When night comes, Limeños will hit the bars and discos, which Lima has no shortage of. When it comes to places to drink, you’ll find every type of bar imaginable in Lima. Mostly concentrated in Barranco and Miraflores, you’ll find atmospheric bars for talking and hanging out, to loud discos where you can dance all night. Limeños don’t start going out to party until about 11 or 12 at night, so plan on staying up to the early hours. Here is the ultimate guide to Lima’s nightlife.
One of the more lively areas is Pizza Street, which gets its name from the many pizza restaurants lining the front part of this pedestrianized street, just outside of Parque Kennedy. But stick around for the party. Once you make your way past the pizza places, you’ll find a lively and entertaining bar scene. Most of the bars and discos along this street are indistinguishable from their neighbor, but each of them will certainly be a good time. There is no shortage of things to do and places to get drunk here: whether it’s dancing or talking over a pitcher of Pilsen you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
Ayahuasca—no, not the sacred Amazonian hallucinogen—the colonial mansion-turned-bar in Barranco, is a must-visit. Once night falls in Barranco, Ayahuasca’s attractive exterior and lighting make this bar an irresistible option. The gutted-out mansion offers enough rooms to get lost in, especially with its vibrant, carnival-esque lighting on the first floor. Whether you have a large party or are heading in alone, there is plenty of space for everything within its beautiful walls. You can sit down on a stool at a bar or find a hidden room for a party of 11. If you’re hungry, they also have delicious food options. Their mission, according to their website, “is to offer a unique experience in a warm place and with a world-class service, where our customers feel identified with a concept that breaks the barriers of the traditional.” Their bar does exactly that.
Ayahuasca, Av San Martin 130, Barranco, Lima, Peru, +51 1 247 6751
After partying at Ayahuasca, head to El Dragón in Barranco. Considered by most locals as the best place to dance in Lima, there will be something happening here, especially on the weekend. Check their website because the events always change, but expect either a DJ playing anything from ’80s rock (which Peruvians love) to reggaeton or a local band. The entry fee will vary depending on the act, but expect to pay about 10 soles (around US$3) per person. The bar is separated into two different rooms—one larger room with a stage and a bar, and the other with a bar and some seating to take a break and chat. No matter who is playing, you’re going to have some fun.
Then there is Tequila Rock, which will always be a party and, on the weekend, filled with a lot of people. However, sometimes this spot can get grimy and, because it is Miraflores and it attracts a lot of travelers, there may be prostitutes hanging around and mingling in the dance party. It probably isn’t be the best place to head to on a weekday night, but weekends it will be crowded.
La Noche just might be the best place to see live music in Lima. You’ll see some of Peru’s most well-known bands grace the stage at this small, cozy venue in Barranco. The venue, connected to a lively bar where you can hear the music from, is intimate and fun. There’s a floor section as well as an upper level and the drinks are reasonably priced. Anywhere you decide to sit down (or stand) will have a good view of the action. Once the show ends, head to the bar next door or walk down Barranco’s most lively nighttime street just outside the front door.
La Noche, Sanchez Carrion 199, Barranco, Lima, Peru, +51 1 247 1012
Go to a Peña
Why not go to a Peña—a classic place to spend a night in Lima and listen to Peruvian folk music accompanied by traditional dances. Peñas are music venues or restaurants (or even someone’s house) where traditional Peruvian music is played by a live band. Sit back, enjoy some traditional Peruvian dishes and watch a Peña. There are many venues and restaurants that offer the spectacle, but La Candelaria feels the most authentic, with Don Porfirio another standout.
La Candelaria, Av. Francisco Bolognesi 292, Barranco, Lima, Peru, +51 1 247 2941