Nightlife & Partying (with Locals)

Part of South America’s charm is it’s beautiful local people. The continent has some great nightlife - where’s best for partying with the locals?

Brazilians love to party - Brazil is South America’s most famous nightlife destination. Much of the coast has great nightlife - consider Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Florianopolis, Itacare and Trancoso, or Brazil’s capital Sao Paulo, all of which have a buzzing nightlife scene. Brazil’s nightlife scene climaxes with carnival - while the Rio carnival has become somewhat of a tourist spectacle, if you’d rather mingle with the locals head elsewhere (Salvador and Olinda both have a great reputation).

Likewise, the Colombian’s love to party. The nightlife in Colombia is great, and still the country sees few visitors. Colombia’s most famous nightlife is found in Cali, where you can dance 7 nights a week is sweaty salsa clubs surrounded by beautiful locals without a single Gringo in sight. The Barranquilla carnival is another nightlife highlight in Colombia and is on a par with Brazil’s carnivals. Colombia’s beach resorts of Santa Marta, Cartagena and San Andres all have great nightlife, especially during the busy domestic tourism season, and other cities such as Bogota and Medellin have their fair share of great nightclubs.

Nightlife & Girls in South America
You’ll find girls & nightlife like this throughout much of South America.

Mexico also has a buzzing nightlife scene. While the tasteless vacation resorts such as Cancun and Acapulco might suit some, if you want to party with the locals, all of Mexico’s cities have great nightlife - Mexico City and Guadalajara are especially trendy in parts. Elsewhere in Central America, the nightlife is nothing to write about. Panama and Costa Rica are both quite dull in terms of finding a party, and sadly there are few locals in the other Central American countries who can actually afford a proper night out (Cuba included).

Back in South America proper, Ecuador has good nightlife if you know where to look (and it’s often hard to find). There’s good salsa and “electronica” clubs in Quito, along with large numbers of language students - No Bar is quite infamous as being a mix of gringos looking for locals, and vice versa. However, if you want to party with locals in Ecuador, you’ll find that Guayaquil has better nightclubs, more beautiful people, and fewer foreigners.

Elsewhere in South America, Lima has trendy discos and Pisco based cocktails in Lima’s Miraflores and Barranco districts and Buenos Aires (Argentina) has a sophisticated nightlife scene where the locals love to party (as they do throughout South America).

Nightclub in South America
Brazil, Mexico and Colombia all have some of South America’s best nightclubs and nightlife.

I’ve mentioned many of South America’s top nightlife spots, but there’s friendly nightlife throughout the continent. Stumbling unexpectedly across a random small town or village fiesta often proves the most memorable of nights out.

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