In the first of our geographical deep-dives into 2019’s Top 100 Clubs poll, we explore the best dancefloors in Latin America – as voted by you – and discover open air clubs in the rainforest sitting side by side with intimate LED clad basements....
GREEN VALLEY, BRAZIL
Santa Catarina in southern Brazil has been the boom state of the South American country over the past 20 years. Its mix of fine beaches, idyllic islands, lush vegetation and newly-erected skyscrapers have made it a premier tourist destination.
In 2007, some enterprising locals decided to throw a party in the middle of the jungle — well, a valley, to be precise. A green one. Looking to deliver “a unique experience at a unique location”, they booked techno legend Carl Cox to headline their first event. It went so well and created such a buzz that they began booking other top DJs such as Tiësto, and developing the infrastructure to make it a more permanent spot.
Within three years, Green Valley had shot into the Top 100 Clubs poll at No.27, and within another three years, it was the world's No.1. Quite a meteoric rise! Staying in the top three of the chart all decade, it scooped the No.1 slot again last year and has retained its title in 2019.
Open since 2013, Bogota's Baum club has continued to thrive, with a raft of world-class bookings for the intimate, 900-capacity club space (many reckon it to be one of the best-equipped club spaces in South America).
Anja Schneider, Lee Foss, Cassius, Adriatique, Mind Against, Robert Hood, Ben Klock, Guy Gerber, Amelie Lens, Modeselektor and The Martinez Brothers are just a handful of those who have passed through to join stalwart residents Hernan Cayetano, Mao Loading, Niklas Stadler and Stav.
Baum just celebrated its sixth birthday too, with sets from Italian producer and Drumcode regular Joseph Capriati and Zurich pairing Animal Trainer.
EL FORTIN, BRAZIL
Situated just outside the resort of Porto Belo on Brazil’s southeast coast, open-air venue El Fortin has become something of a Brazilian clubbing institution since opening its doors back in 2006 — though this only partially explains the venue’s frequent appearances towards the top of our annual poll.
If you drove past El Fortin during the day, you wouldn’t think it was anything other than a collection of old out-buildings nestled in a tree-lined hillside. Yet at night the venue comes alive, with up to 6,000 clubbers able to dance indoors and outdoors to a mixture of leading Brazilian DJs and international artists.
The club’s greatest calling card is undoubtedly its unique main room: a giant wooden beach hut-come-pyramid equipped with a weighty Funktion-One soundsystem and a ground-level booth that ensures maximum interaction between headline DJs and the crowd in front of them.