If you’re in Bogota and stuck for a plan, be grateful that you’re in the capital, as there are at least a few events to satisfy different budgets and tastes
New Year’s Eve doesn’t tend to be such a monumental deal in Colombia as it is in other parts of the world, where the pressure to see the year out in style can often leave you disappointed and penniless and where local councils fork out a fortune to put on fire- works displays and special events.
Here, it’s much more a family affair, with most people seeing in the New Year with plenty of food and drink in the confines of a family member’s house. People tend to save the partying for after midnight, so you may find some places are fairly lifeless until well into the night.
La Fiesta de la Abundancia, Andres Carne de Res, Chia (Calle 3 #11a-56, Chia)
You can always rely on Andres to put on a good bash, even when nobody else will, with just the kind of raucous and rowdy party that you’d expect. But make sure you bring your wallet, credit cards and next month’s rent; it’s the only way you’ll be able to afford a night out there.
La Fiesta de la Abundancia gives you the opportunity to dance until your feet are sore and celebrate in the company of good friends, food and, of course, lots of massive cocktails. Shows, dancers and music will keep you entertained throughout the night and well into the morning, so you can stumble out to a new year sunrise over Bogota’s savannah.
A ticket will set you back $160,000.
Fiesta de Desorden, Cine Tonala (Carrera 6 #35-37)
Disorder is apparently the order of the day at 2014’s hippest new opening. It’s no holds barred at Tonala, so get ready to get messy and welcome in 2015 with banging tunes and any number of moustachioed hipsters. You’re unlikely to break the bank here, so it’s definitely a good option for those on a budget.
As part of a massive two-day party, which starts with Gringo Tuesdays in La Villa, Can- delario will play host to yet another edition of Bogota’s newest language and cultural exchange, followed by an all-night party with Colombian goodies galore.
Numerous DJs will accompany you throughout the night and midnight champagne will help you see in the new year in style. What better way to practice your language skills then by drunkenly wishing everyone a happy new year in a different language?
Carrera San Silvestre, Chia
Perhaps not the most traditional way to spend December 31, but if you’re planning on a heavy night (or even if you’re not), why not feel good about it by going for an early morning run before you start celebrating? Seeing as you’ll be in Chia, stick around for the NY bash at Andres (see above).
There’s a great atmosphere, with people of all ages participating, and the best part is that the categories range from 800m to 5km. No excuses now.
It wouldn’t really be New Year’s Eve without some sort of fireworks display, and Bogota is not a city that likes to miss out on the fun. While there has yet to be any confirmation from local authorities, you can be fairly sure that Plaza Bolivar will be home to some pyrotechnics, a lot of noise and plenty of drunken revelry.
Plenty of hotels will be putting on fancy dinners with entertainment, some great, some a bit more dubious. Here is a selection for you to choose from, but contact any of the larger hotels around the city and you’ll no doubt find that they’ll be hosting a San Silvestre event.
Bogota Plaza Hotel: One of the most expensive options around, the Plaza’s 80s party will have you starting the new year $365,000 lighter. The price includes five drinks, plenty of live music, raffles with great prizes, a massive buffet and a rather sensible pre-hangover breakfast.
Hotel de la Opera: Buffet, champagne, live music and wine – no prizes for originality here, but you’re guaranteed some top-notch nosh in nice surroundings. You’ll also be force fed grapes for luck, surely justifying the $230,000 price tag.
Pestana Bogota 100: Much the same as the other hotels, with a live band and DJ, raffles and a plentiful buffet. Space is limited to 150 people, so be sure to get your ticket in advance. At $190,000 a ticket, it’s one of the cheapest options you’re likely to find. Email: [email protected] or [email protected] for tickets.
At the time of publication, a number of venues are still to release details of their events, so be sure to keep checking Facebook and websites for your favourite venues, including Billares Londres, Baum, Armando and Latora.