Take a look at some top tips on where to go in Latin America to experience some of the region’s finest music.
When in the home of tango, a tango dance or milonga should be a must. Highly recommended is La Catedral (Sarmiento, Palermo), hosting live music and tango dancing. A more touristy but still excellent option is La Confiteria Ideal, which is a traditional tango hall with both afternoon and evening milongas.
The resurgent neighbourhood of Lapa, once a down-at-heel district, is now undisputedly the place to go for music. Crowds of locals spill from every samba bar onto atmospheric streets lined with crumbling colonial façades, centring around the distinctive aqueduct Arcos de Lapa. Amongst the best of the bars are Carioca da Gema and Rio Scenarium.
Some of Cuba’s best music halls known as casas de la música and casas de la trova are found in Havana and Trinidad. A must in Havana at the weekend is the Callejón (alleyway) de Hamel, with its fantastic live outdoor rumba on Sundays and Sábados de la Rumba at Gran Palenque on Saturdays to witness an explosion of infectious percussion and some of the best dancers around.
Peru has incredibly rich and strong indigenous traditions, and central among them are folkloric music and dance. One of the best places to take in this style of music is at the Fiesta de la Candelaria in February in Puno, on the edges of Lake Titicaca. Here you’ll see traditional dances from the area like diablada and morenada among many others.
Cartagena is a historic treasure trove and its colonial core is so well-preserved it can seem like a relic of another era – but as soon as you set foot in one of the atmospheric bars after nightfall you’ll see that it is anything but sedate. Head to a city square at night to see the vibrant Afro-Colombian dancing and drumming.
Tour operator, Journey Latin America has put together this list of expert tips on where and how best to enjoy Central and South America’s diverse musical culture whilst planning a trip. They can take you there too, so if the above has whetted your appetite than head to journeylatinamerica.co.uk.