While traveling in Costa Rica always feels like a celebration, these Costa Rica events and festivals are the country's official parties and processions.
New Year's Day
San Jose Costa Rica is the place to ring in the new year, with a massive dance party in the capital city's central park (Parque Central).
As a devoutly Catholic nation, Costa Rica takes Semana Santa (Easter Week, or Holy Week) seriously, with masses and religious processions. Most of Costa Rica shuts down for the holiday, as many businesses close all week.
An annual celebration of the 1824 annexation of Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province. The Costa Rica festival is full of cowboy splendor, including bullfights, cattle shows, and folk dancing.
To commemorate Costa Rica's patron saint, thousands of Costa Ricans make a pilgrimage on foot to the Basilica de los Angeles in Cartago city. Even if you're a traveler, this long walk is worth partaking in or at least observing.
All-night festivities commence as a runner carries a torch from the Nicaraguan border to the Costa Rican city of Cartago, celebrating Costa Rica's hard-won independence from Spain in 1821.
Held on or around Columbus Day, the yearly Limon Carnival is one of the most boisterous Costa Rica events. Costa Rica's Caribbean roots explode in a colorful festival of music, traditional dancing, and Caribbean food.
(The week of December 25)
Many Costa Ricans celebrate Christmas by heading to the beach – December boasts some of the country's finest weather, after all.