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Puerto Viejo’s classic night spot is Hot Rocks ★★ (tel. 8708-3183), with its big stage, live music, karaoke, packed bar, and pool and foosball tables, handily set in the center of town, where the main road meets the harbor.

A bit farther southeast is Lazy Mon ★ (www.thelazymon.com), 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 Luke’s Taproom at Kaya’s Place (tel. 2750-0690), 200 meters west of town, which offers 17 taps of craft beer from the hotel’s own microbrewery, BriBri Springs; 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 laid-back beachfront sports bar, head to The Point ★ (www.thepointcostarica.com; tel. 2756-8491), which is located right where the road to Puerto Viejo hits Playa Negra. This convivial, open-air joint features six screens, and offers up three different Costa Rican microbrews on tap.

Rocking J’s sometimes features live music. For a more local scene, check out Bar Maritza’s (tel. 2750-0443), in the center of town, across from the basketball court and 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.