I'm capturing stories too at www.OutinColombia.com
From my perspective - as someone who is married to a Paisa and has a very large family in Medellin - nobody is too uptight about someone being gay - even though a very Cathoic country - more of a live and let live attitude. We have a number of gay friends - nobody that we know is hiding in the closet .
Since I am not a part of the gay scene , no first hand knowledge - but I am sure there are lots of gay bars - there are no issues for gays at the average nightclub -- gay or straight best thing you can to do for increasing your nightlife fun - learn to dance.
There is a neighborhood called Chapinero in Bogota, and a part of it is called "Chapigay". It is a few blocks around Calle 60 that caters about anything for the LGTB community. From beauty salons, tattoo parlors, fashion shops, community centers, gay friendly travel agencies, and of course bars, restaurants, discotheques...
I have to say that I've been (positively) surprised by the acceptance of the gay community in Colombia. I had no idea Colombians had such progressive views
Still I am sure that a gay couple would face more negative remarks or looks in the streets of Bogota than in the streets of NYC, London, Berlin or Paris. It's not all rosy, but not as bad as one could expect either.
I hope that you'll get more first hand experience messages!
There is a hotel/nightclub in Cartagena with a big rainbow flag "Hotel Le Petit" inside walled city google it.
There is (was?) also a famous disco called Studio 45
I am afraid thats all I know.
I have just come back from Colombia and one thing I can tell you that it is a great country for an LGBT traveller. Undiscovered too. But in general, numbers of tourists are low as Colombia still suffering from its past reputation despite currently being no more dangerous than any other Latin American state, and definitely safer than Brazil.
Colombia has gay scene in any major or medium-size city and, in my opinion, one of the best in the world. Bars aren't exactly part of latino culture so you will mainly find dance clubs and saunas. People here love to dance and are good at it. In fact, they say they can recognize foreigners from their lousy dance moves :)
Bogota, being the biggest city, has the most to offer. Colombians call Teatron the biggest gay club in South America, but I have never seen anything of that scale in London, NY or Tokyo. This is actually the biggest gay club in the world, but the crowd isn't exclusively gay - lots of women and straight guys too. On Saturday night 13 rooms are open with capacity for 10 000 people. The club is open Thu to Sat. Fridays 7 rooms are open while Thursdays only one. Fridays and Saturdays free bar for a fee of $40 000.
Another popular place to dance and socialize is El Mozzo, but I have not visited it. It's more for those that into electronic music.
In Cartagena two good places are Le petit bar-disco (I think it is open every day) and stylish dance club D8 (only open on weekends). Two rooms of music - latino and electronic- good looking, athletic waiters and interesting design. You can have a great night there. Full of handsome guys.
Tourists skip Barranquilla, but while this big port city does not have much to see, it knows how to party. And not only during the Carnival. I wasn't sure whether to visit, but taking into account its size, I was expected decent gay clubs there and to my surprise they exceeded my expectations. Out of all the places locals recommended two: Rumours and Lives. Rumours is a semi bar, semi club that plays electronic music: very fashionable, outstanding quality of music, classy, frequented more by wealthier young Colombians (Thursday to Saturday). Lives is bigger, 4 rooms of music, 1000 - 1500 people, only open on weekends. Fridays no entry fee, Saturdays - free bar for a fee of $30 000. Very mixed crowd. Basically, a smaller version of Teatron.
There are many more places to go to, but I have not visited them. I was gutted I could not visit any in Medellin: as far as I know there is a great scene too. I know about VIVA dance club and Cantina de Javi, but please ask locals. In Santa Marta, Voltage is a dance club on weekends. Cali and Bucaramanga has gay scene too.
My mentioned places aren't exactly cheap for an average Colombian, and some like Rumours are frequented by wealthier crowd, so I suspect there are places for poorer gay Colombians to go to, too, but I know nothing about them nor whether it would be safe to visit them.
Few things to mention. Make sure you have an ID with you - Teatron is notorious for its strict security. No shorts. They let me in D8 wearing shorts (maybe cos I was a foreigner), but Rumours in Barranquilla denied me the entry for that. Luckily my hotel was 5 min walk from there so I went back and got changed. Try not to get too drunk - while the country is much safer these days, there are always some bad people and wondering around the cities at night is not safe. Make sure you take taxis to and from clubs. Otherwise enjoy it - few countries in the world will offer more to a gay traveller than Colombia.
Grindr and Hornet are the most popular dating apps. You can also use them to ask locals about places to go to. The main issue is that not much English is spoken in Colombia, in fact, hardly any, so basic knowledge of Spanish would be very helpful.
13 rooms and space for 10K people - I am not gay but even if was full of 9,000 Sofia Vergara's I would have to pass on something that large. Interesting report though - as I stated above most Colombians could care less about someone's sexuality - they may comment on it but that is all it is - a comment.
Yes Teatron in Bogota is in the heart of the Chapigay neighborhood I mentioned.
I went there once, and yes it's HUGE!! Some rooms are clearly LGTB oriented, other rooms are more of mixed crowds. I have to say I spent a great night there! Of course, for straight people, you got to have an open mind regarding the LGTB communitiy.
I'm wondering if you managed to sample any gay nightlife in Armenia? My cousin DJs in Bacos Pris and would be interesting to get the view of a international gay traveller on the scene in a city that barely scrapes top 20 in the country.
Did you ever find good advice or explore on your own? Any tips to share?
How about Santa Marta?