Is Santa Teresa A Party Town?

While there’s a bit of nightlife around Santa Teresa, it is not an absolute party destination in Costa Rica. On certain nights, some places are known for having an exciting nightlife. If you’re into that, you can easily find these spots. But there are also lots of calm places, if you prefer that. It has a younger vibe overall.

Many people are quick to assume Santa Teresa is an ideal town for a party lifestyle in Costa Rica. But just because the town gets very busy doesn’t mean it’s a party town. Indeed, there is much more traffic and pedestrians on the main road. 

But after spending a few weeks in Playa Carmen and moving around Santa Teresa, I’ve had to learn to lower my expectations when it comes to partying and the immense nightlife experience. The party happens here, but not as much as you may have heard. 

It also depends on what you mean by ‘party town.’ Do you mean a place with so many spots for live music, where people sing in front of you while eating dinner? Or, do you mean a place full of venues where people can go dancing and have nice cocktails?

Whatever your concerns are, you will find answers in this article to every relevant piece of information about Santa Teresa’s party lifestyle and the best places to experience it.

Key Takeaways

  • Santa Teresa has a party lifestyle going on. However, where to enjoy parties around town varies on certain nights. So it’s not an absolute party destination in Costa Rica
  • In Santa Teresa, you can enjoy parties at places like Banana Beach, Kika, and La Lora Amarilla Disco Bar.
  • Jaco and Termanido are better as party towns than Santa Teresa if you’re all about that nightlife and party lifestyle. 
  • Santa Teresa is generally safe for parties, but if you’re a solo traveler, avoid walking alone at night. 

How is the party lifestyle at Santa Teresa?

Like a few other nightlife-oriented towns in Costa Rica, Santa Teresa wakes up when the sun goes down. 

You’ll find plenty of places to eat and have fun at night, with many restaurants offering happy hours and entertainment. 

But when it comes to parties, the trick is that different bars are popular on different nights of the week. So, it’s a good idea to ask around while you’re at the beach or shopping during the day. Even your server at a restaurant can tell you where to go for a good time on a specific night.



Santa Teresa has a relaxed vibe and a hippie feel. This is unlike places like Tamarindo, which is more focused on tourists and has a lot of commercial activity, including more restaurants and nightlife options.


Montezuma doesn’t have much nightlife. It’s a quiet place, especially at night. The nightlife is essentially a small street party, with locals playing music and only about 20 people hanging around. 


Jaco is famous for its exciting nightlife, offering lots of choices for people who love to party. So you’ll find more opportunities to party in Jaco than in Santa Teresa. But it’s more than just a place to party. Jaco has a friendly vibe and a lot of cool places to hang out, like bars, restaurants, clubs, casinos, and pubs.


So, it’s safe to say that Santa Teresa is definitely a hotspot for nightlife where people like to see and be seen. 

Still, if you’re not into partying, loud music, and meeting new people, there’s still an opportunity to enjoy the quieter and more natural surroundings of the Osa Peninsula, where the beaches are pristine and not crowded at all.

In other words, Santa Teresa isn’t a 100% party town. 

Where in Santa Teresa can you enjoy a party?

After spending a few weeks in Santa Teresa, I started to understand how the nightlife works. Here’s what I found about which bars are busy on which nights:

  • Thursday and Saturday: La Lora Amarilla Disco Bar (near Kika and across from Somos Hostel). It’s open late and popular among tourists and locals for reggae, trance, and live music. It’s the place to be when you’re not ready for the party to end.
  • Friday: Check out Kooks and Pronto Piccola Italia. They’re two restaurants and bars across the street from each other. Pronto is inside a shopping area with a cool bar that gets busy on Friday nights.
  • If you want to dance, head to Kika on Thursday and Saturday nights. For dance parties, they move the tables aside. Before dancing, try their delicious pork or sesame-crusted tuna and have a cold beer.
  • Banana Beach Bar: This spot is great; it’s right on the beach. Has an amazing atmosphere. On Mondays, there is a surf competition and a big party. It is also located on one of the town’s best beaches, Santa Teresa. You will love the music, fire shows, and the most incredible summer parties.

You can see that even the most popular areas for enjoying parties at Santa Teresa are not as many as in some other party-oriented Costa Rican towns. 

So, where’s the party town in Costa Rica?

Finding a good nightlife spot can be tricky, especially when some places might have a reputation for being unsafe or associated with activities like prostitution. 

For me, a great nightlife area has lively restaurants, bars, and maybe some night markets, all in a safe neighborhood.

Based on these criteria, Jacó seems like a good pick if you want to party hard. There are also karaoke bars and Jacó Walk, which features shopping, restaurants, and artisanal night markets on select weekends. But be aware that some areas might not be safe at night. 

Manuel Antonio (MA) has a more casual vibe and is better suited for connecting with nature. If you want something more, consider tamarindo.


  • There are many bars and restaurants in Jacó that aren’t associated with prostitution.
  • While some nightclubs may attract a few prostitutes, they mainly cater to regular people. 

Why wouldn’t I classify Santa Teresa as a party town? 

Even the parties on weekends in Santa Teresa aren’t that lively anymore after the holiday season. 

It’s cool to hang out at Banana, but most people head out after sunset. For a complete party environment, I suggest going somewhere else. 

I believe the locals in Santa Teresa are working to keep things balanced in the community. 

The locals give the body language, “You can party anywhere in the world, but it would be great if you came here to relax, appreciate nature, enjoy the vibes, and relax on the beach.”

The bottom line

I wouldn’t outright call Santa Teresa a party town. It’s a nice mix between surfing and nature and there’s still a lively nightlife.

There’s usually one big party each night going on in one club or bar, but it changes location. 

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Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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