Puntarenas Costa Rica Nightlife Guide (What To Do & Where To Go)

The nightlife scene in Puntarenas may not be as vibrant as in Jaco, Tamarindo, Puerto Viejo, and other Costa Rican towns. However, if you consider Puntarenas a province, there are still places like Gallina E Palo Bar, Stam Cafe, and Bar La Bomba where you can enjoy lively parties and drinks. Remember to stay cautious when walking at night in Puntarenas, as petty theft can be a concern despite the overall safety.

Aside from some breathtaking sunsets and a few Port of Call tours, the city of Puntarenas itself offers little. The provinces of Guanacaste, Alajuela, San José, and Limón, along with the neighboring country of Panama, border it.

The best nightlife spots in Puntarenas are often located in the surrounding areas because the town itself lacks many options.

So, while there aren’t so many establishments in the area that give you that Jaco-kind of nightlife, there are still some bars and beach clubs within a distance away from Puntarenas that you can visit for fun when the sun goes down. 

Key Takeaways

  • Puntarenas itself isn’t a party town. It’s a port town on Costa Rica’s Gulf of Nicoya. So lower your expectations when looking to experience nightlife in this destination. 
  • The best areas for nightlife in Puntarenas are those near Quepos and Uvita.
  • The best places we visited around Puntarenas to go at night for fun include Gallina E Palo Bar, Orange Pub, and Bar La Bomba.
  • It is generally safe to move around at night in Puntarenas, but petty theft remains a primary concern, so avoid walking or driving alone. 
  • Puntarenas’ beach areas are barely lively at night, except in places where there are beachfront bars or restaurants.

Places to visit around Puntarenas for a nightlife experience

Continue reading to learn more about the best places in Puntarenas to go for nightlife and things to do.

1. Gallina E. Palo Bar

  • Address: 97C+6HG, Al Final de la Calle El Cocal Frente al Mar, Calle Cocal, Provincia de Puntarenas Provincia de Puntarenas, Jacó, Costa Rica
  • Website
  • Ideal for: a bar and club for cool beverages near the beach

“Gallina E Palo Bar” is a simple sunset bar located in downtown Jaco, right next to Cocal Casino. Its menu offers a selection of beers, cocktails, and classic rock and roll tunes to enjoy while watching the sunset. 

You can access the bar from either the beach or Av. Pastor Diaz. During my stay at a nearby hotel in Jaco, the owner kindly invited us to join them for drinks at the bar. I’m glad we accepted the invitation! The bar is a two-story open-air “tree house” with fantastic views of the surf and beach. 

Although they only accept cash, it wasn’t an issue at all. I highly recommend this spot for anyone looking for a refreshing beverage in the evening in Puntarenas Province. 

They open at 11 a.m., and the chilling doesn’t stop till midnight.

2. Monkey Bar

  • Address: X7MM+9QQ, C. 238, Provincia de Puntarenas, El Roble, Costa Rica
  • Website
  • It is ideal for vibrant parties and DJ music.

Many people call Monkey Bar the ultimate party destination in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica, and it is conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from San Jose International Airport. It is accessible from Puntarenas because of its location.

You can dance the night away to the beats of the DJ while enjoying drinks served by the hottest bartenders, who sometimes even jump on the bar to keep the party vibes high! 

For those seeking a more exclusive experience, there’s a private VIP room available with bottle service.

Monkey Bar is, without a doubt, one of the best bars and clubs in Jaco. It offers a wide selection of drinks, a spacious dance floor, and cozy lounge seating. 

Plus, they feature some of the hottest dancers around town.

3. Stam Café

  • Address: Plaza Tangara Calle Principal Ojochal de Osa Puntarenas Ojochal de Osa, Puntarenas Province, Ojochal, Costa Rica
  • Website
  • Ideal for: beer on weekend nights. 

What makes Stem Cafe a standout spot for nightlife? It’s a Belgian beer bar with over 30 different beers to choose from. They offer tasting tips and have an air-conditioned room, creating a comfortable environment for patrons.

At Stem Cafe, you can indulge in a variety of delicious Belgian beers and creative cocktails. Just like in Belgium, Stem Cafe serves some beers straight from the barrel. You’ll explore flavors you’ve never experienced before, all in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

For those who aren’t beer enthusiasts, Stem Cafe also offers a fantastic selection of French wines. The beer bar is open every day from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., or thereabout. 

Like myself, many people enjoy visiting Stem Cafe on Friday nights to greet the friendly and welcoming staff behind the bar. Even if you’re not a big fan of beer, you’ll still find plenty to appreciate about this cozy spot.

4. Bar La Bomba

  • Address: JRHV+3HF, 14, Puntarenas Province, Golfito, Pueblo Civil, Costa Rica
  • Contact: +506 2775 2149
  • Ideal for a casual bar in Puntarenas Province when the sun goes down. The bar features live music and serves food.

La Bomba is a charming pub located in the heart of Golfito. Despite its diminutive size, the pub has undergone a stunning renovation.

The ambiance inside is reminiscent of gatherings of lively people, often sharing stories and jokes. 

If you find yourself with some free time and can speak Spanish reasonably well, it’s worth stopping by. 

You’ll likely find friendly locals to chat with, and the atmosphere is laid-back and inviting. 

Don’t miss the old photographs adorning the walls, showcasing the history of Golfito and its people—they’re a sight to behold in their own right.

5. Orange Pub

  • Address: J98C+6C6, Av. Pastor Díaz, Provincia de Puntarenas, Jacó, Costa Rica
  • Website
  • Ideal for a nightclub to dance and drink

Orange Pub is always bustling and is one of the liveliest places in Jaco. While there were occasional shortages of glasses during bottle service, it wasn’t a significant issue. In the VIP session, you can even throw personalized parties or occasions, such as birthday parties.

It’s a packed and energetic club, with dancers on ledges showering confetti. But the crowd can feel sketchy, and unfortunately, people have had their phones pickpocketed, which is a common occurrence at this bar. 

Despite these incidents, I still recommend Orange Pub for dancing and having a good time, but make sure to closely monitor your belongings.

Safety Tips for Nightlife in Puntarenas 

You also need to be alert, just as you would be cautious at night in any other place. At the same time, you enjoy yourself at night in Puntarenas, especially considering how petty theft is a central issue in this town. 

So, when moving around, especially during the early mornings or late nights, it’s safer to travel in groups, as there is strength in numbers.

If you’re traveling by bus, avoid storing your luggage in the overhead bins due to theft concerns.

For solo travelers, particularly women, you have to be cautious when visiting beach night parties, national parks, or other isolated areas where there are few people around.

To avoid attracting unwanted attention, it’s best to avoid flaunting your belongings or dressing conspicuously.

Here are other salient tips for moving around in Puntarenas when it’s dark: 

  1. To minimize the risk of loss or theft, don’t carry your passport or large sums of money with you when out and about.
  2. You should always secure your valuables in your accommodation and never leave them unattended or in plain sight.
  3. Use repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites, especially at dawn and dusk.
  4. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption because people can take advantage of you if you’re a visitor and have lost control.
  5. Be aware of snatch-and-grab thefts, which can occur in tourist areas, and take precautions to safeguard your belongings.
  6. When parking your vehicle, choose well-lit or guarded areas, keep doors locked, and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight to deter theft.

The bottom line

In Puntarenas, many of the bars and clubs are actually located a few kilometers away from the city itself. While Puntarenas has potential, it still lacks development compared to other Costa Rican towns. It’s great for a day trip to enjoy lunch and Churchill, but the nightlife scene isn’t as lively as in other places I’ve visited.

If you’re planning your itinerary and want to experience vibrant nightlife in Costa Rica, skip Puntarenas. Instead, consider towns like Jaco, San Jose, Puerto Viejo, Tamarindo, and Playas del Coco.

However, if you’re already in Puntarenas, I hope the recommendations in the above article have provided some helpful guidance for your visit.

Are there any other hidden gems for nightlife in Puntarenas that we haven’t included? Feel free to share your recommendations in the comment section below.

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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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