Top 7 Latin America Party Cities

March 16, 2011 by:
Top 7 Latin America Party Cities

Recently, I’d spent a year traveling south from Guatemala City, Guatemala to the Southern Tip of Argentina and back north again.It was a journey for the ages.During my travels, one of my areas of exploration was the nightlife scene in different metropolitan cities all over Latin America. There was not dance floor in a major population center that did not witness my wicked dance moves!

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Before I get to my list, I must throw out a disclaimer.My rankings are based on the experiences I had.From new

people I met, to new music and dances I was introduced to, this city ranking has been formulated to my own personal experiences rather than some type of objective measuring rubric.Also, no cities in Brazil top my list because I was there during Carnival which is the world’s largest, most hedonistic, week long event, which definitely distorts its rating.

The list of the Top 7 Latin American Party Cities:

#7.Managua, Nicaragua.Let’s just get the wildcard on the table.Managua is widely considered a slumtown that ongoing travelers merely pass through, but I had a ball.There is a surprisingly well-maintained nightlife district that offered all you can drink for $8.Let me repeat.You can drink some of the world finest rum, Flor de Cana, all night for $8 — Done deal.

#6.Mexico City, Mexico.The epicenter for Latin America’s electronic scene, Mexico City would have made it much higher on my list, if I had ever been there.However, the reputation is so stellar that I feel confident adding to the list without ever experiencing it.

#5.Cartagena, Colombia.Quickly emerging as the Caribbean’s top tourist destination, Cartagena has bars and clubs that line the ocean-front boulevard.A generous mix of international travelers and local Colombians frequent the area.However, there is a lack of variety with most of what is available being either salsa bars or high end clubs, so be prepared for a lack of options.

# 4. Buenos Aires, Argentina.Most people would rate Buenos Aires higher on the list, but there is a reason I rated it at the #4 position.Buenos Aires claims to be Latin America’s most sophisticated city.Touted as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires has beautiful and stylish residents, their own style of electronic music called “tango electronic”, and is the birth place of Tango dancing.The city is packed with ridiculously awesome clubs and you feel like you’re in Europe.However, the people from the city of Buenos Aires (Portenos) sometimes believe that they are God’s gift to earth, and being a foreigner, even a European, makes it hard to mix into the local crowd.Also, it’s the most expensive place on the entire list to party thus making it the #4 best party place.

#3.Medillin, Colombia.Medillin is home to some of the most beautiful women in the world, and has a large concentration of major universities.This makes the probability of having a great time every night as likely as falling out of a boat and hitting the water—it’s impossible not to.It is cheap, has great music, perfect climate, and just plain fun.The only downer would be that the nightlife is not as centralized as other cities, which makes the joy of bar-hopping a bit more challenging.

#2. Cordoba, Argentina.The sleeper of the list, I had heard very little hype regarding the nightlife scene in Argentina’s second largest city.Flat out…Cordoba was epic.Half the price of its big brother Buenos Aires, Cordoba nightlife doesn’t even get shaking until 2 am and ends at the same time brunch is called.Youngsters pack both bars and clubs alike and unlike the locals in Buenos Aires, Cordoba’s local guys and girls are open to mingling with foreigners.

#1. Panama City, Panama.I’m biased.This article is being posted on a website about Panama and I live in the country.But hear me out first. One of the deciding factors leading to me ultimately settling down here, instead of any of the aforementioned cities, is because of how exciting Panama City’s nightlife is.I know Panama City doesn’t have the sophistication of Buenos Aires, nor is it as cheap as Managua.It is not a grand university center like Medillin or Cordoba, nor does it match the sheer size of Mexico City.

However, the city has a high energy level, a centralized nightlife district, an emerging yuppy-style colonial district, and has great diversity.From Reggaeton to Rock and Salsa to Electronica, the balance of Panama City’s nightlife has something for all different types of party-goers.Most importantly, the Panama City nightlife scene is only growing.New bars are constantly opening up in Casco Viejo, Calle Uruguay, Zona Viva, and the Causeway.In addition, there is a steady increase of people from across the globe calling Panama their new home, which is transforming Panama City into a dynamic cosmopolitan force to be recognized.I love Panama’s nightlife!

Agree or disagree?  Leave a comment, pues.

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Evan Terry Forbes

Evan Forbes 122 post in this blog.

Evan Terry Forbes is an Author, Entrepreneur and Hall of Fame Traveler. He writes entertaining books about how travel has changed his life. In so many beautiful ways. Currently, Evan is traveling with his retired mother for 1 year through Europe and Asia. This book will be called, Travels With My Mother - How Travel Transformed A Mother-Son Relationship. Read his books here.

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7 Comments on "Top 7 Latin America Party Cities"

  1. Ian Wright on Mon, 23rd Mar 2009 5:05 am 

    Some thoughts…

    Caracas, Venezuela is missing from your list- without a doubt, one of the top 3 Latin American party destinations. Panama City has solid nightlife but it’s not in the same league as Caracas. Bogota also has way more options than Panama City (although I acknowledge that Panama City just isn’t large enough to compete).

    Medellin is a fun city only on Friday and Saturday. Sunday through Thursdays are practically DEAD- even more so than other destinations. The Paisas hibernate during the week. Way more options during the week in Cali actually.

  2. THOMAS RITTS on Wed, 24th Feb 2010 12:16 pm 

    I shall say i agreed with you 100 % I relocate from New York City NYC USA and after liven London UK and visit many place around the world it feels good to be in Panama city ..love it

  3. Nick on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 5:45 am 

    Hey man.. i want to go travel south america for a couple of months.. pureley to party and have a great time and meet new people.. could you give me advice on how much spending money i would need? and where to stay? appreciate that heaps..

  4. Bob on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 12:55 pm 

    Two years ago I spent three months playing in Colombia. Medellin, Cali, Bogota, Cartegena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta. I didn’t go real cheap and spent $10,000 over the three months.

  5. Skeet on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 1:47 pm 

    $10k in 3 Colombian months? What in the world were you doing? Who else wants to join me on the Party-With-Bob train?

  6. dafds on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 2:23 pm 

    It really depends of what type of party you like

    here in panama is a lot less than 10,000 bucks for 3 months
    I think you w ill be fine with 150 a week maybe less

  7. Evan Terry Forbes on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 5:04 pm 

    Skeet, I’ll join you on the Party-With-Bob train! I’m imagining Bob tab in Vegas is close to 30K.

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