I was already familiar with the clubs in Las Palmas thanks to Ladies Night at Babylon, so when I got word that it was the place to be for Halloween in Medellin, I sprung into action.
Ok, I actually slept much of the day after the late night at Mango’s.
But around 10 pm, Mike (GoBigMike.net) swung by in a taxi and we headed up the hillside to Las Palmas. He had read on the Facebook event page that people were hoping the entrance wasn’t a giant mess like it was last year. When our taxi rolled up to the longest line I’ve seen for a club in years, I knew nothing had changed.
The good news was about 90% of people were in costume, so the people watching was great. The bad news was it started to rain hard after we were in line only a few minutes. Mike had a jacket, so he stood in line, while I ducked under a bridge along with another hundred partygoers. The people who remained had umbrellas. I waited about an hour, and Mike managed to make it to entrance of the club, when he messaged me to come over. I rented a giant umbrella for about $4, as the plastic bags being offered were already wet.
Right at the entrance to El Pub, the first club we’d hit, was a mass of pushiness and umbrellas ready to poke one’s eyes out. Those 15 minutes were the most frustrating of the whole experience, but we finally wedged our way inside, and paid the 12,000 peso cover ($7).
This was my first time in El Pub, which was a dive bar with black lights. It had the feel of a fraternity basement, but at least the music was alternative rock. It was good to hear the Ramones over a loud sound system.
After grabbing a beer though, we exited to meet our friend Carolina in an adjacent club, El Cuervo.
It was my first time here too, and the music is typically crossover, though while we were there, it was a mix of alternative and rock songs, in both English (Rage Against the Machine, Beastie Boys) and Spanish. Again, it was a nice break from the norm of salsa, merengue, vallanato and reggaeton.
The club’s theme was that of a western barn, and it was one gigantic room, packed with people in costume, holding bottles of rum and aguardiente. We stuck to beer as I wasn’t trying to drink a lot, nor did I want to have to carry a bottle around with us.
El Cuervo had a good atmosphere, and I’d certainly go back again to dance, however it was really crowded and I was feeling claustrophobic.
We headed over to Babylon, which was next door, and located above El Pub (I never knew there was a bar just below). It was a good deal to get entrance to all 3 clubs for the same cover. All of them were packed for Halloween.
Inside Babylon there was a little more light to see the creative costumes, and a little more space to breathe.
Colombians know how to party on Halloween, and I was really impressed with the lengths some people went to — guys wearing heavy make-up to look like Avatar characters and the Mad Hatter, or full outfits and heavy masks to get into character. The women’s outfits were toned down compared to what I saw at Mango’s, and I surmise this has to do with the cost of admission and drinks between the two locations. The women were also more natural (ie. far less silicone).
Mango’s might be cheesy, but it’s an expensive cheesy with a Halloween cover three times the cost of the Las Palmas clubs (and that’s not considering the price difference in alcohol either).
Overall, for girl-gazing, Mango’s wins out, however for creativity of costumes for both men and women, the crowd in Las Palmas wins. I also noticed people were taking a lot more photos of each other in the Las Palmas clubs versus Mango’s. The atmosphere in that respect seemed a little more open and friendly, as opposed to Mango’s where groups of friends were stationed at their tables much of the night, and less inclined to mingle.
Las Palmas is a good value for your Halloween party dollar, however if you plan to go, get there 30-60 minutes before the doors open (about 9 pm) so you can get inside early and not have to worry about the wait or weather.