Once the sun sets in La Paz, the temperature drops dramatically. Instead of going home (often to unheated apartments), many locals seek the warmth of bars and pubs. The nightlife scene in La Paz can hardly compare to New York or even Buenos Aires, but there are some funky places in the heart of the city where you can relax and kick back with a few drinks. Peñas, bars with live music, provide a place for visitors to experience traditional folk music and dance, although they tend to be very touristy. Note: Most bars (except in hotels) are open only Wednesday through Saturday.
Bars & Pubs -- The best hotel bar in La Paz is at the Radisson; they have a happy hour nightly from 6:30 to 8:30pm offering two-for-one drinks, and it's very popular with expatriates and tourists alike. One of the most popular British-style watering holes in the city is Mongo's, Hermanos Manchego 2444 (near the corner of Pedro Salazar, half a block up from Av. 6 de Agosto). It has a cozy feel and a wood-burning fireplace. Get here early, as the place fills up late at night; the food here is also surprisingly good. Diesel Nacional, Av. 20 de Octubre 2271, is a self-proclaimed industrial pub, which means the decor is on par with a junkyard: recycled car parts, railroad ties, and transmissions. Surprisingly, it lures a trendier-than-average crowd.
Dance Clubs -- Pa'Goza (tel. 0102/2342-787), down from 6 de Agosto on Rosendo Gutiérrez, is one of the best dance clubs in La Paz; salsa is the specialty here. Also popular are Forum, Sanjinés 2908, with eclectic music but a strict dress code and Bs40 cover charge (which includes drink coupons), and Ram Jam on Calle Medina 2421. In general, the cover charge for clubs in La Paz is about Bs10.
Penas & Live Music -- These days, it's hard to find an authentic peña that caters to locals. Fortunately, for the most part, you'll hear authentic Andean music and watch folk dancers wearing unique but traditional costumes. Restaurant Peña Marka Tambo, Calle Jaén 710 near the corner of Indaburo, puts on a good show Thursday through Saturday nights. The cover is Bs25. The show starts at 9:30pm. Casa de Corregidor, Calle Murillo 1040 (tel. 0102/2363-633), is a similar venue -- it has typical Bolivian food and music but feels a bit more laid back than Marka Tambo. Boca y Sapo, Indaburo 654 (corner of Jaén), attracts locals as well as tourists; there's no dinner here, only live music, which makes it feel a bit more authentic.
For live jazz, try Thelonious Jazz Bar, Av. 20 de Octubre 2172. A lot of the bands that play here are from the United States.
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.