Cartagena's rich tradition of music and dance is interwoven into the fabric of life on Colombia's Caribbean coast. As well as sightseeing in the old city, sampling ceviche and cruising through the Rosario Islands, dancing simply must feature in BIG FAT CAPITALS on your holiday hit list.
Address: Calle de las Carretas, (2nd floor) No. 34-23, Cartagena, Colombia
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You can't see it from the sidelines in a chair. You have to sweat it, pump it and shake it with a dance class—and one of the best ways to move and groove is with Crazy Salsa Dance School.
Guided by swivel-hipped instructors who ooze sensuality and sabor, you're invited to trade those two left feet for a light-footed latino-style swing,whilst gaining an appreciation for the region's history that you can't learn in books or get on a tour.
Crazy Salsa Dance School offers lessons in a comprehensive range of local dance styles including Salsa in all its forms, pachanga, charanga and boogaloo, Merengue, Bachata, Vallenato and the Afro-Caribbean styles of Champeta, Cumbia and Mapale.
The variety of class options are every bit as flexible as your lithe-limbed dance-teacher with open classes, intensive workshops and private classes available.
Bowled over by the options? Then we suggest mashing the whole together a truly loco two-hour 'Crazy Rumba' Saturday sesh that will send your adrenalin levels into overdrive.
Thanks to a recent design upheaval in 2016, Crazy Salsa has truly transformed into a Casa de Música complete with a dance floor, concert space and bar as well as the traditional dance class rooms. So you really get the chance to lock those dance lesson steps into the recesses of your muscle memory.
Nights are pumping—and not just for salsa fans either. Every Thursday night their Crazy Jam jazz sessions with the fabulous Zarabanda orchestra, and the venue hosts a healthy turnover of themed nights, from reggae to rock and jazz. Check their Facebook page for an up-to-date event line up.
Still haven't got the strength to battle Shakira after a somewhat shaky dance class? Fast-track to professional level and order a Crazy Salsa cocktail, a fruity melody of rum, triple-sec, uchuvas, lemon and basil, and you'll have the confidence to cut the rug like a local in no time.
Cartagena's nerve centre serves up breathtaking colonial architecture, the city's top attractions, finest hotels, eateries and drinking dens as well as being the administrative and cultural heart of the city.
Constructed on one of three islands that are now connected to the Colombian mainland, the historic walled city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Ever since UNESCO made the announcement the money has poured into restoring the incredible architecture contained inside its historic walls. Wandering aimlessly through Cartagena's historic center is without question it's one of the highlights of any trip to Colombia.
Centro has lost none of its importance over the last three centuries, thanks to the universal allure of its colonial pomp and the concentration of government buildings, hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants in the area.
While the riches of the region no longer flow through Cartagena on their way from Colombia, Peru and Ecuador to Spain, the city has maintained its position as the colonial gem in Colombia's Caribbean crown.
Cartagena's best hotels and restaurants have taken over the uber-casas built by slave traders and Spanish plunderers in the 17th century.
The richest residents knocked up stunning two and three-storey mansions by the westernmost tip of the walled city, where they bagged the sea breeze, added security, papal pardons and the chance to get an early first whiff of pirates.
While it was home to the slave traders of yesteryear, today not much has changed with only those at the very top of Colombia's rich list able to afford to maintain these opulent houses in their original residential state.
As well as hosting the most opulent churches and principal tourist landmarks, Centro is home to the best bars and restaurants in Cartagena.
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