Whilst South America’s Bolivia is not a country that is known for its night life, it is possible to find some great bars and fun spots in most of the major towns and cities. A number of places operate to serve foreign visitors and expats, and there are also, of course, the places that cater to the domestic population. The main areas for nightlife are La Paz, Sucre, Santa Cruz, and Cochabamba, although you will almost always find somewhere in Bolivia to hang out, meet people, and have fun. Some guest houses and hotels have small bars incorporated too, meaning that you don’t even have to walk far!
Bolivia is also home to the infamous and notorious Route 36 bar; a place where visitors go to sample Bolivian cocaine. The location of the bar changes every so often though, largely based on local complaints and convenience. The merits of visiting this bar have been discussed and debated in numerous other places elsewhere online, this is only a mention of the existence of this unusual place in the country’s night scene.
A must do in Bolivia is to visit one of the Penas bars to experience some traditional Bolivian music and folklore. Whilst these do have a tendency to cater mainly to the tourist crowds, they still provide a fun evenings’ entertainment.
Top Best Bars in Bolivia
Mongo’s, La Paz
If you are craving a little taste of home whilst on the road and travelling, Mongo’s is an ideal spot. It is a British style pub and features a fireplace and a great range of food and drinks. It has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is popular with tourists and expats. It’s a good place to unwind in a cosy environment, and is also a great place to meet other travellers to chat to and swap tales with.
Pa’Goza, La Paz
If you are looking for somewhere lively for some late night dancing and revelry, Pa’Goza is an ideal spot in the heart of bustling La Paz. Whilst you will hear a variety of different music, one of the main musical specialities is salsa. Let the sounds carry you away as you watch people energetically dancing and creating some sublime moves on the dance floor. You could even try to pick up a tip or two and have a go yourself! Visitors should make sure that they are dressed fairly smartly. Not only will this ensure that you are admitted, but it will also help you to blend in and not feel so out of place.
Thelanious, La Paz
If the soothing sounds of jazz music are more your thing, head to Thelonious Jazz Bar for a night of entertainment and great music. A variety of bands play their magical music, with many of the bands originally hailing from the USA.
Boca y Sapo, La Paz
Attracting locals and tourists alike, this is one of the best penas bars in La Paz. The live music is entrancing and captivating. Unlike many of the other spots that tend to feel rather over-touristy, this place is all about the music. You will need to eat elsewhere before visiting as no meals are provided, but the terrific live music and vibrant traditional outfits will ensure that you really do have a great night to remember.
El Forum, La Paz
El Forum attracts a young and trendy crowd, drawn by the combined clubbing atmosphere and slightly exclusive and elegant feel. If you want to dress up, mingle with the cool kids, and dance the night away, El Forum could be just what you are looking for.
Wakeys, La Paz
For a late night chill out spot, Wakeys operates into the wee small hours. A chilled out feel and friendly atmosphere make this an appealing choice for visitors to the city. It is a great place to meet people. It has a slightly offbeat and grungy feel, with dashes of hippy-ness thrown in for good measure.
Bed, Santa Cruz
With a funky and stylish feeling, make sure that you dress smartly if you plan to visit this lively club. It attracts a classy crowd, and oozes smooth sophistication. The music is good, and there is a wide choice of drinks. It is located in the electric and eclectic area of Equipetrol.
Automania, Santa Cruz
A themed bar, it will be no surprise to hear that the décor and decorations are based around car racing. This adds to the high octane feeling of the bar, and it is a lively and fun place to hang out for a night. The dress code is smart casual, although you should veer on the side of smarter.
Rock Café, Santa Cruz
Similar to rock joints all around the world, Santa Cruz’s Rock Café has a relaxed air and the music just keeps on playing. Loud and lively, it is a fun place in the city.
Open until late at night, you will see many of the cooler local youth hanging out in this trendy spot. When it comes to styles of stress, it is fairly informal.
Mandarina Lounge, Cochabamba
Smart and stylish, you cannot help but feel the elegance in this refined bar. Inside, you can admire the distinctive and arty designs and the intimate atmosphere. There is a dance floor for if you want to have a bop, but many people enjoy just sitting, chatting, drinking, and soaking up the atmosphere.
If dance music and Euro pop are your thing, head to the lively FlowM. A major attraction is the terrific drinks offers that it has, and you can often find two for one specials on many drinks. The inside is funky and unusual, and it draws a large crowd of locals and tourists.
La Loco, Uyuni
La Loco has a distinctly French flavour, which is in sharp contrast to the vast number of Spanish influences that you will encounter so often whilst travelling around Bolivia. It plays some excellent music, and the drinks are reasonably priced. It is a top spot to check out when in Uyuni.