Cusco nightlife

The Ultimate Cusco Nightlife Guide To The Best Bars, Clubs & Party Hostels

Cusco thrusts backpackers and locals together among a host of quality bars and clubs that all centre around the main Plaza. This means you are never far away from the next place to party. Everything you need to know from the best bars and clubs to the best party hostels is all here in this Cusco nightlife guide.

2022 UPDATE: Unfortunately, a lot of the bars and clubs mentioned in this post have been permanently closed down. The original post was written in 2020 just before the pandemic spread across the world. Since then, covid has caused a lot of places to shut down as they were so dependent on regular customers and tourism.

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Does Cusco Have Good Nightlife?

Cusco has great nightlife and it’s one of the best cities to in Peru for a party.

 

What’s so great about it? Well, Cusco is quite a small city so all the nightlife is centered around the main square known as Plaza De Armas.

 

This means the town centre is always buzzing and full of people. You are never more than a stone’s throw away from the next bar, club or party hostel and on nights out, you will find yourself bar crawling from one to the next.

 

It’s also a popular hub for backpackers looking to visit Machu Picchu. Combine this with a young local Peruvian population who are looking to mingle with foreigners, and you have yourself a busy and vibrant night out.

 

All these things combine to make Cusco one of the best cities in Peru, and maybe even South America, for nightlife.

Cusco

Is Cusco A Party City?

I wouldn’t say Cusco is a party city. You can find great nightlife in Cusco but you won’t find a party every night of the week. Thursday-Saturday will always be big nights as you get locals out alongside backpackers.

 

The best place to find a party on quieter mid-weeknights will be at the backpacker hostels. 

 

Cusco has two crazy backpacker hostels – Loki and Wild Rover. These two hostel chains have a reputation around South America for being some of the best party hostels and it’s here where you’ll find something going on every night of the week; whether its pool tournaments, drinking games or a random themed event like a pajama party.

For the best party hostels in Peru and across the continent, head to one of our most popular posts:

 

 

Cusco streets

The Best Bars In Cusco

1. Paddy's Irish Pub

Reasons to come here:

 

  • Great selection of beer
  • Guinness on tap
  • Big screen TV’s with loads of sport
  • Lots of great food from burgers to pies – perfect if you miss home

Many people believe that the sign of a great party city is the quality of its Irish Pub – so Cusco must be one of the best.

 

Paddy’s is the self-proclaimed highest Irish pub in the world – sitting at 3400m above sea level.

 

The pub is designed with Ireland in mind – lots of emerald green, leather stools and a wooden bar typical of pubs in Ireland. This is the place to come if you’ve been travelling through South America for a while and need some home comforts such as pie or fish and chips. Or If you’re just looking for some wholesome hangover food, they have it all – burgers, nachos, pizza.

 

Paddy’s has a great selection of beers from imported English lagers like Stella, to local craft beers. They also serve an Irish favourite, Guinness, which will be one of the few places in Peru you can probably get it.

 

The pub has a couple of big screens showing all the sports such as football, golf, rugby and more.

 

It’s located right on the edge of Plaza de Armas, on the second floor of the building. Try and grab a seat by one of the windows for a beautiful view out across the plaza.

Cusco irish pub
Cusco Irish Pub

2. Norton's Pub

Reasons to come here:

 

  • Great selection of imported and local beer
  • Pool tables and dart boards
  • Big screen TV’s with loads of sport

Norton’s is another great ex-pat run pub overlooking the plaza.

 

It’s like Paddy’s, but with far more space. They have a good selection of beers on tap including several Peruvian brewed IPAs and American Ales if you fancy a change from the local Cusquena.

 

Norton’s pub is a sports bar so they show all kinds of sports and will happily change the channel if you have something specific to watch.

 

The best part about Norton’s compared to Paddy’s is that they have 2 pool tables and 3 dart boards. This is the place to come to sit with a hangover and enjoy some sports, or to spend the day the afternoon playing pool and darts before heading out.

 

Similarly, to Paddy’s the menu’s full of hearty foods to help you recover from the night before such as nachos, burritos and huge baguettes filled with all kinds of ingredients.

 

They also have some small balconies with seats looking out over the Plaza – the perfect place to enjoy a beer of an evening.

Cusco
cusco pubs and pars

3. La Fabrica Sports Bar

Reasons to come here:

 

  • Bigger TV’s with all the channels
  • Pool and darts

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 whilst travelling South America.

 

They have all the sports from NFL to the English Premier League. Just ask and they will put what you want on one of the many TV’s.

 

The set-up is reminiscent of a typical of American style joint with stools facing screens at the bar and booths for when you want to sit down and order food. They also have a superb menu with American options such as sliders, wings, and fries.

 

Come here for the great atmosphere and a mix of nationalities all enjoying the best sport in the world – football (the English version).

4. Limbus Restobar

Reasons to come here:

 

  • The best view in Cusco (especially at sunset)
  • Great selection of Peruvian dishes

Limbus Resto-bar has one of 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. Aim to come here for golden hour and you’ll be treated to an incredible sunset; I’d recommend booking a table though – it’s a popular place.

 

The bar has a wide selection of 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!

 

Happy hour last from 3.00PM to 6.00PM every Monday to Wednesday. You can get two Pisco Sours for 30 soles (which is just under $8).

 

Limbus is also a great restaurant, and this is the place to try some Peruvian dishes such as mouth-watering lomo saltado, ceviche or trout. Ceviche is 37 soles (just under $10) which is reasonable for a place with such a great view. 

If you haven’t already checked out our top restaurant picks in Cusco, head to the post below:

 

 

Cusco, Peru
Cusco rooftops (Peru)

5. Barranco Beer Company

Reasons to come here:

 

  • Popular brewery chain in Peru
  • The best selection of craft beers

The popular brewing company first started 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.

 

They describe themselves as “an alternative beer experience where customers can taste a wide variety of craft beers accompanied by tasty traditional and innovative dishes”.

 

Come here to try some excellent local dishes and craft beers brewed in Peru.

6. Rock House Cafe

Reasons to come here:

 

  • Regular live rock performance

A prominent place for Rock lovers to visit. This intimate bar is the spot if you love Rock 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. 

Cusco

The Best Party Hostels In Cusco

Cusco is home to two of the best party hostels chains in not only Peru, but the whole of South America – Wild Rover and Loki.

 

These two chains have hostels in most of the big cities in Peru including Lima, Huacachina, Mancora and Arequipa.

 

If you’re staying at one of these hostels, these are often the best places to go on a night out. Most of the backpackers in town flock to them to start off the night. They are often running their own themed parties and the bars are big enough to rival any in town.

 

Remember, you don’t have to be staying at the hostel to go to the bar. Most of these places want your business and turn into full blown clubs later in the night. Just turn up at the door, say you want to go for a drink, and they will give you a visitor wristband for the night so you can come and go from the bar as you please.

 

I recommend starting your night at one of the party hostels and seeing how things progress. It’s more than likely you’ll meet a huge group of backpackers to go clubbing with later.

1. Wild Rover

Whilst I don’t recommend staying at Wild Rover, I will recommend coming here for a party. If you’ve ever stayed at one, you’ll know why.

 

The Wild Rover chain is renowned across South America.  The Cusco hostel is great for its organised team of bar staff who manage to lead the entire hostel through several drinking games before taking them all on a night out.

 

The bar staff usually begin with beer pong tournaments and games, getting everyone drunk before heading to a club. It’s an impressive feat and it always means you have a great night without ever needing to worry about organising anything.

A stay at Wild Rover is one of our many reasons to visit Peru. For more great reasons, check out the post below:

 

 

Wild Rover Hostel, Cusco
Wild Rover Hostel - Garden Area (Cusco)

2. Loki

Loki hostels are another chain in Peru that can rival Wild Rover in terms of crazy.

 

The Loki Hostels, named after the mischievous Norse God of thunder, are certainly up to no good when they plan their insane party nights. 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 lower down the hill on the same road as Wild Rover so you can bounce between the two to see which one is livelier.

To learn more about the best backpacker hostels in Cusco, including hostels with a more relaxed vibe so you can get a good night’s sleep, head to the post below:

 

 

Cusco

The Best Clubs In Cusco

So, you’ve had a few drinks at one of the many bars in Cusco or maybe you’ve started off with some drinking games at your hostel?  You might be thinking of the next logical step – “where to go out?”

 

Cusco has a handful of good clubs in which you can dance late into the night. Most of these are found around the central plaza and have free entry so you can bounce around them with ease to find the place that suits you.

1. Chango Club

Chango is one of the best clubs in Cusco. It’s a big underground club with a large dancefloor surrounded by a couple of bars. The reggaeton will be blaring and people will be dancing late into the night here.

 

I’d recommend going to the club around midnight when it’s a bit busier as nights kick-off later in Peru – this is where most people end up after the bars close. 

Cusco
Cusco clubs

2. Mama Africa

Mama Africa can be found on the main square on one of the upper floors buildings looking out onto the plaza. It’s a more intimate venue with a smaller dance floor, but still, plenty of room to dance. I had a lot of fun here but I was in Cusco during a busy time and it was absolutely packed which ruined the fun a little.

 

Try to go when its less busy so you have some space to actually dance.

3. Ukukus Bar

Ukukus is a fantastic place to see bands and other 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.

Cusco

4. Mythology

Mythology is another club that can be found through a random doorway just off the main plaza. The stairway takes you to a second-floor club then looking out over Plaza De Armas.

 

It has small windows and balconies looking on to the square similar to Paddy’s and Norton’s. 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.

Want to know more about what to do in Cusco apart from partying all night? Check out the Cusco city guide below:

 

 

Cusco mountains

How Much Does A Night Out In Cusco Cost?

A night out in Cusco is cheap and should cost between $20-30 depending on how much you like to drink.

 

The clubs in Cusco are free so you don’t have to worry about paying for them.

 

  • Domestic beer (called Cusquena) costs around 8 soles for a 0.5 litre draught which is $2.
  • Imported beer is a little more expensive at 13 soles ($3.30).
  • Cocktails will be around 15-20 soles for a single.

 

This means, if you don’t mind drinking Cusquena, you can have 10 beers in Cusco for $20 which should be more than enough for anyone on a night out.

For more on backpacking in Peru and South America, check out our itineraries and travel routes:

 

 

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