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CUSCO NIGHTLIFE: A GUIDE TO THE BEST BARS AND CLUBS

The buzz and energy of travellers readying themselves for their once in a lifetime trip to Machu Picchu are reflected in Cusco's nightlife scene. Every backpacker seems to ooze a sense of excitement either preparing for or have completed the journey, which bleeds out into the bars and clubs in the city. This makes nights out in Cusco one to remember - or not depending on how much you drink. Below we've listed what we think are the best places to celebrate your experiences. Remember: Always drink responsibly.

THE BEST PUBS AND PLACES FOR A BEER IN CUSCO

1. Paddy's Irish Pub

Many people believe that the sign of a great party city is the quality of its Irish Pub, and Cusco is no different.

 

Paddy’s is the self pro-claimed highest Irish pub in the world (we’ll leave you to fact check this). The pub is designed with Ireland in mind – lots of emerald green, leather stools and a wooden bar typical of pubs in Ireland.

 

Oh, and they’re big on sports with all the football, golf, rugby and more always playing. Try and grab a seat by one of the windows for a beautiful view out across the plaza.

 

Not only does the pub offer local beers such as Cusqeuna it also serves an Irish favourite, Guinness! But, you won’t want to drink too many as it will get rather expensive.

 

Furthermore, if you’re looking for some wholesome food ideal for a hangover, we’d recommend Paddy’s – burgers, nachos, pizza – yep, they have it all.

2. Norton's Pub

Another great ex-pat pub overlooking the plaza. It’s similar to Paddy’s, but with far more space.

 

They have a wide selection of beers on tap including several Peruvian brewed IPAs and American Ales if you fancy a change from Cusquena.

 

And yes, you guessed it, this is a sports bar so they show all kinds of sports and will happily change the channel if you have something specific to watch. There are pool and darts tables too to prove it’s a real sports bar.

 

Similarly, to Paddy’s the menu’s full of hearty foods to help you recover from the night before.

3. La Fabrica Sports Bar

La Fabrica Sports Bar is a smaller bar but with big screens allowing you to catch up on all the sport you’ve been missing.

 

La Fabrica is typical of an American sports bar with stools facing screens over the bar and booths for when you’re hungry. They also have a superb menu with adorable slider options.

 

If the sport on show isn’t competitive enough, challenge your friends to a game of pool or darts.

4. Limbus Restobar

Limbus has one of the best views in all of Cusco. The terrace looks out across the terracotta rooftops of the city and is a great place to start the night with some food and a beer.

 

The bar has a wide selection of traditional and non-traditional cocktails for you to enjoy and if you haven’t already tasted the local drink of ‘Chica’ which is made from corn, Limbus is an excellent place to try it!

 

Check out our top restaurant picks in Cusco so that you’re well fed before you start drinking!

5. Barranco Beer Company

The popular brewing company in Lima now has a second location in Cusco, a few streets away from Plaza de Armas.

 

If you didn’t manage to visit while in the capital, make sure you do now as they brew some of the best craft beers in all of Peru.

THE BEST PARTY HOSTEL BARS IN CUSCO

If you’re staying at one of the main hostels in Cusco, these can often be the hot spot on a night out.

 

The quality of the night largely depends on the people there, but we’ve had some great nights merely staying at a hostel bar. Our recommendation is to start your night at one of them and see how things progress and more than likely you’ll meet a huge group wanting to go to a club later.

 

Our favourite hostels to stay at in Cusco covers some of the more laid-back hostels. But if you’re looking for one with a good bar and party scene then here are our two recommendations:

1. Wild Rover

The beauty of Wild Rover is that you don’t have to stay at the hostel to visit the bar.

 

If you’ve ever stayed at one, you’ll know why we say that. While the hostel can be a bit much if you’re looking for a wild night, start here – you’ll always find people playing beer pong or doing shots, so your night may go from 0 to 100 very quickly. This is also one of the best spots to meet other travellers. 

 

Wild Rover is another excellent place to watch sports with all the significant events shown on their huge projector screen.

2. Loki

Loki hostels are another chain in Peru that can rival Wild Rover in terms of crazy. Themed parties such as the Playboy Party and Anything But Clothing Party give you an idea of what to expect.

 

Loki is located 50 metres down the hill on the same road as Wild Rover so you can bounce between the two to see which one is livelier.

THE BEST BARS AND CLUBS IN CUSCO

Once you’ve had a few drinks in one of the pubs or at your hostel, you might be thinking of the next logical step – “where to go out?”

 

If you’re keen to head straight to a club or bar, most of these are found around the central plaza and are free entry so you can bounce around them with ease to find the place that suits you.

1. Chango Club

We spent many nights in Chango, but to be honest, they’ve blurred into a haze. It’s an underground club with a large dancefloor to facilitate you getting down. All the usual drinks are on offer, as well as serving cocktails if you want to spice up your night.

 

There are several smaller bars on Calle Tecsecocha for a pre-drink. We’d recommend going around midnight when it’s a bit busier as nights kick-off later in Peru – this is where most people end the night.

2. Mama Africa

Right on the square, Mama Africa is a restaurant come-bar come-club. Things start earlier here, and if you stay long enough, you’ll witness its transition into vibrant party scene.

 

It’s a more intimate venue with a smaller dance floor, but still plenty of room to dance. We had a lot of fun here. 

3. Ukukus Bar

Ukukus is a fantastic place to see live performances.

 

There are regular shows which not only include musical bands, but circus acts too. The decor inside is trippy with lots of neon murals covering the lounge areas. You’ll find something different at Ukukus, but you won’t be left disappointed.

4. Mythology

Another random doorway that takes you to a second-floor club surrounding Plaza De Armas.

 

There are two floors both with bars, so it’s easy to get a drink but apart from that, there isn’t much difference to any of the others on the list!

5. Rock House Cafe

A prominent place for rock lovers to visit. This intimate bar is the spot if you love rock music with a Peruvian twist.

 

Though it will probably be one of the smallest venues you’ve ever been too! Regular live performances make this an energetic place to have a drink and experience something different. 

If you haven’t planned what you’re doing in Cusco yet, then our city guide will help you get started. 

 

 

Or if are moving on from Cusco after a night or two, then our guides for Lima or Arequipa will help you plan your next stops. 

 

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