Chile Cueca Dance Folkloric Salsa Tango

Guide to Music and Dance in Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile’s bohemian art capital, boasts one of the best music scenes in the country and dare I say it, in South America. An emerging dancing scene of tango, cueca, swing, salsa and afro is also sure to delight. As some of you might know, I have been living in Valparaiso for the past 2.5 years and I would love to share with you my top must see music and dance events in Valparaiso, Chile. Hope you enjoy and note that things tend to change quickly so it is best to checkout the Facebook page for more updated information. Kreapolis is a great place to find events in Valparaiso.

Top Music and Dance Events in Valparaiso, Chile

Music in La Isla de la Fantasia
Live music in La Isla de la Fantasia, Valparaiso

Monday: Jam de los Lunes, El Viaje Bar from 22:30

The place to be on a Monday night is the Jam de los Lunes at El Viaje. Started by a group of local musicians with the idea to experiment, this jam features jazz and swing music. All are welcome to jam along with the musicians, just bring along your instrument. Officically thr jam starts at 22:30 but things dont really start to get exciting until about 23:30.

Tuesday: tba

Wednesday: Milonga Queer, La Piedra Feliza 19:00

If you have ever wanted to learn tango this is an excellent place to start. Milonga Queer aims to dispel the myth that tango has to be danced with the man leading and the woman following. With a strong focus on the LGBTQ community, the idea is to teach people both, to lead and to follow. Even though the classes are offered in Spanish, you can easily follow along. The night starts off with an introductory tango class followed by a milonga ( a tango party where people dance in an anti-clockwise fashion on the dancefloor). Join in the fun or just sit back, relax and soak-in the atmosphere of this old bar. Food and drinks are decent but the highlight of this place are the local musicians that play here. Make sure to checkout the La Piedra Feliz Facebook page for event details.

Thursday: Cueca at Bar Liberty, from 23:00

Cueca is a traditional dance found throughout Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. Danced in a couple, using handkerchiefs, it is a flirtatious and cheeky that is sure to delight. You can listen to cueca and see some of the locals in action at the oldest bar in Valparaiso, Bar Liberty. It is an absolute gem of a place tucked away in the old part of town, Barrio Puerto, near the port. It is old, grungy, full of drunkards but also full of ‘alma’ soul. Cueca has been having a resurgence in Chile in recent times and you can find many young musicians and dancers here every Thursday night. Just make sure to take care of your belongings and bring with you an open mind. It is better to take a taxi or an Uber here, rather than to walk, plaza Echaurren, where Liberty is located, has been known for petty thefts.

Stay tuned for my blog post detailing more information about cueca. If you are interested in learning Cueca, checkout my Learn to Dance Cueca experience on AirBnB or contact me directly.

Friday: El Rincon de las Guitarras 21:00

El Rincon de las Guitarras is a traditional place full of history. Some of Valparaiso’s greatest musicians and singers have played here, including Chile’s Living Treasure Lucy Briceño. You can listen to traditional cueca and bolero shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. They serve yummy traditional Chilean food too.

Saturday: various events, best to checkout the calendar of events at Kreapolis

Sunday: La Isla de la Fantasia 14:00-20:00

Tucked away up a winding hill, this place is as clandestine as it gets. La Isla de la Fantasia began in the 1980’s and remains to this day a treasure among the locals. They call it a peña which roughly translates into a folk club. Back in the day Chile was full of these establishments, community spaces or even someone’s homes where friends and family could come together to share a meal and to enjoy some music.   But beyond the party, these peñas served a much greater cultural importance for the preservation of Chile’s cultural heritage. Some of Chile’s greatest folklorists have played at La Isla de la Fantasia, where to this day you can listen to tango, cueca, waltzes and boleros. Opens early, but the party doesn’t really get started until about 18:00 where you can watch the locals get up and dance. Note, the food is pretty average. Better savour the atmosphere and grab yourself a beer.

 Social Playero 17:00 – 21:00

Every other Sunday there is Social Playero – a salsa and bachata social on the beach in Viña Del Mar. Check the Facebook page beforehand. Its free and everyone is welcome.

Best Places to Listen to Live Music in Valparaiso, Chile

Pascuala Ilabaca, SAMADI
Pascuala Ilabaca (SAMADI) live in concert in Valparaiso

Cinzano

A traditional bar established in 1896 and still going strong. Famous for its live music such as traditional cueca, tango and boleros. Good food.

El Viaje

A hip little bar designed as a trolleybus. Feature a wide variety of musicians, from electronic to more traditional bands and everything in between. Shows most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

El Internado

A hip restaurant, café and bar situated in the popular Cerro Alegre. Beautiful view of the sea and a calendar full of events from live music, to theatre and movie screenings. Checkout their shop full of high quality handmade products.

Parque Cultural

Parque Cultural (Cultural Park) is a community organisation that hosts regular concerts, dance workshops, movie screenings, theatre productions. They have a rich calendar of events advertised on their website.

Taller Blanco

A new kid on the block, a small bar in a residential building away from the hustle and bustle. Good for special one off events (its not always open so make sure to check their Instagram and Facebook before heading there.

El Canario

El Canario is a local institution, popular with the younger, more ‘alternative’ crowd. Live music most Friday and Saturday nights from 23:00.

Arrayan Mirador Cultural

In my opinion, the best view of Valparaiso harbour by night. Simply spectacular. One off events are advertised on their Facebook, with a particular slant towards electronic music. Take an Uber.

Where to Dance in Valparaiso, Chile

Milonga in Valparaiso, Chile
Milonga at Arrayan Mirador Cultural, Valparaiso
  • Tango
    • Milonga Anichi is the Queen of Tango in Valparaiso. Anichi organises regular events, milongas and classes in Valparaiso and Santiago. Checkout her Fb page for details on upcoming events.
  • Swing
    • Swing Valpo is a popular swing dance school that holds regular classes and events, both in Santiago and Valparaiso.
  • Salsa

I hope you have enjoyed this post. I will continue to update it and feel free to comment with any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.

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