With Costa Rica still in lockdown, the nightlife in Playas del Coco shuts down at 10 PM each night, so you have to get your drink on early. Bambu by Coco Beach is a great place to people-watch along the boardwalk, while The Lookout offers amazing sunset views from the hilltop.
If you simply want to chill in style by the beach, then the Cafe de Playa is your best bet during the day, while The Garden Bar is the best place at night. Zi Lounge used to be party central, but since COVID and the early shutdown time, the 1-7 pm happy hour is when it’s most busy. The casinos use to be quite lively, but we’ll have to wait and see how they recover when things open up again.
Best Bars in Playas del Coco
The lockdown has changed the nightlife scene here, where bars that you can relax and chill in while ordering decent food are much more popular these days. Below you’ll find our top selections to enjoy your night out in Playas del Coco.
- The Lookout
- The Garden Bar
- Pacifico Beach Club
- Zi Lounge
- Cafe de Playa
- Bar En Ancala
- Tortuga Bar
- Hotel Coco Palms Bar
The interactive map below showcases the best of Playas del Coco nightlife, including all the regular hot spots, beach bars, cocktail bars, garden bars, and brewpubs in town.
Located in the Las Palmas Plaza, this nicely decorated, and extremely well-equipped cocktail bar has a near unlimited selection. As long as you can imagine, the bartenders at Zarpe can likely make it. Their top-notch service includes offering cocktails of the highest quality, made from locally produced juices, and local-grown garnishes and fruits. Zarpe also makes all of the cocktail salts and dehydrated fruits in-house.
The name Zarpe is derived from a Costa Rican expression for one last drink, which means the same in English, meaning you’re likely to have several last drinks. The bartenders here always seem to be experimenting and tinkering with new cocktails, and when combined with the bar’s laid-back atmosphere, it brings on a familiar feel.
Located up the hill in Vista Marina on the top floor of Hotel Chantel, The Lookout is a great place to start the evening on the right note. The sunset views here are the best you’ll find in Playas del Coco. Their happy hour is from 1-4 pm, where you get 50% off your second cocktail order.
Bambu Beach Bar
A chill beachfront bar with ocean-view seating where you can watch the sunset across the Papagayo Gulf. It’s also a great place to people-watch during the day as both locals and tourists stroll along the boardwalk. If there’s some beach volleyball action going in, this is a great place to watch it while sipping on cocktails.
The Garden Bar
Attached to the Hotel La Puerta del Sol, The Garden Bar offers a unique aspect for Coco Beach nightlife in that they organize nightly events. The crowd is older and the prices more expensive, but the quality of service here easily surpasses the normal standards here in town.
Aside from a decent selection of local beers and cider on tap, along with bottled beers, their food menu is one of the best in town. Sushi Tuesdays and Burger Thursdays are also quite popular. The garden ambiance and nearby pool also add to its charm.
The neighborhood sports bar in Playas del Coco that’s also home to the great beers on tap from Angry Goats Brewing. Their 46.9 Amber, Blonde Ale, Leafcutter Pale Ale, Pura Vida Porter range from 5.4% to 5.8% alcohol, while their Howler IPA is a whopping 6.7%. Their lighter beers include the AGB Lager (4.3%), Hefeweizen wheat beer (4.5%), and Golden Iguana ale (4.9%).
Wooden swings can be found dangling from the hardwood ceiling, while sports are always usually playing on the TV. From football, soccer, and baseball, hockey and UFC, there’s always something going on. As well, Coconutz regularly hosts movie nights, and karaoke/live music when not in lockdown.
At 1-7 pm, Zi Lounge has one of the longest happy hours in Coco with beers from ₡1100 and wine/cocktails from ₡2000. While the famous Zi, no longer runs the bar, his name and legendary party reputation still live on.
The food menu at Zi Lounge spans the globe, and you can find hookahs, sports TV, along with the occasional DJ performance and live music/shows on weekends.
Cafe de Playa
A lazy beach bar, complete with cabanas for rest so you can laze in the sun while getting drinks made to order. Their happy hour is from 4-6 pm, which is a perfect time to watching the sunset across the Gulf.
Bar El Ancla
Located just off the main strip as you reach the beach boardwalk. You can easily tell what El Ancla means in English when you see the big steel boat anchor parked out front.
The beachfront location is also great for people-watching, and you’ll find decent views of the sunset here too. For food options, try the locally caught red snapper.