Costa Rica Nightlife: 8 Best Spots for the Best Parties! [2024]

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Costa Rica Nightlife: 8 Best Spots for the Best Parties! [2024]
As much as there are amazing things to do in Costa Rica during the day, the same continues at night. Looking for the best Jaco beach nightlife spots? How about San Jose bars and clubs? Keep reading to find all the bests Costa Rica's nightlife has to offer!
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It's without a doubt that Costa Rica is one of the best Caribbean destinations to visit. From the gorgeous sights to the diverse wildlife, you'll never be bored with all the amazing places and attractions in Costa Rica.

There are so many things to do in Costa Rica during the day, right? But you'll find this lively country in Central America is just as beautiful at night.

Under the moonlight, the country shines bright with bars, restaurants, and clubs, allowing you to experience Costa Rica's nightlife to the fullest!

Local people are eager to meet tourists and enjoy conversation over a couple of drinks. Afterward, go dancing and be prepared to be out until the sun comes up.

But with so many options, are you wondering where to go to find the best nightlife in Costa Rica? You've come to the right place. After visiting Costa Rica a few times myself and doing extra research, I can introduce you to the best ways to enjoy the nightlife in Costa Rica.

You'll be able to learn the basics of Costa Rican culture when it comes to dancing, drinking, and safety. Plus, you'll know where to find the best clubs and bars in the country.

Learn more from the rest of our Costa Rica series…

The Nightlife Culture of Costa Rica

People in Costa Rica love to party. But, they're also hard workers, so don't be surprised if clubs are a bit empty on weekdays.

That all changes on the weekends... Expect to find a lot of locals enjoying their time off in the evenings—with lots of drinking and dancing!

If you're often going on girl trips, you're in luck! Many nightlife venues offer women discounts. Some even drink for free up to a particular hour.

There can also be discounts during special holidays and events, so look for deals while partying in Costa Rica!

Partying in Jaco Costa Rica
Image Courtesy of Jaco Royale

What to Expect When Going Out for Costa Rica Nightlife

Before you go out on the town, here are things you need to know about Costa Rica party life. Don't skip out on these—you'll thank me later!

Going Out Outfits

Regarding what to wear, it depends on where and what venue you're going to. It's normal to see people with flip-flops and beach clothes at the bars in coastal towns.

But if you go to a more sophisticated establishment or a nightclub, you may want to wear something a little more formal. Try a lovely dress for ladies and a button-down for men.

Clubs vs. Nightclubs in Costa Rica

I'm not sure if this is true in many other places, but did you know that there is a very big difference between a Costa Rica club and a nightclub?

When you say club, locals in Costa Rica will direct you to a dance club—somewhere you can drink and dance and have fun with the crowd.

But if you say nightclub, you're referring to a strip club. At least in Costa Rica.

Make sure you know which type of nightlife experience you're looking for!

Dancing Norms

Also, Costa Ricans love to dance and are pretty good at it! It's common to hear reggaeton and salsa music playing at clubs and people moving their feet with ease as they hit the dance floor.

It's typical for people to ask each other to dance, especially with merengue or bachata songs, which are danced in pairs. Karaoke is also popular, and you can definitely find bars where you can sing all night long.

Safe as a Solo Traveler?

If you're solo traveling in Costa Rica, it's pretty safe, but you should still remember essential safety tips and tricks.

For instance, let friends or family know your plans for the night, turn on your location, and take reliable transportation alone instead of walking!

And, as a solo traveler, the most important thing is the keep an eye on your drink. Just so that you can feel assured and still have fun, I recommend picking up a subtle drink cover scrunchie that'll help you protect your drink if you get a bit distracted.

Best Places to Party in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country packed with different surroundings and vibes. On the Caribbean side, you'll find a much more relaxed environment, with people enjoying the sounds of reggae music and casually drinking at bars.

Alternatively, the surf culture brings beach parties and potent drinks to the West Coast.

Whether you choose a small town or a larger city, there will be things to experience at night. But if you come to really party in Costa Rica, I recommend visiting big cities where you can dance the night away!

The Costa Rican Pura Vida, translating to Pure or simple life, will always be present no matter where you are. Which towns or cities should you put on your party itinerary?

1. San José

If you're looking to experience the epitome of Costa Rican nightlife, look no further than the capital city, San José!

Famed for its diverse range of options, from swanky rooftop bars to underground dance clubs, San José is the beating heart of the country's after-hours scene.

Don't forget to try "guaro," a local liquor, at one of the many bars in the trendy Barrio Escalante or the bustling Calle La Amargura.

San José offers a blend of modern Latin flair and international vibes that will keep you dancing till dawn.

2. Jacó

Welcome to Jacó, where the surf is hot, and the parties are hotter! This beachside town is the go-to destination for those who want to mix sun, surf, and spirited nightlife.

Whether you're into live music, beachside bars, or vibrant dance clubs, Jacó has it all. Plus, it's a magnet for world-class DJs and hosts numerous events throughout the year.

Costa Rica cool bars and clubs.
Image Courtesy of Pura Vida Guide Costa Rica

3. Tamarindo

Tamarindo is another beach town located on Costa Rica's Pacific side. With strong surfing beaches, Playa Tamarindo is also known for its world-famous Las Baulas National Marine Park, hosting diverse marine fauna.

After a long day, probably taking in the great outdoors, the excitement certainly doesn't diminish at night. Here are some of the best places to hit in Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

4. Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is a small town in southeastern Costa Rica, known best for its black-sand beaches. If you're looking for a laid-back vibe infused with Caribbean culture, Puerto Viejo is your dream destination.

What's also famous about the area is that it hosts the amazing Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge and the Cahuita National Park. Talk about an outdoor lovers paradise!

And once you've hit all the spots on your Costa Rican itinerary, it's time for some fun on the town! After the sun sets, Puerto Viejo turns up.

Best Bars & Clubs in Costa Rica

Nightlife Hotspots in San José

Antik Restaurant & Bar

Looking for a one-stop spot that nails both dining and nightlife in San José? Look no further than Antik Restaurant and Bar.

This trendy venue has it all...

Looking for food? They've got mouth-watering pizzas.

Want to party hard by drinking the night away? Antik's got you covered with a full-service bar that serves everything from beers to fine wines.

Need to let loose to great music? Their schedule is jam-packed with a weekly entertainment roster. From Ladies' Night on Tuesdays to DJ-led electronic music on Thursdays, there's always something happening.

And I'm not done gushing yet... Weekends kick it up a notch with Indie Fridays and special live music events on Saturdays.

Perfect for any mood or occasion, Antik is a must-visit!

Cuartel De La Boca Del Monte

Cuartel De La Boca Del Monte is one of the hotspots for the young and hip looking to party it up! It's perfect for those who want to go out on a Monday night when most Costa Rica clubs are closed.

It's also a great spot to go if you like live entertainment. You'll be serenaded with live music on Mondays, as well as Wednesdays and Fridays!

But this party location also holds some great parties during the weekends—so don't skip out. If you make an appearance at this Costa Rica party, you'll be sure to find young locals and tourists mingling.

With a youthful, fun environment and crowd, this nightlife spot is ideal for those who want to experience a great menu, try different cocktails, and eat local food. All while being surrounded by the party atmosphere.

Man holding up phone in club in costa rica
Photo by John Mark Arnold on Unsplash

Trendy Jacó Clubs & Pubs

Orange Pub

If Jacó's vibrant nightlife had a crown jewel, this would be it... Nestled in the heart of this beachside party town, Orange Pub offers you the full range of nighttime fun.

From a bar stocked with local and international favorites to an atmosphere that effortlessly shifts from laid-back to electrifying, Orange Pub is the place to be. Doesn't quite sound like your traditional pub, does it?

Whether you're looking to catch up with friends or dance the night away, you'll find what you're looking for here. Live music? Check. DJs spinning pulsating tracks? Absolutely. A diverse crowd that's always up for a good time? Yes again!

In a town where every night feels like a weekend, Orange Pub stands out as a must-visit venue for anyone looking to make the most of Jacó's legendary nightlife.

Clarita's Beach Bar & Hotel

I wouldn't be doing my job right if I didn't mention this winner in my list. Clarita's is one the OGs when it comes to Jacó's nightlife, specifically fantastic beach bars.

Located right on Jacó Beach, this laid-back spot is a haven for both locals and tourists looking to soak in the Pura Vida lifestyle. With lots of entertainment options, including sports games, live music, and DJs, you'll never be bored.

And once you stop by here, it'll be your go-to place for everything! You'll want to come here to sip a cold Imperial beer while watching the sun dip below the horizon or dig into some of the tastiest local grub.

Since it's been around so long, most people don't consider Clarita's just a restaurant or a bar. Instead, it's an experience that encapsulates the very essence of Costa Rican beach culture.

In Jacó, where life is a beach and the party never stops, Clarita's stands as a hallmark of simple pleasures done exceptionally well.

Image Courtesy of Booking.comg

Playa Tamarindo Nightlife Spots

Sharky's Sports Bar

Sharky's Sports Bar is a popular option for grabbing a drink with good local food. They host different themed events throughout the year, and Monday's ladies' night is a classic.

Many locals also come here, so it is the perfect opportunity to practice some Spanish as you watch a soccer match and drink a chilled beer.

El Garito

Another popular place in Tamarindo is El Garito, boasting superb electronic music and an open-ceiling dance floor. The house DJ plays sets that keep people on their feet all night long, and special DJs play underground house music that everyone enjoys as well.

The drinks here are refreshing, and the bartenders do a great job making sure you can always order more.

Local spots bar in costa rica.
Photo Courtesy of El Garito

Night Out in Puerto Viejo

Salsa Brava

Although it may go unnoticed during the day, Salsa Brava gets crowded with people at night.

It's incredible how they get people to leave after hours with fun crowds dancing to the sound of DJ sets and hitting the dancefloor with their salsa and bachata moves.

Lazy Mon

The most popular nightlife spot in Puerto Viejo is the Lazy Mon, located right in front of the ocean. Open day and night, this beach bar is ideal for those who never get tired. You'll be able to party and drink the night away.

And because it's right next to the beach, you can go into the ocean and turn the beach into your nightclub. Just remember to be safe while you're keeping yourself cool in the water after all that dancing!

What music can you expect to find at Lazy Mon? There are reggae bands that play live music regularly and DJs that bust electronic music throughout the week.

On Thursdays, ladies drink for free between 10 PM and 12 AM, and happy hour occurs every evening.

Party hostels in Costa Rica.
Image Courtesy of Lazy Mon

Party at Your Hostel!

Another great way to experience the nightlife is to party at one of the best Costa Rica hostels. Whether or not you decide to actually stay at one, hostel parties are a great way to mingle with fellow travelers.

Wherever you decide to stay in Costa Rice, there are lot of great hostels. Most of them have a strong partying culture, with guests who are eager to meet new people and share experiences.

Because of that, these establishments usually have bars selling excellent cocktails and foods, offer bar crawls around the city, and hold special parties and events.

Starting the night at a party hostel is an excellent way to meet new people and learn about what's happening in town that night.

If you're looking for the best party hostels in Costa Rica, I'll list my top 5 below:

Party in Costa Rica With Pilot

Costa Rica is a country with rich nightlife, where people know how to party. Whether you've decided to partake in Costa Rican tours or explore this tropical getaway at your own pace, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the nightlife.

If you're still trying to figure out what your Costa Rican vacation looks like, you should try planning with Pilot!

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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Camila Wanderley Blogs
Written by:
Camila Wanderley
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