Bogotá, Colombia’s banging capital

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Most visitors to Colombia skip Bogotá, but time spent in the city means discovering one of the best music and nightlife scenes in Latin America

Bowling alleys will never seem the same once you’ve been to Colombia and played tejo. Not unless you employ equal amounts of beer and gunpowder. Here’s how this little-known Colombian sport works: you throw a lump of metal – it looks like a squashed version of what shotputters throw – down what looks like a bowling lane, aiming for a far-off sandpit. If you hit the right spot, bam! There’s a crackle of explosives, a cheer and a clink of beer bottles.

I experienced my first tejo game on a trip to Bogotá, after calling on Andrés Martínez, a musician with electro-cumbia band Monareta, to show me some highlights of his hometown. It turned out to be one of the best nights I have ever had in an unknown city. We jumped from the gritty tejo courts to hip record bars, via an urban beer garden, basement drinking dens and a wild drag club. I knew then the city had me under its spell.

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