Songs for the Road No. 21: A Soundtrack for a Road Trip Along Colombia’s Caribbean Coast

by Ekua on October 3, 2013 in Colombia,songs for the road

When I’m traveling overland, I love listening to songs that evoke the spirit of the place I’m visiting as the scenery rolls by. I feel more present where I am and tiny revelations about the location begin to bubble up as you see it through music and everyday scenes. For traveling in Colombia, there are so many great musical options and I couldn’t narrow it down to just one list of suggestions. This first segment focuses on music to bring along for a ride along the steamy Caribbean Coast of Colombia:

El Pescador by Totó La Momposina 

Accompanied by Afro-Colombian percussion beats, the queen of Colombian folk music, Totó La Momposina, captures the essence of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast in this song about a fisherman.

Cumbia Sobre el Mar by Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno

Originally from England, Quantic (Will Holland) has played a huge role in spreading Afro-Colombian music around the world through his various projects. This is a lightly reworked version of a cumbia classic that whisks you away to a relaxing day by the sea.

Fuego by Bomba Estéreo

With their high energy blend of cumbia, electronic music, and hip hop, Bomba Estéreo is one of the more well known Colombian fusion bands around the world. This song captures the spicier side of the tropical coast.

Fruit Juice by Snoop Lion

No, really — this song. I laughed hard the first time I heard it, then I got into it. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Colombia is full of great fruit which can be made into delightful juices and you’ll want to bob your head to this song as you sip them. Whether it’s jugo de lulo, guava, piña con hierbabuena, or mango, your taste buds will surely tango.

Linda Mañana by Ondatrópica

Ondatrópica was created by Colombian musician Mario Galeano and Quantic who bring together artists of all ages to reinterpret Colombian music. The end result is catchy tunes like this one that blend genres and styles of different generations and make you want to dance.

Negro Mirar by Etelvina Maldonado

Etelvina Maldonado was a great singer of bullerengue, an Afro-Colombia genre of music from the Caribbean coast that has ties with cumbia and is only sung by women. Here, the vocals and complex rhythms of bullerengue are brilliantly fused with lighthearted jazz.

Bienvenidos by Systema Solar

In this song, hip hop-electro-cumbia outfit System Solar invites you to a Caribbean dance party that’s too fun to resist.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

charlotte carter October 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

LOVE reading your blog and your adventures. Really inspiring!


Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans October 13, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Love this post! I’ve been thinking about doing a music-related post as well. I love Afro-Latin-Caribbean music. Music from this part of the world really speaks to me. Also, I like to think of myself as a budding sambista, and I hear a lot of similarities between cumbia and batuque/samba. I’ve added the first two songs and Negro Mirar to my Spotify playlist. Thanks for sharing!


Ekua October 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

Yeah, I’m a huge fan of Afro-Latin music as well and it’s played a role in how I’ve picked some of my travel destinations over the years. Bahia, Brazil and Cuba are two of my favorite places in the world– a lot of that has to do with music. Glad you liked this post. I’ll be doing another songs for the road post where I’ll delve more into Afro-Colombian music from the western side of the country!


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