- Night Tours (countrywide): Most Neotropical forest dwellers are nocturnal. Animal and insect calls fill the air, and the rustling on the ground all around takes on new meaning. Night tours are offered at most rainforest and cloud forest destinations throughout the country. Many use high-powered flashlights to catch glimpses of various animals. Some of the better spots for night tours are Monteverde, Tortuguero, and the Osa Peninsula.
- El Cuartel de la Boca del Monte (San José): From Wednesday to Saturday, San José's young, restless, and beautiful pack it in here. Originally a gay and bohemian hangout, it is now decidedly mixed and leaning toward yuppie. There's frequently live music.
- San Pedro (San José): This is San José's university district, and at night its streets are filled with students strolling among a variety of bars and cafes. If you'd like to join them, keep in mind that Terra U caters to the college crowd, the Jazz Café, as its name indicates, is a hip live-music venue that often features local jazz and rock outfits. Our favorite spot, however, is Mundoloco El Chante, where the best local bands and DJ's perform nightly. If you love to dance, this is where to head.
- Tamarindo (Guanacaste): The most developed and popular destination on Guanacaste's Gold Coast, Tamarindo also has the area's best nightlife scene. El Garito and Sharkey's are my top choices. But I also like the open-mic nights at Dragonfly Bar & Grill, and the clubby dance vibe at Aqua.
- Jacó (Central Pacific coast): While some of the late-night scene here can be seedy—you'll find a few strip clubs, brothels, and lots of legal prostitutes at some bars—plenty of respectable places are around for those looking for after-hours fun. My top spot is the Holy Moly! Disco Club, which, despite the silly name, is serious about its dance music, bringing in top DJs from around the globe. I also like to shoot pool and toss down a few at the Orange Pub.
- Puerto Viejo: This small beach town on the southern end of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast is one of the most active after-dark scenes in the country. Hot Rocks and the Lazy Mon take turns as the major dance-and-party spot, but there are several other happening places, as well as a few after-hours beach bonfires and jam sessions, to be found.
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.