to make sure all your dishes look and smell right before enjoying.

15. Tours and Trips

You’ll find plenty of tours and trips to book on Google, as well as walking the streets in any tourist town. Always compare prices if you can, or talk to a local or your concierge, who will be happy to find you the experience that you’re looking for.

If you’re planning a trip to Colombia or Mexico, our Concierge team can help you get the best from your trip, arranging accommodation, tours, reservations and unique experiences. Our local teams know all the hottest spots – whatever kind of Latin America vacation you’re looking for.

Get in touch and we look forward to seeing you on your next vacation!

Blue Apple Beach Day

Blue Apple Beach Club, Cartagena

Welcome to Blue Apple – one of the best beach clubs in Cartagena!

In their own words, “Blue Apple is an independently owned boutique hotel and beach restaurant with a strong focus on fun and also on sustainable tourism.”

Here, you can relax during the week and party and dance on the weekend. Blue Apple always has live music and DJs from Friday to Sunday, whereas the weekdays are more relaxed if you’re looking for a quieter time, maybe a horse ride or simply a delicious organic lunch and some cocktails by the pool.

Included in your day pass:

  • Round trip transfers in shared boat (departure from Cartagena 10am or 12pm, return from Blue Apple Beach 4pm or 5:30pm) – Make sure to choose the right schedule for you!
  • Sun longer, towel and use of club facilities
  • Mid-morning snack
  • 2 course lunch (menu restrictions aply)
  • Alcoholic cocktail
  • 15 minutes massage
  • Unlimited drinking water

2024 Guide to the Best Bars in Cartagena

El Baron, Cartagena
El Barón, Cartagena

Cartagena is a party city. Tourists and locals love the Cartagena nightlife, but with so much choice, it’s easy to miss the best cocktails. Read on for our 2024 Guide to the Best Bars in Cartagena. From the ever popular Townhouse brunch to Alquimico and El Barón, these are the Cartagena party places not to miss.

The buzzing, vibrant city of Cartagena comes alive at night. When the heat of the day cools down, a new city emerges. And part of what makes Cartagena’s nightlife so unforgettable is its many bars. Most of the best bars are located within the picturesque walled city in Cartagena. From Instagram-worthy rooftops lined with palm trees to three-storey mansions serving uniquely crafted cocktails, Cartagena’s bars are built to impress – and they don’t disappoint. If you’re wondering where to find the best bars in Cartagena, look no further. It’s been our pleasure to try out every one of the following bars to give you the best recommendations.

Alquimico for craft cocktails

The award-winning Alquimico is a must for any trip to Cartagena. The mixologists are true artists making craft cocktails in minutes. The menu is a treat for the senses and we love how they use local flavors and ingredients, grown on their organic farm in the Colombian countryside. They frequently change their menu, always keeping it fresh!

Alquimico, Cartagena

We guarantee you’ll never have another cocktail like this one. Colombian rum infused with borojó (a locally-grown fruit also known as an aphrodisiac), anyone? If you’re into dancing, there are two ambiences to choose from. The DJ on the first and second floors plays popular Colombian tunes and throwback classics. Meanwhile, up on the rooftop, you’ll be treated to more tropical vibes. No matter what day of the week it is, Alquimico is bound to be buzzing. Get there early to avoid the inevitable queues!

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for Alquimico’s party here.

Townhouse for Brunch

Townhouse rooftop bar, Cartagena

If day drinking is more your vibe, we couldn’t recommend more highly the Boozy Brunch at Townhouse.

On Saturdays and Sundays, for $30 USD per person, you can have bottomless food and drink from 11am until 3pm. Yes, you heard us right. Unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, beers and juices, accompanied by delicious bite-sized brunch plates to help absorb the booze. Sounds like the perfect hangover cure to us!

It also helps that the Townhouse rooftop is a super cool place to hang out, with a birds-eye view over the walled city, a cute plunge pool to cool down in, and Instagram-worthy neon signs to pose next to once the fourth mimosa has kicked in.

And if the brunch is so good it turns into sunset drinks, Townhouse also offers an evening menu. The music is always spot on. It’s the perfect place to chill with friends or pre-game at the start of your night.

Cafe Del Mar, Cartagena
Cafe del Mar, Cartagena

Café del Mar Cartagena for sunset by the sea

A trip to Cartagena wouldn’t be complete without visiting the renowned Café del Mar. Perched on top of the historic city wall and boasting some of the best sunset views, Café del Mar is a great option for groups and couples alike. This Ibiza-style upscale lounge has frequent DJ live sessions playing ambient house and Balearic beats with incredible views over the walled city. We recommend getting there early, around 5pm, to grab a good seat for the sunset, which will usually be at around 6pm. Or you can hire our concierge services, and we will make a reservation for you. Alongside delicious cocktails, liquors and local & imported beers, you can enjoy fresh seafood snacks as you watch the sun sink into the Caribbean Sea.

El Barón for artisan cocktails

El Barón, once a tiny hole-in-the-wall, has recently expanded due to its popularity amongst locals and tourists alike. This award-winning Cartagena bar boasts some of the best artisan cocktails in town. It wins the prize for some of the most visually pleasing food and drinks. Enjoy people-watching from one of its outdoor tables in San Pedro Square with a Gin Basil Smash in hand. Or head indoors after dark to peruse their extensive wine menu. We absolutely love the intimacy of this bar, which seems to have it all: great coffee and food for the daytime, and unique, avant-garde cocktails at night. They even have a Cuban cigar menu, where you can match your puro to your rum, Scotch, or Cognac, and enjoy Cartagena to its fullest.

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for El Barón’s party here.

Mirador Gastro Bar for dancing with the locals

If you’re looking for somewhere to get your boogie on, look no further than El Mirador. It’s a trendy rooftop bar with privileged views overlooking the famous Clock Tower and towards bohemian Getsemani. This bar has a great mix of Colombian locals and foreigners, which means one thing: dancing is inevitable. El Mirador is an awesome place to visit on a Saturday night and share a bottle of whiskey or rum with a group of friends. Its central location means that it is easily reachable on foot from your villa in the walled city, so you and your group can walk home without needing to split a taxi.

Don’t have your villa booked yet? Contact us, and we can hook you up with the best and most exclusive properties in town.

Movich Hotel Rooftop for the best rooftop view

The Movich Hotel has made a name for itself as another one of the best sunset spots in Cartagena. The bar of this swanky hotel is located on the rooftop. It’s open to the public as well as hotel guests. Get there early for the best table and enjoy the view over the picturesque rooftops of the walled city. This bar creates a perfect chill ambience with its soft house playlists. Kick back on the comfy lounge furniture and enjoy the soft breeze bouncing off the terracotta tiles of Cartagena. If your sunset drinks leave you feeling peckish, you can enjoy Caribbean-style bites. The menu is paired perfectly with their exquisite cocktail menu.

La Movida for the best party in Cartagena

La Movida Club and Bar is where the beautiful and elite of Cartagena hang out. Often dubbed as the “best party in town”, La Movida is a fusion of old-school American Speakeasy and Latino lounge. Make sure you come dressed to impress, as the bouncers on the door may turn you away if you rock up in flip-flops and shorts. Open Wednesday to Sunday until 3am, La Movida really starts kicking off after midnight. Don’t forget to ask your Two Travel concierge to book you a VIP table, as this small joint really fills up on the weekends. La Movida Cartagena is a unique experience, so grab a Gin & Tonic, and come and party with us in its colorful courtyard.

La Jugada Club House for the cool crowd

La Jugada is one of the tallest clubs in Cartagena’s old town, with four floors in total; three inside, and a beautiful tropical rooftop terrace. If you’re seeing a trend here, you’re not wrong in thinking that rooftop bars are big in Cartagena. There’s never a dull moment in La Jugada Club House, as they like to occasionally set off fountain fireworks from the Pink Flamingo bar on the roof. Why? Because it’s Saturday night in Cartagena, what better reason do you need? Its 1920-style art deco decoration is enchanting, and the interior filled with mirrors and wrought iron is a nod to the decadence of past decades. If you were planning a night in La Movida, you should know that they are also the same owners of La Jugada. Their impeccable taste and penchant for attracting the young and beautiful crowds will soon become clear.

If you’re in Cartagena for NYE, get tickets for La Jugada’s party here.

51 Sky Bar for those that like heights!

The only contender from our list outside the walled city, 51 Sky Bar is a must-see on your trip to Cartagena. This bar is on the 51st floor of the Hotel Estelar Cartagena de Indias in the modern and exclusive neighborhood of Bocagrande, Cartagena’s own answer to Miami. It boasts 360° views over the modern skyscrapers, which light up impressively at night, and further on, towards the seemingly endless Caribbean Sea. Enjoy live music and light bites such as sushi and Peruvian ceviche, but stay for the cocktails, which are perfectly crafted and well-balanced. We love to get things spicy with their tequila-based cocktail, Atrevido, shaken with jalapeños and black pepper.

51 Sky Bar operates with a strict reservations policy, so make sure you book before you go. Or let our concierge do it for you, and don’t show up late to your reservation! This super modern bar will give you a new perspective on Cartagena, and is sure to take you up to dizzying heights.

Casa Cruxada, Cartagena

Casa Cruxada for any time of day or night!

If you need to escape from the salsa music and reggaeton that you will inevitably hear in the Colombian coast, head down to Casa Cruxada. Here, you can hear live DJs play minimal techno beats and deep house. This club / bar / restaurant is in an enormous, crumbling Colonial building that feels like it is coming apart at the seams, in the best way possible. Its dark ambience and far-from-flawless decor only accentuate the perfection of its menu and playlists. But Casa Cruxada in the daytime is also a sight to behold. The light illuminates what in the nighttime becomes dark nooks and crannies, revealing the stunning architecture. The Spanish owners have crafted an incredible menu that is a gastronomical treat from breakfast to dinner. This multi-faceted bar is the perfect place for dinner and drinks, and after-midnight cocktail schmoozing, and everything in between.

Find out more about the beautiful city of Cartagena, choose a villa in centro, or contact us craft a special itinerary for you and your group. We promise you’ll get the best out of the city.

How to Buy Property in Colombia

Villa Arzobezpalda

More and more foreign investors are looking to buy property in Colombia. Tourism in major cities like Cartagena and Medellín is driving up demand (and prices) for vacation rental properties. So buying property in Colombia is now considered an increasingly lucrative passive investment opportunity.

But how do you buy a property in Colombia? Two Travel are not just on hand for your vacation. We also offer property purchase and management services for foreigners who want to buy a property (turnkey, remodel, plot), gain a passive income and have a place to stay in their favorite Colombian city.

Our concierge team works hand in hand with lawyers, notaries, tax and visa experts, and have partnered with property concierges, Double Double to expand our real estate offering and expertise.

Here’s our Guide on How to Buy Property in Colombia.

Which Colombian cities represent the best property investment opportunity?

Colombia is becoming a more and more popular tourist destination, with direct flights from the US and Europe meaning over 4.5 million people visited Colombia just before the pandemic, and as the pandemic eases, we’re seeing those tourist numbers bounce back up again.

Most tourists spend time using Cartagena and Medellín as a base to explore the Caribbean coast and the famous coffee zone. We recommend both of these cities to people looking to buy a property as a vacation rental in Colombia. And it’s easy to offer that property at a good price for rent through platforms like AirBnB.

Is the cost of property rising in Colombia?

Yes, property values in both Cartagena and Medellin are consistently on the rise. Both Cartagena and Medellin present vibrant economies and real estate continues to show strong and consistent growth, with prices rising in both cities as they become increasingly popular tourist destinations.

Expect to pay at least $600 million pesos ($160,000 USD) for properties in the tourist zones of Bocagrande in Cartagena or El Poblado in Medellín. However, the demand for vacation rentals is high, especially during the high seasons, where you can expect to charge higher rates for accommodation in sought after locations like these. You can expect upwards of 10% return on investment if you manage and market your property well.

How do I find a property to buy in Colombia?

If you’ve visited Colombia, you no doubt fell in love with the warmth of the people and the weather. Many investors buy property having visited as tourists initially. We recommend that you visit the areas you’re interested in, and then talk to a property concierge like us to help you find a property that meets your needs.

Online property listings sites are not great in Colombia, and you’ll often find out-of-date information on these websites. Partnering with a property concierge is highly recommended, so you find properties as they come onto the market, especially in competitive locations like Cartagena and Medellín.

Once we’ve helped you find the investment property of your dreams, we can guide you through the process and be on hand to negotiate the best deal for you, even if you’re not physically in Colombia at the time of the sale.

Do I need to speak Spanish to buy property in Colombia?

Speaking Spanish is very advantageous when doing business in Colombia, but we always recommend working with a bilingual guide and lawyer when buying property. Contracts and legal processes can be difficult to understand if you’re not fluent and a specialist in Colombian property law. The lawyers that we work with are trusted experts when it comes to foreign investment in property.

Do I need a visa to buy property in Colombia?

No, you do not. But you may be eligible for a Colombian investment visa through the purchase of a property.

What else do I need to know to buy property in Colombia?

The purchase process often moves very quickly. You could find a property and close the sale in as little as one week! Location is extremely important, and you should always ensure the legal checks on the land titles and construction rights are completed correctly. We can also advise you on requirements needed for renovation and remodelling.

The purchasing process in Colombia is completely different from many other countries. There is no title insurance and there is no Escrow. Our attorneys know the real estate laws and will do all the title and background checks to make sure the paperwork is in proper order before any contracts are signed.

You’ll need to pay some taxes and fees when purchasing property in Colombia. The fees usually amount to 1.65% of the property value. We will always inform you of all the fees involved.

There’s more information about our property purchase and property management services here, or contact us for an initial consultation. We’re on hand to help you buy and manage your property in Colombia.