Stefan Arestis | Aug 29, 2017 | 4
Gay Bogota: our guide to the best bars, clubs and hotels
Ever been to a club with 8,000 other gay boys with 13 rooms spread across 5 floors?
Neither had we, until we went to Theatron club in Colombia’s capital city, Bogota. The gay scene here is all about this infamous mega club, which is the largest in Latin America. It’s like no other place we’ve ever been to and certainly the largest gay club we’ve visited.
There is of course more to the big city than Theatron club, with many different gay places to hang out. We’ve put together our detailed guide to the best gay bars and clubs in Bogota, the best gay friendly places to stay and our favourite sightseeing things to do.
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Gay bars in Bogota
Bogota has a really large gay scene, with many many gay bars. The majority are based around Carrera 9 street between Calles 58 to 60 in the Chapinero neighbourhood. There are far too many to list them all here, so we’ve highlighted the ones we visited and loved:
- El Recreo de Adan: one of the coolest gay bars we’ve been to with a seating area where you can play classic boardgames like Connect Four and Uno with your friends. We love the atmosphere here, made sweeter by the super cute charming waiters. As a bonus, there’s not one, but two El Recreo de Adans, one in Chapinero on Carrera 9A #59-85 (open everyday from 5pm), the other in the Zona Rosa neighbourhood on Carrera 12A #79-45 (open Tues-Sun from 5pm).
- Estacion: this is a more intimate gay bar in Bogota and ideal to come for a few cocktails before heading to the almighty Theatron! Estacion has a cover charge of 6,000 pesos ($2) and is open everyday till 3am, located at Calle 62 #7-13.
- Brokeback Mountain: one of the popular karaoke gay bars of Bogota and a fun place to hang out with friends. Brokeback Mountain is open everyday till late and is located at Calle 60 on the second floor of #9-28.
- Color House Café Bar: we came here with friends and had a ball, sharing a bottle of Colombian rum for less than $20. They also play cheesy pop classics in the background which is a major bonus for us. Color House is located at Calle 60 #9-60 and is open everyday early till 7pm.
- El Pero y la Calandria: although it’s open everyday, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to come. On Wednesday evenings they have hilarious drag shows, and Thursday is karaoke night. If you love your classic Latino pop hits, then you’ll fit right in here. El Pero is located at Carrera 9 #59-16.
Gay clubs in Bogota: Theatron!
Bogota is all about the massive Theatron Club: “the largest gay club in Latin America” – as every Colombian gay guy you’ll meet will proudly remind you! It is a former theatre hall turned into a gay boy’s playground. On Saturday evenings, up to 8,000 come here to party into the early hours.
Theatron is split into 13 mini clubs, which are spread over 5 floors. Each one has its own theme, for example one room is devoted to 1980s hits, another to salsa music, there’s one which is men only, and more. Saturday is the best night to come when all rooms are open. The bonus is that the entry of 48,000 pesos ($16/£12) allows you to access all areas and includes open bar until 2am.
We went on a Saturday night and saw a fraction of this mega club. We would return to Bogota simply to come here again. It’s definitely one of our favourite clubbing experiences.
Theatron is located at Calle 58 10-18 and is open on Friday and Saturday evenings until 5am.
Things to do in Bogota
Candelaria is Bogota’s downtown neighbourhood, which is around 30 minutes taxi ride away from Chapinero. The city’s best touristic sites can be found here.
- Museo de Oro: Bogota’s Gold museum has the largest collection of gold in the world. A visit here is like a cultural adventure through the country’s indigenous past and how gold was used in day-to-day life. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am-6pm and on Sundays from 10am-4pm.
- Cable car to Monserrate Mountain: Monserrate is considered sacred and is popular with pilgrims who come here to visit the white 17th century church at the top. It is located at an altitude of 3,172m (10,407 ft) and has very impressive views of the city below, especially at sunset.
- Exploring Candelaria: this neighbourhood has many cute small cobblestone streets and is famous for its street art, thanks to Justin Bieber. Just take care you only bring with you what you need and leave as much of your valuables as possible in your hotel’s safe as Candelaria is a bit unsafe: Stefan’s bag was stolen from a cafe here.
For more inspiration, check out our 5 romantic things to do in Bogota.
Things to do around Bogota
Head outside of the big city and you find many small pretty towns and villages, which you can visit as part of a day trip.
- Salt Cathedral: this underground cathedral was carved out of salt and is only one of three such structures in the world; the other two are in Poland. It is stunning and was voted as the #1 of the 7 Wonder of Colombia in a poll in 2007. The salt cathedral is located in Zipaquirá, which you can reach by taxi, around 1 hour away from Bogota central. Once there, entry is 50,000 pesos (around $17) per person, which includes a tour in English.
- Trekking, rappelling and rafting: Tobia is a small agricultural town, around 2 hours away from Bogota, with stunning scenery. We came here as part of a big adventure day trip, which included trekking in the Tiger Creek Mountain, rappelling down the 75m (246ft) Barandillas waterfall and rafting down the wild rapids of the Rio Negro. We absolutely loved it and recommend GoBe’s day trip package, which includes all these activities, lunch, English speaking guides, transportation and all equipment.
Gay friendly hotels to stay in Bogota
These are the hotels we tried and felt welcome as a gay couple. There’s a mix of gay friendly hotels in Bogota to suit all budgets, starting with the most luxurious:
The Sofitel is Colombia’s first luxury hotel and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s the sort of place you could imagine staying for your honeymoon, with a large grand James Bond-like entrance hall, and the most charming hotel staff we’ve ever met.
It is located in the high-end El Retiro neighbourhood, near the gay scene in Chapinero and close to some of the best restaurants in the city like Centrale Cevicheria, Osaka and Andres Carne de Res.
Our favourite thing about the Sofitel, their beds! They’re so comfortable that you feel like you’re in a cloud and never want to leave. It was the best night’s sleep we’ve ever had in a hotel.
Rooms at the Sofitel Bogota start from $190/£145. You can check availability and read more about it on Tripadvisor.
The Chateau Physique is a very exclusive boutique hotel with just 4 suites available. It feels like a relaxation retreat, with a prevalent Buddhist decor, meditation classes and comfortable beds with memory foam mattresses. The suites are designed and decorated based on the 4 elements.
The exclusivity of the hotel made it feel like we had the staff all to ourselves. We were communicating with them over WhatsApp about our breakfast options or advice about where to eat in the city. Chateau Physique is located in the Zona Rosa neighbourhood, in a quiet residential street.
Rooms at the Chateau Physique start from $150/£115. You can check availability and read more about it on Tripadvisor.
Bogota Inn is a highly rated family owned guesthouse which welcomes LGBT travellers. It is located between Chapinero and the downtown Candelaria neighbourhood,
It is exclusive with just 7 rooms, making it feel like you’re staying with your very own Colombian family.
Rooms at the Bogota Inn start from $60/£46. You can check availability and read more about it on Tripadvisor.
Hotel Casona is charming hotel, which welcomes gay travellers. It is located right in the heart of Chapinero, so walking distance to Theatron and the gay bars of Bogota.
We loved the personable feel of Casona del Patio and definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a low budget gay friendly hotel to stay in Bogota.
Rooms at Hotel Casona del Patio start from $45/£35. You can check availability and read more about it on Tripadvisor.
We love having our own little love nest when travelling and renting an apartment gives us more freedom and flexibility than a hotel. Bogota has plenty of high quality apartments to rent to suit all budgets, which often work out much cheaper than a hotel, especially if you’re going to stay for more than a few days.
We stayed at the very well located home of Alejandra, right in the heart of the gay scene in Chapinero and walking distance to Theatron.
If you sign up here, you can claim $35 off your next booking.
Have you been to Bogota?
What was your favourite memory from Colombia’s bustling capital city?