As you may already know, Costa Rica is officially open to US tourists wishing to finally get away from their daily lives (read more here). Many have been waiting for borders to open up so they can have a break from the madness that has engulfed the US for the last year and enjoy the famous Costa Rican Events and Festivals held all year.
Among them are many thousands of couples who’ve postponed their wedding and honeymoon until it’s safe.
Now that we can finally start planning our long-awaited trips, you may be wondering what to expect when you get here. Costa Rica is a proud culture which embraces both traditional and contemporary Costa Rican events and festivals all year round.
These festivals are unlike anything the average American has experienced, so if you’re looking to make your honeymoon unforgettable, read on.
Time of the Season
As it’s already April, the list will start with Costa Rican events from May this year (2021) to December.
Unlike other months, May only has one local celebration each year.
International Book Fair
Book lovers from all around the world have been coming to San Jose to celebrate this festival for over 40 years now. Activities include readings, book sales (of course), and presentations from acclaimed authors. Learn more about this festival here.
July / August
Some of the busier months for festivals in Costa Rica, these could be the perfect months for an extended stay to experience a variety of festivals.
Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar (Festival of the Virgin Mary)
This is celebrated in Playas del Coco and Puntarenas on the closest Saturday to the 16th of July. Expect to see heavily decorated fishing boats and yachts sailing around, asking for protection from the Virgin Mary for another year at sea. There are also races, a carnival, and all the food and drink one could possibly need.
Walter Ferguson International Calypso Festival
Held on a weekend in Summer, which usually falls in July, is the Calypso festival in Cahuita. This is perfect for music-lovers and dancers who want to experience what the locals are dancing to in well-frequented Reggae and Coco bars.
National Surfing Championship
Obviously this one is great for surfers, but non-surfers will love this event too. With champion surfers from around the world carving up the gnarly waves on Playa Hermosa’s beach. The exact date changes with the tide, so it may be best to wait until closer to the date before you book.
Festival Flores de la Diáspora Africana
While this festival originated in Puerto Limon, the surrounding area and San Jose have started hosting Costa Rican events for it too. It’s usually celebrated in late August.
A great month to celebrate Costa Rica with the locals, September is also far enough away to find cheaper tickets to book now.
Costa Rican Independence Day
This event is obviously celebrated nation-wide, although if you want to see the heart of the tradition then look no further than Cartago. The main event celebrates the relay of a ‘Freedom Torch’ ran from Guatemala to Costa Rica, the end of which is celebrated by the local population singing the national anthem. Expect plenty of local delicacies and seemingly endless drinking.
Whale and Dolphin Festival
Thankfully, unlike many other animal-centric festivals worldwide, this is a responsible celebration of the return of the humpback whale on their annual arrival. Held in Uvita, there are cultural Costa Rican events, concerts, parades performances and lectures; as well as boat tours to the national marine park. A great event for a family trip, or for those who love animals, expect this festival in late August or September.
October / November
These two months can be considered a good mix of festivals, with a three-day mountain bike ride as well as an agricultural festival occurring just weeks apart.
Día de la Raza
A true Carnival with live music, dancing, and a big Saturday parade. One can find this festival on October 12th in Puerto Limon. Be sure to book hotels well in advance.
La Ruta de los Conquistadores
Taking place on the first weekend of November, this is a three-day mountain bike ride which goes through rainforests, mountains, and coastal areas. Find out more here.
Desfile de los Boyeros
This is a celebration of the country’s agricultural heritage which takes place in November. It consists of an oxcart parade in Paseo Colón, from Parque Metropolitano La Sabana to the Plaza de la Democracia.
What would a list of events be without a Christmas celebration?
Jacó Christmas Carnival
This is a family-friendly carnival in Jaco which blends a mix of local and foreign cultures, of course with some rockin’ Christmas classics. Exact details of this event are advertised locally.
A Honeymoon To Remember
If you’re looking for a honeymoon destination, Costa Rica is the place you want to book to make it an unforgettable experience, especially when paired with one of these festivals.
Here at Ylang Ylang Resort we have a number of different packages to suit your needs, and are able to ensure your safety during these precarious times.