The International Tango Festival in Medellín: A Guide

The International Tango Festival in Medellín: A Guide

TLDR? Carlos Gardel’s death at the Rio Negro airport incited the creation of Medellin’s Festival Anual de Tango.

Medellin hosts a fair number of international festivals – including dance festivals!

With the international tango festival, the city of Paisa celebrates this genre’s tradition with worldwide dancers.

You might be thinking, isn’t tango Argentinian? What has Medellin got to do with that?

Keep reading, and I’ll tell you what you should know about this great event.

History of Tango in Medellin

History of Tango in Medellin

Salsa and reggaeton aren’t the only genres loved by paisas: tango also won the city’s heart

One of the most significant events in Medellin’s tango was the death of Carlos Gardel in a plane crash at the Rio Negro airport in the 1930s. 

This occurrence gave the people a special feeling about tango and paved the way for the event celebrated in June in the capital of Antioquia.

In 2007 there was a reorganization, and this festival gained its international name. It’s recognized as the world’s second most important.

This celebration unites different neighborhoods and scenarios to take over the city.

Tango Museum in Medellin

Tango Museum in Medellin

La Casa Gardeliana is the best place to learn the history of tango in Medellín. Here you can find photographs and furniture full of history!

Leonardo Nieto, an Argentine resident of Medellin, founded this colorful house in 1972. Experiencing Medellin’s love for tango, he decided to create this museum house honoring this paisa culture and the singer Carlos Gardel.

Many artists and great orchestras were guests of honor in this place. 

In the photographic exhibition, you can find evidence of these visits. You’ll also find details on Gardel’s life and death.

Address: Cra. 45 #76-50, Manrique, Medellín, Antioquia.

Visit Salón Málaga

Salón Málaga

The emblematic Málaga room is a classic place in Medellín to learn the history of tango in the city. It’s been open to the public since the 1950s.

Here you can go for a good Colombian coffee and spend a quiet afternoon listening to music or visit it with friends and enjoy a good beer.

Once inside the place, you should take a short tour and see the objects and old photos remarkably preserved despite the years.

The hall has a dance floor used by dancers of different ages.

I recommend you go on Saturdays at the end of the afternoon since they have a program of live artist presentations in their tango show. The place recommends making a reservation.


Address: Cra. 51 #45-80, La Candelaria, Medellín, Antioquia

Activities Scheduled at the Festival

Activities Scheduled at the Festival

This year in Medellín, festival number XVI happened from June 20 to 26.

Medellín became the world capital of tango for these six days, hosting countries like Uruguay as this year’s special guests.

Among the activities scheduled for the event are:

  • Children’s and youth dance championship and awards.
  • Adult choreographies.
  • Adult championship with awards.
  • Presentation of tango orchestras.
  • Singing contest.
  • Tangovia.

Have you ever seen a tango dance in the middle of a street?

This year, one of the most anticipated events was the Tangovia.

This event consists of carrying out artistic presentations in the middle of 45th Street, an icon of Manrique, Comuna 3.

Where to Learn to Dance Tango in Medellin

Learn to Dance Tango in Medellin

If you’re a tango-lover and plan on spending a season in Medellín, don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Here are some places in Medellin that can make you an expert!

Chetango Dance Academy

Chetango Dance Academy

Chetango is a dance academy at the heart of Medellin.

Paying a monthly fee, you can take group classes at three levels: beginner, intermediate, and professional. You can also pay hourly for personalized ones.


Address: Cra 46 #14-13, El Poblado, Medellín, Antioquia

A Puro Tango

A Puro Tango

This academy’s ideal if you’re looking for professional training.

A Puro Tango regularly runs events and allows its students to show their talent.

You can take group classes for advanced and beginners or request personalized ones to perfect your movements.


Address: Cl. 44 #6551, Laureles, Medellín, Antioquia

Bailonga Dance Academy

Bailonga Dance Academy

This academy offers tango classes, but you can find other Latin genres such as bachata or merengue.

At Bailonga, chances are you’ll meet other curious foreigners. It’s a great place to make friends.

Their schedules are flexible from Monday to Saturday, and they offer several group classes.

Address: Av. Nutibara # 77 – 65, Laureles, Medellín, Antioquia.

International Tango Festival  In Medellín

The international tango festival takes over the city every year. I recommend you be prepared for next year and start your tango classes!

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