A Gringo’s Guide to Lima, Peru Nightlife
While I enjoy the rumba in Bogota, Colombia a little too much, there’s no denying that Lima, Peru nightlife can compete.
In fact, many travelers find they prefer going out in Lima more than anywhere else in Latin America.
Well, there’s a lot to love about Lima nightlife. Honestly, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it my second time in the city.
The first time I was in Lima I went to Gotica twice a week, every single week. The place was legendary.
Ask any gringo who traveled through Lima when the club was open and they’ll tell you the same…
Gotica was amazing!
But, it got shut down. Something about there being no fire escape available and the potential for hundreds of partiers to burn to death if flames were to burst out during an evening of rumba.
Delightful, eh? Surprisingly, Peruvians actually care about fire codes. Or so I’ve been told.
Anyway, let’s get back to Lima nightlife.
Below, you’ll find a detailed guide about nightlife in Lima, Peru.
The most detailed guide this side of the web. And yeah, I’m tootin’ my own horn a little here. But check this bad boy out and then tell me you need to look anywhere else.
I’m talking about in-depth information like:
- What Makes Nightlife in Lima, Peru Great?
- Lima Nightlife Costs
- Where to Party in Lima, Peru?
- Best Bars and Clubs in Lima, Peru | Miraflores Edition
- Bars and Clubs in Lima, Peru | Barranco and Chacarilla
- Best Nights to Rumba?
If you want specific information, just click the link above and you’ll be sent right to the perfect spot.
For everybody else, keep on reading.
Legit everything you need to know to party in this great city, sans the phone numbers of the right taxi drivers to get you a few party favors, can be found here.
What Makes Nightlife in Lima, Peru Great?
Well, that’s easy. Because it’s a damn good time!
But, there’s more to it. You can have a fun night out in many a city in Latin America. Lima offers a few things that other cities in the region simply can’t offer, including:
Miraflores might be the safest neighborhood in all of Latin America. Seriously, they have signs telling people they’ll be fined if they honk their horns. You won’t find that anywhere else in Lat Am!
That means you won’t have many worries when stumbling home drunk at 4 A.M. from a Miraflores club.
To put it simply – if you’re partying in Miraflores, you can get absolutely blasted on a night out and not have much to worry about, especially when compared to other countries in the region.
– Tons of Spots
Lima, Peru is a city of nearly 10 million people. So, you won’t run out of places to party on any given night. In fact, it’d be damn near impossible to check out every club in the city. There’s just too many of them.
Luckily, most of the nightlife a gringo would be interested in centers around Miraflores, Barranco, and Chacarilla.
There are enough spots to party in these three neighborhoods to keep any and everyone entertained – even if you’re running a marathon on the hedonistic treadmill ;(
While certain countries tend to play a lot of salsa and bachata music, most of the spots gringos go to in Lima won’t.
In fact, you’ll find tons of hip-hop, top-40, and electronic music at a number of popular clubs in Miraflores and Barranco.
As well, many people go out to mingle in Miraflores. In other places, people go out in big groups and hang out within their group all night. That’s not how it is in Lima, Peru. You can go out alone here and not have any issue having fun.
– No Cover?
Surprisingly, some of the best spots I found in Lima also had no cover charge. Most of these places were upscale spots in Miraflores, but I found one in Barranco, too.
Plus, a number of Lima clubs will have Facebook lists that offer free entry.
If you’re going to be in the city for awhile, get in touch with bars and clubs on Facebook and see if you can get on the list any night you plan to head out.
– Spanish Needed?
While Spanish speaking ability is highly useful in Peru, I wouldn’t say it’s mandatory when partying in Lima.
In fact, you can definitely enjoy nightlife in Lima, Peru without any Spanish.
I did my first trip to Miraflores. I barely spoke a lick of Spanish and still immensely enjoyed my time going out at night.
You’ll meet a ton of English speakers in Miraflores and to a lesser extent, Barranco. I’d say at least a third of the people I met partying in Lima could speak some English, although most were not conversational.
Does speaking a little Spanish help? For sure! You’ll be able to speak with everyone around you and bouncers will give you more respect.
I’d definitely recommend learning a little before you go, but it isn’t mandatory – like it would be in Cali, Colombia.
Lima Nightlife Costs
While a beer in a backpacker bar may be a few bucks, a bottle at a high-end club could easily cost a few hundred. That’s common sense.
Here’s an estimate of what you’ll pay on a night out in Lima:
- Beer in bar/club: $1-5 USD
- Drink in a bar: $2-5 USD
- Drink in a club: $4-10 USD
- Cover charge: Many places don’t have cover in Miraflores. The ones that do tend to charge between 10-30 Soles.
- Bottle of wine: $15-40 USD
- Bottle of booze at club: $30-150 USD
You could easily spend $200-300 USD on a big night out in Miraflores. You could just as easily spend $20 bucks and get absolutely wasted while having a great time. Completely up to you.
Just another aspect of nightlife in Lima that’s awesome! It’s great for ballers and brokes alike.
Where to Party in Lima, Peru?
I checked out some of the nightlife in a middle-class barrio called Lince. Was. Not. Impressed.
In fact, I don’t recommend a gringo leaves the neighborhoods I mention below. Why? Because the nightlife is so good in these barrios and so bad in others.
You could legit waste a whole night trying to find some spot outside the “gringo bubble” of Miraflores and Barranco.
So, here are the three best neighborhoods to experience nightlife in Lima, Peru:
- Miraflores: If you’re gringo, you already know about Miraflores. This is the neighborhood for travelers in Lima, Peru. It’s safe, filled with modern amenities like cafes and coworking spaces, and features great nightlife, too. My favorite club in all of Lima is here, along with some great backpacker bars.
- Barranco: While Miraflores has always been THE neighborhood in Lima, Barranco has recently gained popularity. In fact, many a traveler has skipped Miraflores in favor of its bohemian neighbor. Why? Because everything is cheaper in Barranco, and many find the neighborhood has more character. Plus, the nightlife scene here nearly rivals Miraflores these days.
- Chacarilla: Some of the biggest clubs in the city can be found in Chacarilla. If you ask a sexy “Pituca” where she is going on a Saturday night, there’s a solid chance she’ll be heading somewhere in Chacarilla with here rich friends. If you like hanging with the cool kids, clubs like Mute are where it’s at in Lima.
Best Bars and Clubs in Lima, Peru | Miraflores Edition
Alright, now we’re getting to the good stuff. After enjoying the rumba a little too much over a few trips to Lima and suffering one too many hangovers, here’s what I’ve found out.
This is a gringo’s guide to nightlife in Lima!
– Backpacker Bars –
- Loki Hostel: The quintessential backpacker bar in Lima, Peru. This Miraflores establishment host events every damn night. If you’re a gringo, they’ll let you in with your ID – no questions asked. Is it good? Well, that depends on the night. If you live nearby, this isn’t a bad spot to pre-game before a big night out, especially on the weekends. Plus, it’s cheap to drink here!
- Pariwana Hostel: Surprisingly, the rumba here is pretty damn good on certain nights. The rooftop bar and patio fill to the brim with backpackers and locals alike. There’s beer pong, a small dance floor, and a lot of space to socialize. The catch? You’ll typically need to stay here or have a connection to get in. If you can get in, this is a great place to start a night.
– Dive Bars –
- Houlihan’s Irish Bar: This is a solid dive bar off Calle Berlin near Parque Kennedy. Groups of Peruvians love to come here and get rowdy drunk. Not a bad place to start a night and you can get food, but it’s not super cheap.
- The Old Pub: I’m no fan of The Old Pub off Pizza Street in Miraflores. That being said – many a gringo are huge fans of this local watering hole. If you like to have a go-to dive bar on tap, this is your spot. The crowd is a little older.
- Eka Bar: Small bar a few blocks away from Parque Kennedy. There’s really no reason to come here outside the Thursday night language exchange. The beers are cheap and the crowd is international. Some people love coming here on Thursday before going to Help in Barranco. Others don’t. Check it out for yourself.
– Upscale Bars –
- Open Tapas Bar: I absolutely loved this place. If you want to hit a classy bar on Saturday night, then this is the spot. This place has a great vibe and is packed to the brims on the weekends. It turns into more of a laid-back club late at night. Definitely recommended if you like classier venues, although it is a bit small. Speaking Spanish would be a big plus here.
– Clubs –
- Bizarro: This is a Lima classic. Bizarro has been around for ages and is a popular club for gringos in Miraflores. The place isn’t huge, but the setup is solid and it gets packed. While it’s not my favorite club in Lima, there’s no denying that Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday can be good here.
- Ginza: This place is behind Pizza Street and a little less known by gringos. There’s no cover here and the place is pretty big. If you’re looking to check out more than one spot on a Saturday night, throw Ginza in the mix. You’ll want to speak a little Spanish here, as the club is filled with way more Peruvians than gringos. I was a fan of the place, but wouldn’t spend a full weekend night here.
- Lima Bar: This new place is located in Larcomar where Gotica used to be. It’s a bit upscale and drinks are pricey. Plus, it’s just not as rambunctious as Gotica was. However, I was a big fan. If you’ve got money and are looking to have a big night out in Miraflores, I’d recommend Lima Bar.
Best Bars and Clubs in Lima, Peru | Barranco and Chacarilla
Still, I can breakdown a few spots in these areas for those looking to venture out.
Barranco’s nightlife has definitely improved the last few years, while Chacarilla offers a high-end scene.
- Help: This place is equal parts awesome and awful. It’s got a rock, grunge vibe that can be fun, but horrible at the same time. I’d never venture here on a weekend, but on a Thursday night you won’t find a better party in Lima. Just be careful here. A few buddies have gotten their phones stolen and some sketchy characters hang out here.
- Sargento Pimienta: Not a huge fan, but if you’re looking for something to do on a Tuesday night, then Sargento Pimienta in Barranco is ok. Tuesday is salsa music night, but they play some other stuff, too. I went for 30 minutes and said it wasn’t my scene, but again, it might be your best option on a Tuesday.
- Ayahuasca Bar: Fucking awesome place! If you want to pregame with your buddies and money isn’t an issue, this is a great spot. Ayahuasca Bar is also a great place to take a date in Barranco. The atmosphere is unique and I’ve always had a great time here.
- Dali Disco: I never went, but this is the club every Peruvian will tell you is the place to be right now. I had at least a dozen people tell me to check out Dali in Barranco. Could be worth a look on a weekend night, especially if you’re staying in Barranco.
- Noise Discoteca: Again, a buddy recommended this place to me, but I didn’t have time to check it out. From what I understood, not many gringos roll here. Why? Because Noise Discoteca plays Spanish trap music almost exclusively. I love that, but most gringos don’t. If you like reggaeton and speak good Spanish, this spot could make for a fun night out in Barranco.
- Mute: Somewhat high-end spot that is popular with upper-class Peruvians. Not many gringos venture here, but the place is solid. Highly recommended, but only if you have a group to go with and budget isn’t an issue. You could $200+ on a night out here with your boys.
Best Nights to Rumba?
However, the traveling gringo still needs to know where to go on what nights. There’s no one club or district that’s good every single night.
So, here’s how I’d recommend partying in Lima:
- Sunday/Monday: Take the nights off
- Tuesday: Sargento Pimienta
- Wednesday: Bizarro
- Thursday: Eka Bar/Help
- Friday: Anywhere
- Saturday: Anywhere
P.S: Always remember that things change, y’all. Use this article as a guide, but make sure to ask around when you get to Lima and get the most up-to-date info from locals.
Lima, Peru Nightlife
That’s it. Pretty much everything you need to know about nightlife in Lima.
I’m sure I missed some spots, but in a city of 10 million people, that’s bound to happen.
For travelers new to the city, I hope this guide helps you enjoy a few big nights out.
Lima, Peru nightlife is more than great, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy yourself!
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