“Pura vida” — the unofficial slogan that many Costa Ricans use.
It means “pure life,” and it’s a perfect encapsulation of the chilled out, laid-back lifestyle of the locals. But their easygoing nature doesn’t mean they don’t know how to party when the sun goes down. In fact, Costa Rica nightlife is known to be one of the most vibrant and exciting ones in the world.
You can get an idea when you read up on these Costa Rica nightlife reviews:
Jacó Blu Beach Club
This world class beachfront bar boasts lovely ocean views in front of an open-air layout that’s enclosed by tropical palm trees.
But don’t let the casual beach setting fool you into thinking that Jaco Blu is just a laid-back seaside joint; things can get pretty hectic late at night until early morning in this legendary hotspot.
It’s so famous that even Costa Rica’s local celebrities patronize it. If you want a bit of privacy while partying, there are VIP tents that you can rent. The food from the bar’s restaurant is also known for being one of the best in the beach town of Jaco, so don’t forget to order a plate or two from their menu.
If Coco is one of the destinations in your itinerary, then you must not forget to visit the Zi Lounge, an upscale bar-restaurant located in the heart of the picturesque town.
It’s just a hundred meters from the beach, so it’s an ideal spot for private parties or events. It also boasts the longest happy hour in town, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
With multiple flat screens set up all over the establishment, it’s the perfect spot to watch your favorite televised sports events. Live music aficionados can also enjoy nightly performances from Coco’s top DJs.
Bar EL ANCLA
This hotspot is known for its beach-bar vibes — ocean views, tables set up on the sand, and icy cold beer welcome its patrons.
During the late afternoon hours, it’s an ideal spot for people-watching, but things get really exciting at night. Loud music plays from huge speakers set up around the establishment, and the crowd gets really raucous to the jams mixed by its resident DJs.
Whether you stay for a couple of hours or party until early morning, you shouldn’t leave without downing some shots of chiliguaro, Costa Rica’s famous cocktail that’s guaranteed to give you a strong buzz, not to mention a heavy hangover in the morning.
Feeling a bit homesick?
You can visit Le Loft, a modern dance bar located in the center of the Jaco nightlife strip. It specializes in playing high-octane Western dance music and serving American drinks, which makes it a hit among tourists and locals alike.
It stays open until four in the morning and offers a variety of premium services in their VIP package, such as bottle service.
This recently remodeled bar is another favorite nighttime haunt of the locals.
It is so popular that it is always filled with people at any time of the year, regardless of whether it’s the high or low season for tourists.
From opening to closing hours, the dance floor is filled with clubbers moving to the best live music you can find in Jaco. The DJs play a seemingly endless selection of reggae, reggaeton, and hip hop tunes.
The bar also features stimulating performances by go-go dancers on Fridays and Saturdays. Ladies’ drinks are free on Saturday nights, up until midnight. If you’re looking for something else to do besides dancing, the establishment also offers table football and billiard facilities.
XTC Disco Bar
A trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its newest and most exciting addition to the nightlife scene: XTC Disco Bar.
Go-go dancers help to stir up the dance floor action with their sexy and graceful gyrations. Booze is also aplenty, with regular promos on drinks.
If you’re visiting this discotheque with a woman, then she’s in luck as it’s ladies’ night every night at XTC! It also organizes regular themed parties, such as Halloween Nights.
From its second-floor balcony, you can glimpse a thrilling view of the entire Jaco strip.
Alternative Costa Rica Nightlife Options
Dancing the night (and early morning) away is not the only option you have when it comes to experiencing the nightlife in Costa Rica.
If there’s one more thing this amazing country is known for aside from its vibrant nightlife scene, it is its incredible biodiversity and rich culture.
For this reason, night tours are also popular among visitors. Depending on what you want to see, you can sign up for any of the following tours when you visit the country:
- Turtle Nesting Tour — This tour involves a nighttime walk along the coast of the Marino Las Baulas National Park, where you can look out for green turtles swimming in from the ocean to lay their eggs ashore.
- Nocturnal Wildlife Tour — In complete darkness, guides will take you through any of Costa Rica’s jungles for a view of its wildlife that is only active at night.
- Bioluminescent Kayak Tour — You will set off in a kayak and explore the Gulf of Nicoya, where the waters are said to contain a special type of algae that glows in the dark.
- Tiquicia View Point — If exploring the local culture is what you have in mind, you’ll have more than your fill of it with this tour, which takes you to the best cultural shows and views in Costa Rica.
- VIP City Bus Evening Tour — If you’d like to limit your exploration to the San José nightlife, you can sign up for this evening bus tour that allows you to see the city’s rich past through its historical buildings.
Some Good News for Future Tourists
Like the rest of the world, Costa Rica’s vibrant tourism and nightlife has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic when the country closed its borders on March 18, 2020.
However, it recently opened its borders again via air travel on November 1, 2020. The government has also allowed nighttime establishments such as bars, dance halls, discotheques, pubs, lounges, and the like to reopen, under the condition that they will have to adhere to certain health protocols.
From these developments and the easing of Costa Rica travel restrictions, you can see that things are slowly getting back to normal in this laid-back country. Before you know it, maybe you’ll have a chance to experience the Costa Rica nightlife for yourself in the next year or so.