Just because it is a relaxed town that centers around the beach
, that does not mean that you cannot let loose in Arica. Restaurant patios, smoky local bars, lounges, and even discos are available here. It is the driest city in the world, but that does not refer to the nightlife, so go enjoy these bars and stay hydrated.
Restaurant, Bar, Diner, Pub Grub, $$$
For an ice cold ‘cerveza’, Schopdog allows you to be your own bartender with a large tube filled with ice cold beer where you can pour yourself pints as you wish without having to move or hail down a server. Sit outside on the patio of Paseo 21 de Mayo as the sun goes down and order some pub-grub like sandwiches, burgers, or shared snack platters.
Asi Sea Club
This trendy lounge positions itself in the market right between the local bars and the busy clubs, as it has a great traditional décor, comfy furniture and a great list of drink options, including Chilean wines. Get dressed up, look the part, but kick back with your friends in a cosy, relaxed environment where the tunes are played at a perfect level where you can enjoy them, but also still converse.
Bar, Gastropub, Sushi, Tapas, $$$
Stay close to the beach and visit one of the resto-bars in Arica, known as Pub Mojito, Mojito Arica, or simply as Mojito. Much more on offer than just the mint rum beverage, as you have an eclectic choice of beverages from caipirinhas, fruit-infused wine spritzers, the Chilean take on a daiquiri, and also a menu of sushi and other edibles while the night progresses.
Get started early at 303 Bolognesi in the center of Arica with some lunch and a couple creative cocktails, Chilean beers, or some Pisco, to partner up with your lunch. It closes for a few hours in the middle of the day to prepare for the night, as it stays open until late – or early, depending on how you look at it – so go out, do some sight seeing, and come back for your second shift.
Restaurant, Bar, Italian, Fusion, Pub Grub, $$$
If you believe the people make the place, then head to Di Mango, which is one of the top restaurants in town and open late, attracting a diverse crowd of locals and travellers alike. One location right in the center of town on the Paseo de May gives you an outdoor seat to watch people cruise by or street performers, and the other, right in front of Chinchorro Beach, is bigger, more relaxed, and a great place to enjoy some beverages on the big patio.
Stunning Di Mango Chinchorro Patio | Courtesy of Di Mango
Bar, Cuban, $$$
‘Old Havana’ differentiates itself from a ‘disco’ and calls itself a Salsoteca, since, for those who like to dance salsa or those who want to learn, you can take part in the lessons that they host here. As imagined, Vieja Habana is a bar more designed around dancing than drinking, but replenish your fluids with, you guessed it, a Cuba Libre.
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
If you want a watering hole where the locals go after a day of work, Club 21 is pretty authentic, and a good place to sink a few drinks, and even get up behind the microphone, as they have karaoke for those who can sing, or at least those who think they can when they are fairly lubricated. A good place to start off your night, since the prices are cheap for Chilean standards.
Pub Capitán Drake
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Fusion, $$$
Promoted by SOHO Nightlife Arica as the place to party in Arica, Pub Capitán Drake is the main nightclub in the city and the best place to really let loose. Constantly hosting events, different DJs, and just an all around energetic vibe, this club-pub is a great place to end on the beach, after a crawl through a few bars.
Wine Bar, Bar, Fusion, $$$
Neighbouring Pub Capitán Drake is Bar Previa, which also hosts different DJs playing, funk, house, and even rock mixes on weekend nights, and Thursdays usually offer karaoke to add a change and spice things up a bit.
Pub, Bar, Barbeque, Pub Grub, $$$
Enjoy the seclusion of being a little outside of the center of town, and visit La Grilla Bar and Restaurant right next to the entrance to Isla Alacran and the best, most dangerous waves in Chile. Delicious pub-style food, good service, big, strong, well-prepared drinks, and a walkable ten minutes from the center along the beautiful, breezy boardwalk.
La Grilla Bar on the Beach | Will Lees / © Culture Trip