Another contender is Lazy Mon (www.thelazymon.com), a bit farther southeast, with pool and Ping-Pong tables and regular live bands or DJs. Also popular is the nearby oceanfront Salsa Brava (tel. 2750-0241). At all three of these, you can kick off your shoes and stand in the warm Caribbean waves while sipping a beer and chatting with other visitors.
There’s also Johnny’s Place (tel. 2750-2000) next to the police station, and Mango Sunset Bar near the water, beside the bus station, featuring either live music or a DJ most nights. For a more sophisticated ambience, try the oceanfront Koki Beach (www.facebook.com/KOKIBEACH; tel. 2250-0902).
For a laid-back beachfront sports bar, head to The Point (tel. 2756-8491), which is located right where the road to Puerto Viejo hits Playa Negra. This convivial, open-air joint features six television screens, and offers up three different Costa Rican microbrews on tap. The Point also offers a weekly “hootenanny” with live music, and is a popular gathering spot for expats.
For a more local scene, check out Bar Maritza’s (tel. 2750-0443), in the center of town, right across from the basketball court, which is especially popular on Sunday nights.
Finally, heading south of town, at the start of Playa Cocles, Tasty Waves Cantina (tel. 2750-0507) has a very lively scene, with live bands, karaoke, trivia nights, and open jam sessions.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.