During our time in Nicaragua we had the great fortune to come across two great Salsa spots in two different cities. The first salsa spot that we found was a bit by chance and research. Before coming to Leon, I had done a quick google search to see if any blogs mentioned anything in the area and I came across one post that mentioned a location called La Olla Quemada; however after hoping for a legit salsa place in Antigua and being a little disappointed, I was a bit weary if this place would be worth our time.


La Olla Quemada

We arrived in Leon on a Thursday and after we dropped our bags off at the hostel and begin walking around town in search of dinner, we saw a sign that said there was salsa every Wednesdays. Now, as we are getting used to this backpacking lifestyle, we tend to forget what day of the week it is. No joke. When you have no responsibilities and no job to make sure you attend, the days of the week tend to blend together. So, as we saw this sign we were very excited because we legit thought it was Wednesday. We made our way to the location to scope it out before we committed to it later in the night to only find out it was the night before. Whomp Whomp Whomp. We walked around a bit and ended up talking to a waiter outside of a restaurant and asked if he knew of any salsa places. He said the only place to salsa is La Olla Quemada, which happens on Thursday.

nicaragua salsa

We arrived at La Olla Quemada, paid our 50 cordobas ($1.75) entrance fee, and headed to the bar for a drink. The dance floor was already packed and the music was good, very good. We sipped our drinks (mojitos because it was so hot) and watched the dance floor. The dancers here were good, and it was easy to spot those that were salseros because they were all wearing Salsa Nicaragua shirts. We learned later that the Nicaragua Salsa Congress was happening in a few weeks (Nov 13th-17th) in Managua and they were trying to promote it. We danced a lot, sipped mojitos, and chatted with the locals. This place gets very hot because it is small and Leon in it self is hot, so be prepared! Dancers- you can bring your heels or you can decide not to. I brought them, but  did not put them on once as the floor was too packed and I saw that no one else was wearing them. If you are a female dancer and you want to dance with one of the local good dancers, you will have to suck it up and ask one of them. I found that they are used to tourists that don’t know how to dance so they did not dance with me until I asked one of them and they saw that I could actually dance (this happens a lot to us dancers though). Enjoy this place, its a gem in the hot city of Leon.

salsa leon nicaragua

Heating up the dance floor!

The second salsa spot that we were able to find is in Managua. We actually traveled to Managua from Leon for the sole reason of dancing at Fandango in Managua. I had heard from so many friends, locals, and guide books that this was the place to dance in Nicaragua- and they were right! We went there on a Thursday night and the entrance was free. We were lucky to actually have a large group that was with us this time, because our AirBnb host brought his gf, other renters, and his cousin to join us. When we arrived there were a good amount of people on the dance floor and a decent mix between travelers and locals. The DJ played a good mix of music with the majority being salsa with a few songs of bachata and merengue throw in as well.Salsa Managua

There were a mix of dancers at this location varying from those thatdanced soley when the DJ played salsa and a few tables that would only dance during a bachata song. I would say that there were more dancers present then there were individuals that didn’t know how to dance. Since we were there on a Thursday it was a little quieter than it would be on a Friday or Saturday. Our Air Bnb host said that it gets very packed during the weekends. Dancers- go ahead and bring your shoes to this location because there is room to dance and show off your skills! I was happy that I brought mine.

Managua Salsa

What a great group at Fandango! Thank you to Inti, our AirBnb host!

Overall, dancing in Nicaragua was a real treat for us and the dancers were extremely nice and excited to dance with non-local dancers. If you are a dancer and traveling thru Nicaragua, you have to check out at least one of these two places; you will not be disappointed!



I had been looking forward to being in Cali since the moment we started our round the world trip. All throughout Central and South America we kept hearing that Cali is the place to be for Salsa. We decided we would committ a week in Cali in order to experience as much Salsa in Cali that we could get. Obviously, this was my request and Oscar (being the good man he is) is along for the ride (God bless him!).

La Topa Tolondra
Cost: 5,000 pesos (less than $2)

Cali salsa

Review: We pulled up to Topa Tolondra in a taxi at about midnight and there was a line out the door. We paid the entrance fee and the moment we entered there was barley any room to walk to the bar because there were so many people on the dance floor. The dance floor was PACKED and it was amazing. We grabbed a drink and headed upstairs so that there would be a little more room on the dance floor. The place has a good mixture of locals and tourists that attend and the dancing style is very diverse. We stayed on the second level for most of the night so that we could actually have a few feet of room to dance and I would highly recommend that if you want a good view of the place and room to dance that you head up there. At about 2am, the place started to thin out a little bit so we moved to the first floor and danced there. By all means, the place was still packed so its not like you could dance anything fancy. I asked a Colombia guy for a dance and afterwards we headed out. If you want to go out on Monday nights, listen to amazing salsa music, and be surrounded by 100 other people who want to dance then head on over to La Topa Tolondra. Dancers, leave your salsa shoes at home and just wear regular shoes or sandals- there is no room for lots of space to dance and you just wont need them. Enjoy!

Los Locos Tuesday, Mazao
Cost: 5,000 pesos

Review:  The hostel that we were staying at suggested that we attend this place for Salsa on Tuesday, so we headed out of the hostel around 10:00pm and arrived in good time to the club. We walked up the stairs and into the establishment and there were tables and chairs outside with a small area inside that housed the DJ, dance floor, and bar. All of the tables and chairs were occupied outside with people playing board games (no joke), drinking beer, and wearing balloon animals on their heads. Oscar and I looked at each other very confused and hoped that the actual club would start shortly. A few hours passed and Oscar and I danced a few songs of Bachata; however there was no increase of people coming into the club or going onto the dance floor. At midnight a few girls who looked to be still in highschool, came around and gave everyone a number and then forced everyone to go into groups to play a game. The game was guess the song and the winners got a small bottle of Aguaardiente. Now, if you are someone that enjoys this type of thing, great- good for you, but for me this was absolute torture. I felt like I was at an awkward high school dance that I actually could have beer at. The moment this game was over, Oscar and I left as quickly as possible. This is not a salsa club. There are very few locals that come here. If you want a place to play board games, drink beer, and listen to salsa music then head on over to this place.

Alalole Salsa Club
Cost: 5,000 pesos (we bargained for this price (originally 10k)

Review: Do not waste your time in even thinking of going to this location whether you are a dancer or just looking for a place to go out. We arrived here a little before 11:00pm and there was not one other person in the place besides the five individuals who would be performing later that night. We stayed for one drink in hopes that more people would show up, but no one did.  We danced a few songs with the performers, but they were not as kind as I had hoped and made it feel like they were doing you a favor in asking you to dance. Dancers- I am sure this has happened to any of you at least once in your life and you know what I’m talking about. No one go here if you don’t want to waste your time. This place has been created for tourists, but even they do not go here. Avoid it!

La Topa Tolondra
Cost: 5,000 Pesos ($2)

Review: We returned to La Topa Tolondra on Wednesday after an unsuccessful attempt at the previous location. We arrived around 11:30pm and stayed until about 3:00am. On Wednesday, there a way more locals and less tourists than there are on Mondays. The dance floor was full, but not so full that you could not dance. On this date, I saw a variation of dancing among those on the dance floor; there was cali salsa (cumbia) and  line dancing as they call it here ( on 1 or on 2). If you are  a dancer and you are looking for an opportunity to dance with the locals then skip this place on Monday and just come here on Wednesday because you will for sure be able to dance the night away.

Tin Tin Deo
Cost: 10,000 Pesos for women, 15,000 for men
(plus payment for beverages at the door of 10,000)salsa in Cali

Review: The entire time we were in Cali we kept hearing that Tin Tin Deo is the place for salsa lovers to go. Oscar went on Thursday (since I was sick in bed) and he told me that the majority of the dance floor was tourists and that he tried to find some Colombians to dance with but there were very few. If you are looking for just a place to go with lots of people, then head over there on Thursday night, but if you are a dancer and want to see the way the locals dance then wait until Friday! Tin Tin Deo basically has two dance floors because the staircase separates the two.  We arrived by 10:45pm and most of the tables were already taken, but we were able to grab one in the corner. By 11:30, the entire dance floor was full with a variety of people. There were indeed dancers who were there, but they seemed to hang out in a table that was by the staircase, so if you are looking for dancers stay near the bar area! Since I was still feeling a bit sick, we left a little before 1:00am, but from the small time that we were there this is the place for dancers to be! Dancers, you can bring your shoes or leave them at home, both are acceptable, as I saw a variety of women and men with different shoes.



Oscar and I got word from La Salsa Dance company that there would be salsa dancing on Tuesday at La Sin Ventura. We arrived at about 10:30pm (no cover!!)  and the band was already playing and couples were on the dance floor. The dance floor was not that large as there are a lot of tables and chairs scattered around the place, but there was a decent amount of room to dance. We sat at the bar for a few songs and observed those on the dance floor. The dancers tended to be more near the band, while the tourists were closer to the bar and near the back.

Tuesdays night just IMG_0711[1]so happens to be ladies night so certain drinks for the ladies were only 5 Quetzales (less than a dollar!) from 9:00-11:00pm. This is also is true at MonoLoco, which is right next door (5OT for a mojito and 4QT for certain mixed drinks from 8:00pm-12:00am). The band played a mix of salsa, bachata, cumbia, and merengue and the entire time the dance floor was full with a mix of tourists, dancers, and drunk guys flirting with the ladies. At about 11:30pm, the band stopped playing and a DJ started playing pure reggeaton, which was great for the tourists and non-dancers.

La Sin Ventura is a great place for tourists and for salsa dancers; if there are dancers who are in attendance for the evening that is. I was lucky enough to spot a group of dancers in the corner and made my way towards one that I had seen dancing and asked him for a dance. It turned out he was the owner of New Sensation Dance Company, based in Antigua and we shared several good dances together.

I heard from La Salsa Dance company that Antigua is actually a very popular place to head to for some salsa dancing and that many people from Guatemala City come down on occasion to dance. I wish we had known this sooner, so we could have been dancing each night of the week while we are here! If you are in Antigua, make sure you check out at least one of the Salsa nights in Antigua.




Flirt Fridays: VooDoo Lounge
1 Riverboat Dr, North Kansas City, MO 64116
Cost: $5 before 11 PM; $10 after 11 PM
Website: https://www.facebook.com/FlirtFriday

Kansas City holds a special place in my heart, as it is my hometown. I was born and raised in Kansas and lived there until I needed to experience more. I began learning salsa in Kansas (because of a boy, of course) and I was never that good when I lived there because I was always dancing with the same people and not pushing myself to attend lessons. Since it had been years since I had danced at home, I was rather nervous/excited to attend because I didn’t know what to expect or who I would see from my previous years in the Kansas City salsa scene. Thankfully, I was meeting a girlfriend of mine there (Elisabeth, pictured here) in case I needed any back-up (haha!).

This event is great for salsa dancers and for those who are just looking for a place to dance and drink. The beginning of the night is definitely more tailored for the salsa and bachata lovers (and more serious dancers) out there, however if you arrive around 12:00am you will be happy to find a mix that will please any lover of dance.

Thank you Kansas City for a great welcome back! I look forward to when I can dance at home again 🙂