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“Disappointed” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rumba in Chiva

Rumba in Chiva
Ranked #21 of 101 Tours in Cartagena
Attraction details
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2014 via mobile

I had seen the Chiva buses drive past many years ago when I was in a Latin American country and it looked like great fun. In addition, on my Latin friends raved about how much fun they are. So my expectations were high when we took a Chiva bus in Cartagena, Columbia.
We were told it was going to be a three hour experience and that was correct. However, only about 45 minutes of that was spent on the bus. We guess that was so they could save on giving us rum and coke. In addition, the buses were so crowded we could barely move. I was under the impression that we would be able to dance but there was none of that on these buses.
For about an hour they took us to the historic wall and we danced around a little and watched a lady in a colorful dress with food on her head dance around as well. That was kind of fun but I expected to enjoy more fun on the Chiva bus.
Then after a short drive on the bus we stopped at a disco where they played loud music and some of the young people danced.
Overall, it wasn't a great experience. In the future I will look for a Chiva bus with a space in the middle where people can dance and really enjoy the bus ride rather than getting dropped off at the wall and the disco.

1 Thank gosto4444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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371 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Fun bus tour!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2014

It was basically like a mini pub crawl, except you're in a moving bus with no doors and windors and there is a band playing in the bus! People drink and dance and the bus and you also get to discover local dance clubs.

Visited February 2014
Thank marie-renee83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Don´t do it!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

Maybe there are ways to find a good Shiva bus, but we didn´t find it. If you see these buses driving round with the passengers yelling it´s because the chica tells them to yell (and I think the passengers agree to yell out of desperation).

1 hour driving round to collect passengers till it is FULL (6 to a row that should seat 5). THEN you get to share rum and coke with strangers (who might not share). ¨unlimited¨ drinks means 2 small bottles per row. And they ran out of coke.

¨Pare¨ (stop) we yelled, and got off before the end. Claustrophobic and utterly rubbish. You know this is true because I´m typing on a Spanish keyboard and I´m totally sober to do this ... not that I think it would be fun if you didn´t drink either... then just loud music and angry people asking ¨when do we start¨and ¨why can´t I have another drink?¨

One of those things that probably used to be good.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank SarahharaS2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
96 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Fun - but a little knowledge about what to expect helps”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2013

We had fun on the chiva. That said, here is what you should know. You will be driven around Bocagrande while the chiva picks more people up. No drinks yet. Once they are full, a small bottle of rum (really cheap rum), a bottle of Pepsi, a disposable ice bucket full of ice, and plastic cups will be passed to each row. There are cup holders for these. (The Pepsi didn't fit, so we held it.) That is the "open bar". No other choices.

The chiva then takes you by the castle and the tour guide announces a few things about what you are seeing and where you are going (in Spanish). Our first stop was at the wall, where we walked to the top of the wall (above the Bovedas). There was a Vallenato band playing and everyone starts to dance. This was pretty cool. There are people there to sell you beer and water, since you won't get either of those things on the chiva. There is also a guy who owns a sloth who offers to let you hold it, and then asks for money. There is a woman dressed in the traditional fruit-selling costume with a bowl of fruit on her head dancing with some of the men. You would be expected to tip her. The Vallenato band will send someone around to collect tips also. There are also people trying to sell little percussion instruments so that you can play with the band at the wall or the one on the chiva (which I didn't mention before - and they expect a tip too). Then someone says its time to get back on the chiva and they pass out some fresh arepas, and more supplies for the rum and Pepsi drinks. They then will take you to your final stop - a nightclub. This was a fun place too. No drinks are included - so if plan to continue drinking, bring money. Everyone dances - singles, couples, everyone. It is fun, and people learn steps from each other.

At 11:30 you can either go back to the chiva (and ours was a new chiva - each chiva has a name) and to the hotels, or stay in the club. We all elected to go back to the hotel at that point. We stayed in the walled city, and were dropped off by the entrance to the wall and we found our way back to the hotel on foot.

So - yes, it is fun, but plan to have some extra money with you and figure that you need to be able to find your way back to your hotel. And honestly - I would skip their rum entirely and buy the beers at the wall. If you do not like loud music, you will not like the club - but I saw people of a wide range of ages in the club. All having fun. This isn't something you will experience back home.

Visited May 2013
6 Thank upandaway99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is a very good option you can do to entertain in Cartagena!

The only thing is that the starting time is about 20:00 hours but if the Chiva is pretty empty you will start late until the chiva is full, the chiva will be driving around the bocagrande area picking up people and the liquor will be only after is full!
Then you ready to go gathering with many more people enjoy the vallenato music and a tour guide that will explain the places where you are driving by!
An stop where all chivas gather and many other people from another chivas will be on a party with life music at the walled city, some of the plans included some typical fried food of cartagena (appetizers), then the party continue and after a short tour through the walled city you arrive to the zona rosa at the getsemani neighborhood you don't have to pay the cover to the disco but the discos around the area are pretty small and pack of people that's why I decided to move on to another place anyways the drinks in the disco are not included!
If you don't drink! you can ask for discount on your package! or anyways they will ask for 40.000 - 45.000 my girlfriend and I we just paid $50.000 both!! all inclusive!
Must better if you catch a chiva that it is half of capacity on that way you don't have to drive around the bocagrande picking up people or you can arrive just on time because you can have many different options to ride and many different prices!

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Fernando V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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