Best Nightlife in Peru | Top 9 Places to Party in 2020
The nightlife in Peru is something I’ll never forget. I remember my first trip to Lima like it was yesterday. I went to Gotica Club in Larcomar every weekend for months on end. The place was truly legendary.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the giant club overlooking the Pacific Ocean would fill up with gringos and Peruvians looking to have a good time. The music ranged from reggaeton to salsa to electronic. Hell, sometimes they even played a little hip-hop.
I became a regular. Well, more like an in-house alcoholic. But that’s beside the point.
Gotica was one of the best clubs in Latin America. It may have been one of the favorite clubs I’ve ever been to. Now, it’s closed. I was damn depressed to hear Gotica had shutdown upon arriving in Lima for my second trip.
I had no idea where I’d party in Miraflores. While Lima nightlife certainly has a variety of options to choose from, I couldn’t imagine anywhere being as hedonistic as this epic Larcomar legend.
But with a bit of groundwork, I prevailed. In-depth, on-the-ground research eventually enabled me to pinpoint the best nightlife in Peru to share with you guys right now.
And you know what? Some of these new debaucherous jewels are loco enough to rival my beloved Gotica.
Understanding Peru Nightlife
Before we dive into the absolute best places to party in Peru, let’s dig a little deeper. Here’s what you can expect when enjoying the nightlife in Peru:
Nightlife in Peru | An International Vibe
Nearly all of the four million tourists that visit Peru each year end up in Lima and Cusco. That means many a business in both cities caters to tourists and gringos.
As such, there’s a distinctly international vibe throughout the bars and clubs in Miraflores, Cusco, and even Arequipa.
The bars and clubs in Peru tend to be Western-style if you stay in the upscale, tourist areas. This means more open spaces, more mingling, and people engaging with each other around the bar.
We aren’t in small-town Colombia where all the clubs burst to the brim with tables and big groups of co-workers. It’s pretty easy to get chatting to randoms, making new friends out of locals and Peruvians alike.
Types of Music
As the international vibe is strong throughout Peru, you’ll find a variety of music. It’s not like Cali, Colombia, where all you’ve got is salsa and more salsa music. Lima and Cusco have everything.
Typically, I found reggaeton and electronic hits to be the most common types of music played here. A little hip-hop and rock are played at certain spots, while you can find salsa and Bachata in others.
If you’re after a quick culture fix so you can tell your mom how cultivated you are, then look for a live show of traditional music. You’ll find these in the tourist areas and some remote parts of the Andes.
WTF is Pisco Sour?
Peru’s national drink is the pisco sour, and it’s damn delicious. Pisco is a kind of white grape brandy that’s grown in the southern deserts. Whip up an egg white and throw in some sweet syrup and citrus juice and voila, you’ve got yourself a tasty cocktail. I recommend you get acquainted with this beautiful concoction ASAP.
Truth be told, most people drink beer in Peru, which is plentiful and refreshing. I dig cusqueño, but each to their own.
Safety in Peru
I’ve never had any safety issues in Peru. If you stay in tourist areas like Miraflores in Lima or downtown Cusco, you shouldn’t have any problems. Places that make money off tourism tend to focus on keeping travelers safe.
Nevertheless, it pays to play it on the safe side. Don’t follow random dudes down dark alleyways to purchase party snacks. Don’t wander around deserted streets in the dead of night. Don’t get so wasted you could be taken advantage of. And so on.
Taxis hailed off the street can be a bit iffy in some cities such as Arequipa. To be safe, opt for an Uber or ask your hotel to call you a taxi.
Common sense should generally keep you safe while partying in Peru. You don’t have to worry about being drugged and/or kidnapped, unlike Colombia.
Is Spanish Important For Nightlife In Peru?
You’ll find a number of Peruvians that speak good English while partying in Miraflores, Barranco, and Cusco. Peruvians that work in tourism make more money when they speak decent English, so fluency in these areas is generally quite good.
Though once you get outside the most touristic areas, you’ll find English proficiency to be abysmal.
While a bit of Spanish isn’t a solid requirement for partying in Peru, it’ll definitely help you out.
It’s incredibly frustrating to try and have a conversation with that cute local while at the bar only for things to fizzle out because you can’t speak any Spanish. Instead, learn a little Spanish before you go to Peru to gain a big advantage against most other travelers!
Peru Nightlife Costs
How much will a big night out cost you in Peru? Not much, jefe.
Peru is one of the cheapest countries in South America, and it’s party scene benefits tremendously from this low cost of living. All of a sudden, the kind of places you never even dreamed of frequenting before become surprisingly affordable. I’m talking fancy-lookin’ cocktails in swanky bars for like $5. Beers can be as cheap as a couple of bucks each.
Still, Peru does have a sizable upper-class with serious cash to splash. You’ll find these immaculately dressed people hanging out at the fanciest clubs of Miraflores, as well as other equivalent barrios around Peru. These upmarket watering holes will set you back a pretty penny, especially if you’re on a shoestring backpacker-like budget.
Prices vary quite a lot around the country. The Andes people are generally poorer and, therefore, the area is quite cheap. Lima–a seething mass of humanity some 10 million strong–is more expensive, however, due to the higher rents. Remote, off-the-beaten-track locales like Iquitos can be pricier, too, as it’s costly to ship in the merchandise.
Here’s a general idea of how prices will breakdown depending on what city you’re in and how fancy the joint is:
- Cover charge: $0-15 USD
- Beer: $1-8 USD
- Drink: $2-10 USD
- Bottle of wine: $15-60 USD
- Bottle of booze at a club: $25-200 USD
On the whole, however, Peru is a cheap place to drink. I’ll always spend under $50 for a big night out, sometimes as low as $20 if I’m hitting up the budget haunts.
Oh, and party snacks are rather inexpensive, too. Wink wink, nudge nudge. 😉
What City in Peru Has the Best Nightlife?
Where’s the top place to go in Peru if partying is on your mind?
Lima and Cusco.
Due to its sheer size and the superb boozy scene in both Miraflores and Barranco, Lima has awesome nightlife that rivals the wildest cities in Latin America. Come here if you want to drink and dance the night away with an energetic local crowd. And remember, the Lima grande clubs are sublime!
Cusco, on the other hand, has crazy nightlife courtesy of the hedonistic backpacker crowd. There’s something going on every night of the week in this non-stop party mecca, and it gets especially raucous during the high season. Come here if you want to party hearty with other like-minded travelers.
Best Nightlife in Peru | Top 9 Places to Party in the Country!
Enough with all that jazz, let’s get to the good stuff. If you’re about to head to Peru, you want to know the absolute best place to enjoy a little rumba while on vacation. I get that!
So, here are the best places to enjoy a little nightlife in Peru:
~ Lima ~
- Bizarro: This Miraflores club is a classic. If you want to party on Wednesday or Saturday, then Bizarro is the spot. I’ve been here over a half dozen times, and the place never disappoints. While it’s not my absolute favorite club in Lima, it’s damn close. No matter what, come here on Wednesdays!
- Lima Bar: If I could only choose one place to party in Lima, Peru, on a Saturday night, it might be Lima Bar. This place is located where Gotica used to be in Miraflores. While it’s not quite as reckless, there’s still a lot of fun to be had at Lima Bar. The club is upscale, so dress appropriately.
- Help Disco: For many gringos, Help Disco is their favorite club in Lima. The rock club is located in Barranco and can get pretty rowdy on certain nights. The best night to visit Help is on Thursdays, where the club is host to the best Thursday night party in all of Lima.
- Ayahuasca Bar: This might be the coolest bar I’ve been to in all of Peru. The vibe at Ayahuasca Bar is just perfect. It’s relaxed and bohemian – yet still upscale. If you want to unwind with a few cocktails or bring a date somewhere nice, this is the ideal spot in Lima.
The best hotel for fiesta fiends in Lima is the J.W. Marriott.
~ Cusco ~
- Mama Africa: I’m not sure there’s a more icon club in all of Peru. Mama Africa is the popping nightclub in Cusco. The place has been around forever, and many a gringo has popped their Peru cherry here. I’ll never forget my first night in Mama Africa – but that’s not a story for this article 😉
- Wild Rover Hostel Bar: This large hostel bar holds nightly theme parties almost every day. If you’re looking for a great place to start off a night of partying in Cusco, look no further. Many a wild night has started at Wild Rover Hostel Bar. Typically, the party starts here and then rolls over to Mama Africa once it gets later in the evening.
The best hotel for boozehounds in Cusco is Loreto Boutique Hotel.
P.S: When I was enjoying Cusco nightlife, Temple Club was still open. It’s closed now, but there’s no doubt the club was one of the best places to party in Peru!
~ Arequipa ~
- Deja Vu: If you’re a gringo who goes to Arequipa, there’s a damn good chance you’ll end up in Deja Vu. This club is the spot for gringos and Peruvians to party in complete harmony in Arequipa. It’s a staple of the nightlife diet in Peru’s second-biggest city. If you’re looking to party in Arequipa, I recommend starting here.
The best hotel for party people in Arequipa is Los Andes Bed & Breakfast.
~ Mancora ~
- Loki Hostel Bar: Honestly, if I had to pick only one place to party ever again in Peru, it would be at the Loki Hostel in Mancora. The pool, the beaches, and the hostel party here are amazing. To say this spot is legendary would be an understatement! Just come here in high season and see what I mean. Don’t plan to get a ton of sleep, though.
The best hotel for party animals in Mancora is Loki del Mar.
~ Iquitos ~
- Noa Iquitos: I’ve never been here, but a buddy told me he had a couple of crazy nights at Noa in Iquitos. Hell, he hyped it up so much that I’m planning to book a trip to Iquitos the next time I’m in Peru. Noa Iquitos is the biggest club in the city and filled with Peruvians and some traveling gringos.
The best place to stay for alcohol afficionados in Iquitos is Central Bed & Breakfast.
Best Nights to Rumba in Peru
When’s the best night to party in Peru? Should you head out on the tiles or give up and call it instead?
Well, it depends where you’re at. In Lima, the city never sleeps, and there’s some debaucherous action going on every night of the week. You just got to do the legwork and find it for yourself. Ask around at your hostel/hotel and check out the Facebook page of the major clubs to see what’s going on.
Lots of places will have theme nights mid-week, things like salsa nights and language exchanges. These are always a blast.
Big tourist hubs like Cusco have always got some action, too. Especially during peak season when hordes of pasty-skinned gringos descend on the joint with fistfuls of foreign cash.
Of course, Friday and Saturday night are going to be big everywhere that nightlife exists. These should be your bread-and-butter party nights when in the country.
Nightlife in Peru | The Verdict?
That’s about it!
The top places to party in all of Peru. If you wanted to know where to enjoy the nightlife in Peru, I hope this guide helps.
Peru is a fantastic place to party because the locals are friendly and the nightlife caters to tourists. You’re never far from a good party in this country.
Te lo juro.