As one of South America’s most vibrant cities, Lima has plenty to keep travelers entertained…both day and night. It was once merely a stop on the way to the iconic Machu Picchu. But present-day Lima has since been establishing itself as a tourist destination too.

Lima is full of history and culture. From colonial architecture to Incan artifacts and treasures…there’s plenty to discover. The city is also a food-lover’s dream come true. It even has a “Boulevard of Gastronomy” where fresh farmer’s market ingredients are showcased and used in Peruvian cooking.

There’s no question travelers will find plenty to do during the day while exploring Lima. But what is there to do at night? Lima nightlife is pretty eclectic. Smooth jazz and salsa beat sounds fill the numerous music bars. Swanky clubs, colonial mansions soirees, and folkloric dance shows are options too. And of course…let’s not forget about the delicious dinner options. Here’s a look at some options to consider for a night out on the town in Lima…

Experience a Peruvian Folk Show

Couple of peruvian dancers in white dress performs traditional courting dance “la marinera” in the public street

A great way to take in the culture of Peru while enjoying a fun night out is to check out a Peruvian folk dance show. Travelers will find that different regions of the country have their own folk dance styles. And one of the cool things about these shows is that they almost always vary from night to night.

Often times, these shows turn into an all out party…what the Peruvians call a pena. It’s a lively blend of live music, dance, and sometimes comedy acts. And it’s truly a great way to experience the cultural pride of local Peruvians.

The folk shows and penas tend to be the liveliest in Lima on Friday and Saturday nights. And don’t be surprised to find that these parties last well into the early morning!

Get Your Disco On

 

Disco clubs? Those still exist? Well in Lima they definitely do. And they are actually quite a popular nighttime activity. The weekend is the best time to go to a discotheque in Lima. Things usually get going after 11pm.

The discos around Lima tend to be pretty diverse. You can find anything from international music to a soft, more romantic disco music vibe. If you’re visiting Lima in the summer, many makeshift discos can be found outside on the southern beaches.

Test Your Luck With Gambling

You many not think of casinos and gambling houses as a way to spend your evening. But for those looking for a different nightlife experience may want to give it a try. Lima has become a pretty impressive gambling and casino tourist destination. So why not see if the cards are in your favor one evening?

The gambling choices in Lima are pretty diverse. And there are quite a lot of luxury establishments to choose from too…if you’re looking to rub elbows with the high-rollers. But there are other choices like slot machines and even bingo. Many of the casinos are found in Lima’s four and five star hotels. So if you’re a fan of gambling, check into which hotels might host a casino.

Eat All You Can

Ceviche Peruano

Of course dining out in Lima doesn’t have to be restricted to a nighttime only outing. But it’s definitely a great way to spend an evening in the Peruvian capital. Especially since Lima is known worldwide for have some pretty amazing cuisine.

So where does one begin when deciding where to eat in Lima? Well, that depends on what type of dining experience and food you’re looking for. You’re pretty apt to find just about anything somewhere in the neighborhood streets.

Peruvian restaurants can be anything from innovative and indulgent (in both taste and price) to simple and cheap. If you’re on a budget, it’s no problem. Simple cantinas off quite a lot of tasty treats and cater to a smaller budget. Peruvian cuisine and international cuisine can be found. And you can pretty much guarantee a great meal no matter which restaurant you choose during your evening out.

Seek Out a Go-To Neighborhood

It’s no secret that Lima is a huge place. So where exactly are you supposed to go to party? Here are a few of the top neighborhoods in Lima where you’re sure to find something fun to do…

  • Barranco- This colorful neighborhood is one of the most popular ones in all of Peru. Yup…it’s just that cool. There are some really great restaurants in Barranco. If you’re looking for fine dining…you won’t have a shortage of choices. But there are also plenty of budget friendly eateries here too. There’s also the famous Barranco Bar. It was once a mansion. But now it’s a bar with several different lounges and bar choices. Be sure to check out each room for a new and difference experience.
  • Miraflores- This one is definitely a more touristy section of Lima. But there are still some great options for nightlife. The food choices are eclectic and delicious. Don’t forget to try the traditional Peruvian drink: chicha morada. This sweet beverage is made from blue corn, pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar. This neighborhood is near the beach too, so be on the lookout for beachfront nightlife activities.
  • La Victoria- This neighborhood has a run-down vibe to it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any authentic Lima experiences waiting for you. La Victoria is the place to go if you’re looking for delicious yet inexpensive ceviche…Peru’s national dish. You’ll also find plenty of street food vendors around. The area also has a large open air market called Gamarra.
  • Pueblo Libre- This middle class neighborhood has numerous lively bars and restaurants. Check out the iconic Antigua Taberna Queirolo while you’re in the area. It’s a 135 year old bar known for its old-school charm and pisco sour with ginger! The neighborhood has a bit of a bohemian vibe with plenty of diverse nightlife choices.

No matter where or how you decide to party in Lima, it’s going to be a good time. Good people, good music, and good food…that’s what a Peruvian night out on the town is all about!

Learn more about Peru’s Hidden (and not so hidden) Gems or read A traveler’s Guide to Machu Picchu