El Mani Es Asi
A veritable institution of Latin American salsa, this converted house is known as the Salsa Temple, and is simply one of the best dancing clubs Venezuela. Located in the heart of Caracas in Sabana Grande, the crowd here is diverse and friendly, and the dancefloor is always full by 9pm. Top Latin American salsa bands perform here weekly and set the house alight with catchy musical rhythms, and even party goers without skills will be tempted (and enthusiastically invited) to dance. The rhythm is infectious, the rum is superb, and the house lights will come on before you know it.
Watch out for: sublime salsa dancing
El Puto Bar
This cosy, hipster venue is iconic to the trendy locals of Caracas. Formerly known as La Mosca, the cave-like establishment is adorned with red velvet curtains, cushioned sofas and a text-plastered bar. DJs and live bands play salsa, rock, reggae and house here, and many of Venezuela’s A-Listers are known to frequent the venue. Sample the house beer, Los Miaos de Dios (the Meows of God) and look out for the owner, a guy sporting an extremely crazy hairstyle.
Watch out for: DJ sets and live bands
El Teatro, the theater bar, is a lively rock club boasting 4 chic areas, each of which hosts an ecclectic mix of music genres, from electro to disco. Shining lights and a large, elevated stage lend the venue its name, a setting which also encourages an intimate interaction between the performers and their audience. Flamenco Wednesdays are extremely popular here among locals and tourists alike, with expert choreographers leading the vivacious dancing, and getting even the least confident dancers shaking and stepping with ease.
Watch out for: rock music and flamenco dancing
El Teatro, Torre Dyd, Av Orinoco, Las Mercedes, Caracas, Venezuela +58 0426 3425798
Complejo Cultural Teresa Carreño
The most important stage for theater, dance and classical music in Venezuela is the Complejo Cultural Teresa Carreño, Caracas. It hosts frequent productions by the Compañía Nacional de Teatro and top dance groups such as the Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas. Performances also include symphonic concerts, opera, ballet and plays. It is the second largest theater in South America, after the Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires. The theater was built on a 22,000 square meter plot and christened after the renowned Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño. It is located in the heart of Caracas’ cultural district, Bellas Artes, and houses two magnificent concert halls, the José Félix Ribas and the Ríos Reyna.
Watch out for: ballet and theater productions
Centro de Arte La Estancia
Recently restored, and built on the grounds of an old colonial coffee plantation, the Centro de Arte La Estancia holds a number of free concerts mostly on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, with energetic folk groups regularly performing. Many excellent youth orchestras also play traditional South American music here, in aid of restoring and promoting Venezuelan historical and artistic heritage. The venue aims to support social development programs and to strengthen national cultural identity, and to this effect also hosts major art exhibitions of national art, related to South American photography, design and three-dimensional art. The music venue also boasts a garden with over 120 alluring botanical plants.
Watch out for: folk performances and the youth orchestras
It wouldn’t be right to have a list of the best music venues and not include Discovery Bar. This alternative venue is hugely popular with locals, due to its down-to-earth style and infectious rock, reggae, cumbia and ska beats it generates here every night. Built in 2007, the owners opened the establishment with a commitment to bringing customers more than just a bar; to offer a truly musical venue where genres creatively combine, giving customers a taste of the magical and ecclectic music of South America.
Watch out for: rock, reggae, cumbia and ska music