When the sun goes down in Lima, it's time to celebrate with a cocktail. Peru's national drink, the pisco sour, is a must—and there are plenty of chic and festive spots to try one. Let this list point you to the best spirits in the city.

 Lima is no longer a mere stopover point on the way to Cusco and Machu Picchu—it's become a world-class tourist destination in its own right. And beyond the innovative gastronomy and rich colonial heritage, you can find some serious drinking destinations and new, hip neighborhoods like Barranco are rising in stature and giving areas like Miraflores a run for their money. Translation? Great new drinking options abound. 

We've put together a diverse list of the best watering holes in Lima, from sultry cocktail lounges to classy converted colonial mansions to rocking dives. For some great dining options in Lima to try before your bar-hopping adventure, check out this article

Ayahuasca

Photo courtesy of Ayahuasca

Located in the up-and-coming Barracas neighborhood, just south of equally trendy Miraflores, Ayahuasca is earning a reputation among cocktail aficionados as the best bar in Lima, period. It definitely hooks you with its chic design the moment you enter, as it's located in an elegantly converted colonial mansion. Then there are the kaleidoscopic, wall-to-wall displays of colorful pisco bottles (over 50 varieties), as well as Peruvian artwork. This is a popular joint with Lima's in-crowd, so grab a pisco cocktail and groove with them to the DJs nightly beats. 

Av. San Martin 130, Barranco, Lima

Barra 55

Photo courtesy of Barra 55

For an intimate night out with that special someone, or if you're on the prowl for romance, you can't do much better than Barra 55. This sultry cocktail bar is done up speakeasy style (there's no sign above the door) with top-shelf bartenders (many who speak English) doing some serious handcrafted mixology. Not only will they shake your martini (they have over 20 gins on hand), but they'll happily offer recommendations about things to do in Lima as well. There are craft beers available here, as well as tapas for those patrons who want something to nibble on.

28 De Julio 206, Barranco, Lima

Barranco Beer Company

Photo courtesy of Barranco Beer Company

Barranco Beer Company might not be a cocktail bar per se, but it's the most popular beer joint in town. That's because it's a giant place set over three floors and featuring eight original microbrews—the hefeweizen is particularly recommended. Enjoy the beer with one of their tasty wood-fired pizzas or artisanal bread sandwiches. They offer a decent happy hour, 2x1 food specials, and occasionally live music. And yes, you can find some cool beer cocktails here. 

Av. Almirante Miguel Grau 308, Barranco, Lima

Café Victoria

Photo courtesy of Café Victoria

It's hard to get tired of luscious colonial-mansions-turned-cocktail-bars, especially when they're located in Lima's trendy Barranco neighborhood. Café Victoria is another must-visit, if only for the oasis of a backyard patio complete with a grassy lawn. This is where DJs spin electro tunes on weekends, while inside bartenders concoct lurid specialty drinks featuring high-end piscos and served in mason jar glasses. They also have an extensive menu that covers everything from ceviche to BBQ. 

Pedro de Osma 135, Barranco, Lima

Huaringas Bar

Photo courtesy of Huaringas Bar

This next entry takes you back to Miraflores, one of the most popular areas for visitors to Peru. Huaringas is a dimly lit, neighborhood watering hole. They do terrific pisco sours as well as chilcanos, a pisco/lime/ginger ale cocktail that is rising in popularity throughout the country. Sit at the bar and order from their extensive menu of bocaditos (appetizers), including wings and spring rolls, to go with your cocktail. They even have all-you-can-eat sushi Monday through Wednesday. 

Ovalo Bolognesi 460, Miraflores, Lima  

La Cachina Bar

Photo courtesy of La Cachina Bar

La Cachina Bar is a fun and popular meeting point for locals. This moody, warmly welcoming option features exposed brick walls and lights fashioned from Corona bottles hanging from the ceiling. The mixologists here are impressive, doing unique Peruvian spins on micheladas, martinis, and the old-fashioned. There's live music most nights, but those who hate big crowds might want to come during the week when the bar isn't bursting at the seams with young revelers. 

Manuel Bonilla 116, Miraflores, Lima

La Candelaria

Photo courtesy of La Candelaria

For those who like a show with their cocktail, La Candelaria is a great option. They feature live Peruvian folkloric dance acts, which are a hit with tourists and locals alike. It's a great way to experience the country's Andean, coastal, and Amazonian heritage, and the dance shows last into the wee hours of the night. The bar does cool pisco cocktails (some with a tropical twist) and the kitchen offers a filling menu heavy on steak and chicken. You can check the program of events (shows only on weekends) on their website, and you should make a reservation in advance.

Av. Francisco Bolognesi 292, Barranco, Lima

La Noche de Barranco

Live tunes at La Noche (photo courtesy of La Noche de Barranca)

For a rollicking night out accompanied by live tunes, head to La Noche de Barranco. The large space caters to many music aficionados, with one room reserved for local music and another a straight-up rock venue. The bar offers standard cocktails like mojitos, piña coladas, and bloody marys, but they also offer a number of house cocktails, pisco sours, and chilcanos. Try the sangria paired with a ham and cheese plate or one of their other tapas. Monday is jazz night and they mix it up throughout the rest of the week with various cultural music, tribute acts, and original rock and funk bands.  

Sanchez Carrion 199, Barranco, Lima