Cusco after dark: ideas for a night out on the town

Cusco is a vibrant city at all times, but the volume definitely gets turned up when the sun goes down and the city lights get switched on. After you´ve had a day or so to acclimatize, and as long as you don´t have a 4AM Inca Trail departure scheduled, you should definitely get out and experience the night life of Cusco. Just be prepared for the fact that unless you´re watching the clock closely you could very easily dance your way into daylight.
Let´s start with the ´all out party´ dance clubs conveniently located on the Plaza de Armas. In the event that you happen to miss the bumping bass and sweaty bodies pouring out of these Cusco institutions there will be a swarm of club promoters offering free drink tickets to direct you to Inka Team, Mythology, Mushrooms Lounge, and Mama Africa. Popular with tourists and young Cusquenans alike, these dance clubs offers a steady diet of American pop and hip-hop, mixed in with Latin American favorites like Cumbia and Salsa. If you want to check these places out, but avoid the madness that results from hours of 2 for 1 drink specials, check out the free salsa lessons that are often available before 10PM. I can personally attest to the fact that while I may never win any awards for finesse, the salsa instructors at Mythology at least had the patience and fortitude to get me through the introductory steps.
If you want to take it down a notch but still enjoy a few good cocktails and some music, check out the reggae bars like Waychauma on Calle Tecsecocha or 7 Angelitos located on, not suprisingly, Calle Siete Angelitos. The San Blas neighborhood is home to a number of hip spots like Km 0 (Kilometer Zero) and Le Nomade that offer live music a few nights a week in a relaxed atmosphere.
If you´re thinkng more along the lines of a relaxing evening out with the opportunity to actually have a conversation there are some great wine bars and low key pubs across town. Los Perros wine bar on Calle Tecsecocha and the Tea Rooms lounge on Sta. Catalina are hip, cozy places to share a cocktail and food with flavor influences from around the world. If you´re missing the true pub style atmosphere and pub fare menu from back home, check out Cross Keys Irish Pub on Portal Confiturias, the Real McCoy on Plateros, or Paddy´s Irish Pub on Calle Triunfo. If nothing else, you´ll at least be able to find a dark lager (the Real McCoy has two home brews on tap!), and a football match to round out your evening.
These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, and you´re bound to find a place that suits your tastes if you take a stroll around the beautifully illuminated city center. In fact, a walk to take in the city lights that outline that contours of Cusco´s amazing landscape may be my favorite way to take in the nightlife of this beautiful place.

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