The Best Cities for South America Nightlife

South America nightlife is world class and offers travelers a unique opportunity to interact with locals; Going out on the town is a great way to experience a part of a city's culture that you wouldn't normally get to see by just visiting the sights, and there are some great places in South America for those looking to party.

Whether you are looking for massive club nights with the world's best DJs, dancing venues, or places with a laid-back vibe, there are plenty of cities across the continent worth visiting. Here are some of the most popular destinations for those looking for excellent South America nightlife.

  • 01 of 05
    Carnival in Rio de Janeiro
    Moskow / Getty Images

    The Brazilian capital is famous as a party destination, with the amazing New Year's Eve party on Copacabana beach and the Carnaval both being some of the biggest celebrations in the country.

    The nightlife scene in Rio is varied and interesting, with some major clubs at the upper end of the price bracket playing trance music, while there are some great smaller clubs to be found in the Zona Sul district of the city.

    For those looking for an alternative way to spend the evening, going to one of Rio's Samba clubs is a great party, with excellent dancing and a wonderful vibe, with most of these clubs in the Lapa district.

  • 02 of 05

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Traditional ball in the streets of San Telmo district, Milonga, tango dancers, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America
    Picavet / Getty Images

    The sprawling capital of Argentina is not only one of the economic capitals of the continent, but also one of the most exciting venues for nightlife.

    The Palermo district of the city is home to many of the best clubs, with live DJs playing on the weekends, and most clubs staying open until at least 7 a.m. Some are even open 24 hours a day during their busiest periods of the year.

    One of the most interesting parts of the nightlife in Buenos Aires is the amazing range of live bands playing in the city throughout the year. The passion for rock music is seen in jumping crowds and the fact that so many live music concerts are filmed in Buenos Aires.

  • 03 of 05
    Montanita, Guayas, Ecuador, South America
    Paul Kennedy / Getty Images

    Once a sleepy Ecuadorian fishing village, Montanita has been transformed over the last few years, because of its excellent beach and thriving surfing community.

    The nightlife in Montanita is distinctively Ecuadorean, with local drinks and cocktails, including local spirits flavored with fruits. This town is perfect for those who want to go surfing or enjoy the beach during the day, and then relax with a few drinks in the evening.

    If you prefer a more chilled nightlife atmosphere consider the neighboring town of Canoa, which also has great surfing but a less developed tourist scene.

  • 04 of 05
    Medellin, Colombia
    Fernando Bengoechea / Getty Images

    Considered a no-go area for much of the 1980s and 1990s, a crackdown on the drug cartels and great efforts to make the city a welcoming destination have transformed the appearance and atmosphere of Medellin.

    For those looking for a relaxed and entertaining way to meet the locals, going to one of the many salsa and tango clubs and trying out your moves is a popular tourist experience.

    Parque Lleras is the most lively district for nightclubs and bars in the city, and the excellent cocktails made with the local aguardiente sugar cane spirit are definitely an interesting taste of the country.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Surfers head into the surf at Mancora on the northern coast of Peru. The beach resort close to the Ecuadorean border is a popular destination for holidaying Peruvians
    Andrew Watson / Getty Images

    Located on the northern coast of Peru, Mancora is a small town that has benefited greatly from the booming popularity of the surfing in the area. There is a massive growth in the number of bars and clubs available in the town.

    Mancora is known for hosting parties every night of the week. This definitely isn't the place to be for those looking for a quiet night in. Mancora is also a great place to try the local cocktail, the Pisco Sour, a distinctive taste of Peru.