Costa Rica festivals: you will understand what is Pura Vida!

costa rica festivals

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Every country has some typical traditional festivals, today we tell you about the Costa Rica festivals. So, when you travel to Costa Rican lands you have the option to go and see them and even be part of them.

Because, it’s great visiting the Corcovado National Park and the Arenal Volcano. But, it’s always nice to do cultural activities, feel the country’s tradition up close and meet new people 🙂 . Let’s start with our list of Costa Rica festivals!

Corcovado National Park river mouth

Santa Cruz National Festivities

The Santa Cruz National Festivities are among the most important in Costa Rica. Costa Ricans from all over the country come to visit the Santa Cruz city, in the northern region of Guanacaste, to enjoy its festivities.

Also in this area is one of the best Costa Rican beaches , Avellanas beach, and Río Perdido with the best Costa Rican hot springs. Not to mention the beautiful Bahía de Paquera, where you can do bioluminescent kayaking. All in all, Guanacaste is a wonderful place

Bioluminescence in Costa Rica

Continuing with the feast of Santa Cruz, you should know that it has more than 200 years, it starts on January 14 and ends on the 18th. It is made in honor of the Esquipulas Holy Black Christ and that is why some call it the “Demanda de Esquipulas” or “Fiestas al Cristo Negro”.

It is known for sure that this festivity was created in 1804, when the Esquipulas Holy Black Christ arrived in Costa Rica from Guatemala. That said, there are several theories as to how this saint was found.

The Fiestas al Cristo Negro fill Santa Cruz with dance, music, color and joy. There are multiple cultural activities, traditional food stalls and masquerades. Then there is the religious part where the people give thanks to the saint for his acts of good faith and walk around the town with the Christ figure.

Lastly, the Danza de los Indios Promesanos is practiced. It is an indigenous dance that is done in almost all Costa Rican festivals.

Dancing the Indians dance

Fiesta de los Diablitos Costa Rica

The Fiesta or game of Los Diablitos (the devils) is one of the traditional Costa Rican festivals. Through dance they represent the Costa Rica conquest by the Spaniards. The show is guaranteed, there are dances, music, fireworks and masks.

This festivity is part of the Boruca
and Rey Curré indigenous culture
. So you can imagine where it is celebrated, of course, in both communities. In late December or early January you can experience this festivity in Boruca and in February in the town of Rey Curré.

Its name comes from the masks used in the dance, where the borucas appear as the cabrû (little devils) and the Spaniards are represented as toros (bulls).This is how they represent the resistance and struggle of the indigenous people in the face of colonization.This is how they represent the resistance and struggle of the indigenous people against colonization.

Boruca traditional costarican mask

Límon Carnival

If what you are looking for is colour, party, music, dance, good food and joy, you are describing the Límon Carnival, one of the most important in Costa Rica. This festivity is celebrated every October 12th since 1949 in the Puerto Limón city.

You can already imagine the colorful streets, incredible costumes and unique atmosphere of the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. But why is this festival celebrated on October 12th? To celebrate the Cultures Day and Christopher Columbus’ first time in Costa Rica.

Vargas park building in Limón

Palmares festivities

The Palmares festivities are a good option to celebrate the beginning of the year in Costa Rica. It is celebrated during two weeks of January in the Palmares town (Alajuela).

The essence of these festivities are great music concerts, beer and cowboy aesthetics. It is one of the biggest festivals in the country, the party is assured.

Zapote Festival

In case you haven’t had enough celebration. The Zapote or San Jose Fiestas also celebrate the New Year. During the last week of December and the first week of January you can enjoy this festivity in Zapote town (San Jose region).

The most characteristic of this Costa Rica festival is the biggest bull rodeo of the year, the different attractions and the romerías. Plus, if you’re a fan of meat, you’ll be well fed.

San Jose Building

Costa Rican Independence Day

The September 15th, 1821 is a famous date throughout the country, it is Independence Day. That is why it is celebrated as one of the most important Costa Rica festivals.

The most celebratory days are September 14th and 15th. The country is filled with parades, civic acts in educational institutions, patriotic decorations in the streets and the famous Lanterns Parade takes place.

On the September 14th evening the lanterns are paraded through the streets of the localities. These objects are decorated every year in a different and creative way, with symbols of the country. It can be said that they are small illuminated art works .

But throughout the year there are also activities in commemoration of the historical event, for example, the torch run. This candle has become a national symbol and on September 9th each year, it travels throughout Guatemala until it arrives on September 14th in Cartago, Costa Rica.

Cartago Valley in Costa Rica

Apart from doing different adventure tours and relaxing on its beautiful beaches, being in these events is traveling in pure Costa Rican style. Are you ready to live closely some of these Costa Rica festivals in your next trip to the green country? What will be your next plan in Costa Rica?


Lucia's life motto is "go with the flow". She lets herself go with the flow and joins any plan.

She has been lucky enough to travel to many different places, but her perfect trip is any place with sun, sand and sea. Indecisive by nature, she would not know how to choose between the Canary Islands or the Balearic Islands in Spain, or between Mexican and Peruvian food. Maybe that's why she will never say no to a trip... She has to find answers!

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