1) Jaco Blu. An open-air beach bar, Jaco Blu reminds more of a Las Vegas hotspot than a seaside joint. With lively poolside parties set against the backdrop of swaying palms before ocean views, it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular nightlife spots in Jaco.
2) ManCave. Blending a sports bar and a nightclub isn’t easy. But ManCave does it in style with a visual overload of TVs plastered across walls, leather furnishings to give the impression of, well, a man cave, and high-energy music that brings in the crowds. While you're there, why not try a “Tumba Calzones.” Yes, as you may have guessed, the name of the spicy fruit beer translates to “underwear remover,” and that’s certainly been the case for some folks after downing a few at ManCave!
In Playa del Coco: By day, it’s an unassuming little beach town. At night, the center of Coco Beach comes alive to put on a pretty good showing of nightlife.
3) Zi Lounge. A bit more upscale than its neighboring haunts, Zi Lounge is one of the town’s top nocturnal spots for good reasons. They bring in a crowd with live music and DJs, with different spaces offering unique experiences. At the bar, you’ll find sports fans cheering at a bank of flat screens. Lounge seating has a VIP club vibe, while the dance floor pops off when top DJs are spinning.
4) Bar El ANCLA. To party with a beach-bar vibe, Bar El ANCLA welcomes with tables in the sand, a bar with ocean views, and iced buckets of beer to laze over as you take in the scenery. But things get going at night. Expect loud music and the crowd to get raucous as the nighttime fun ramps up.
As it was born in the bars of Playa del Coco, you probably shouldn’t leave without doing a Chiliguaro shot. Mix guaro (local sugar-cane liquor), hot sauce, lime and salt and do your best to down that spicy sucker without wincing.
In Puerto Viejo. On the eastern coast, Puerto Viejo de Limon has a much different vibe than much of the country, due to the rich cultural contributions of Afro-Costa Ricans that call the piece of Caribbean paradise home. Soft reggae floats through the air during the day, but the energy gets turned up at night.
5) Salsa Brava. Like the rest of the tiny seaside town, the club is pretty chill during daylight hours. But as it gets into the wee hours, locals hit the dance floors as DJs push a high-end sound system to maximum party mode.
6) Lazy Mon. As you can probably figure by its name, Lazy Mon can be a pretty laid back place. Cocktails at sunset is a seriously chill-inducing experience. But on weekend nights that place explodes (almost literally) with fire dancers and DJs turning out high-energy mixes of reggae beats. It’s also famous for live music, most especially during the Sunday night open jam.
Puerto Viejo is the perfect place to enjoy a Coco Loco, a popular cocktail with coconut milk and fruit juice, served in a freshly hacked coconut. While the drink did originate in Colombia, it crossed Caribbean waters to land in Costa Rica, where it got a Tico guaro-cocktail spin.
In San Jose. Chances are your visit to Costa Rica will start or finish at the capital’s airport and the city has an amazing nightlife scene.
7) Club Vertigo. For a rave experience like no other, dress to impress and head to one of the town’s most vivacious scenes. Pack onto a massive dance floor under a soaring ceiling as the space positively vibrates with the energy of world-class DJs, spinning hip-hop, techno, and house on arguably Central America’s most cutting edge sound system.
So whether you base yourself near the nightlife of Jaco Beach on the Pacific side, by high energy haunts on the Caribbean or anywhere in between, your trip to Costa Rica can include revelry at some unbelievable party places.