Colombian Salsa

If there’s one thing that’s likely to define your post-dark time in Colombia it’s salsa.
Salsa in Colombia
The movements and music of salsa are ubiquitous throughout the country
and without embracing it you’re missing out on one of Colombia’s biggest passions and a slice of culture that will bring you much closer to locals.

There are many salsa schools in the country and many foreigners arrive on Colombia’s shores in the hope to learn some of Colombian salsa’s distinctive steps. In Medellín, for beginners, we recommend Dancing con Los Gemelos and if you’re in Cali, learn with the pros at Swing Latino.

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Salsa is a movement of music and dance that has its roots in Cuba. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s musical styles began being developed, influenced by son and rumba. These styles of music began to become very popular in the United States and especially New York. Eventually, as Cuban-styled music in New York became increasingly popular, local musicians from Puerto Rico took influence and developed a style of music now known as salsa. Today salsa is one of the world’s most popular styles of music, particularly among Latin communities.

Colombian salsa has its own unique style, influenced by the mix of African and traditional (such as cumbia) movements inherent in the dance-based culture. The movements are typified by quick, intricate feet and a steady upper-body. This often confused foreigners, who are used to the more body-shifting styles seen elsewhere in Latin America.
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Some of Colombia’s most famous salsa artists include the recently deceased Joe Arroyo, Cristian del Real, Frukos y Sus Tesos, Los Titanes and modern salsa sensations, La 33.

To enjoy the best of Colombia’s salsa culture, we recommend heading to Cali, a city that lives and breathes salsa every day,especially if you can get there in time for the incredible Cali Festival of Salsa every June. At the festival there’s salsa everywhere you look, workshops for you to try and master the dance, and live music acts throughout the city.

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Cali Salsa Festival=> If you’re in Bogotá the best places to shake your hips to salsa are Galeria Cafe Libro in Parque 93 and Quiebra Canto (not on Wednesdays).

=> If you’re in Cali head to Las Brisas (slightly outside the city) and 6th Avenue, where you’ll find all the outdoor salsa bars. More on Cali nightlife.


=> In Medellín don’t miss
El Tibiri (Kr 70 # 44b), a small salsa bar that’s full of sweat and character.

=> More information about Salsa, learn salsa in Medellin or learn salsa in Cali.

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