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Entertainment & Nightlife in Peru


Lima’s nightlife is buzzing. Bars and clubs are full of young Peruvians and foreigners gyrating to anything from salsa to Argentine rock. The evening doesn’t really get going until late and Limeños tend to dress up to go out. The heart of the city’s nightlife is focused in Miraflores, San Isidro and Barranco. The live music bars and clubs around the Parque Kennedy and flashy discos (Señor Frogs and Teatriz) in the Larco Mar shopping mall, dominate Miraflores nightlife. San Isidro offers a more sophisticated scene for the more mature. The perennial hot spot is Barranco, which bursts into life on Thursday night and carries on until the early hours of Monday morning. Here a bar can fall out of favour within weeks, so it is always best to ask locals for guidance.

Cinema & Theatre

For cinema-lovers, there are a huge number of multiplex cinemas, which have sprung up all over the city. They mostly show Hollywood blockbusters. The state of the art cinemas, are at Larcomar and the Pacífico Cinemas, both located in Miraflores, as well as the multiplex at the Jockey Plaza mall in Monterrico. For those who prefer less mainstream, independent films, there are Filmoteca de Lima, which is in the Museo de Arte de Lima, El Cinematógrafo de Barranco, and the cinema at the Centro Cultural de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in San Isidro, and where once a year they hold the Latin-American Film Festival where you have the opportunity to see films that respresent Latin-America.

Lima is not really known for its theatre, but from time to time there are a few interesting plays and shows. The City of Lima and the Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano are two institutions that organise annually very good international festivals, in which you can enjoy the best dance companies and local theatre, as well as renowned groups from other parts of the world.

For those who enjoy light comedy, one of the oldest and best-known comedy theatres is the Teatro Marsano in Miraflores. The theatre at the Centro Cultural de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú stages a varied repertoire of works from a diverse range of dance and theatre companies, usually of a very high standard. Teatro Larco has a fine reputation, and throughout the year presents both contemporary and classical plays.

The in-house theatre of Teatro de la Casa Yuyachkani is one of the most alternative theatre spaces in Lima, where the Yuyachkani theatre group continuously presents shows which usually mix theatre with dance and movement.

Peñas & Salsódromos

Peru is very rich culturally, in dance, music and tradition. Las Peñas are folk clubs to gather together to the rhythms of Criolla (Creole) or traditional music. Lima has several Peñas such as the well-known Sachún in the Magdalena district, and El Eslabón in San Borja, where they also stage Folkloric Ballets like Así es Mi Perú (That's My Peru), as well as some more tourist traps such as Manos Morenas, offering dining, situated in Barranco.

The Peña folklórica held at Brisas del Titicaca affords unforgettable performances of Andean song and dance, especially from the Puna district. The lively ambiance invites all to join in along with the cast of professional performers. It is without a doubt the best spot in town of its kind. No video cameras are allowed, still cameras permitted.

A stop over at a Salsódromo (salsa club) in order to be able to dance salsa, meringues, or any other variation of Afro-Latin-Caribbean music is a must. These venues specialise in these musical styles and normally showcase numerous live bands, which, in most cases, play until the early hours. The best-known Salsadromes are Bertolotto in San Miguel, and the popular Kimbara and Tropical Plaza in La Victoria.

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