While Costa Rica might not be well known for festivals, parades, and parties; there are still a number of major events that happen though out the year. This list represents most of the major holidays and events that happen in Costa Rica thought out the year.
A word of caution; not all of these events are tourist friendly. By that I mean they can be very unsafe situations for tourist. Even if you travel in a group, some of the larger events can draw some locals with bad intentions. Use your best judgment, never travel alone, and be smart with your money and valuables.
- Palmares Civic Fiestas – This is festival rich with culture. During the festival you will see a vast amount of folk dances, rides, music, bullfighting, and more.
- Alajuelita Fiestas – This festival is held honoring the Black Christ of Esquipulas, Alajuelita’s Patron Saint.
- Santa Cruz Fiestas – A typical festival that consists of dancing, marimbas and bullfighting.
Check out this post to see what is like during February in Costa Rica.
- San Isidro del General Fiestas – This is the annual agricultural and industrial fair. You can expect to see bullfights and a flower exhibition among other things.
- Fiesta of the Diablitos – This is the annual reenactment of the fight between Indians and the Spanish.
- Puntarenas Carnival – A large carnival like festival that draws a crowd from all over the area.
Check out this post to see what is like during March in Costa Rica.
- Dia de los Boyeros (Oxcart Driver’s Day) – This a kind of cool sight to see. On this day the farmers parde oxcarts around down to have them and their crops blessed by local priests.
- National Orchid Show – A small festival that showcases a wide variety of extremely beautiful orchids in COsta Rica.
Check out this post to see what is like during April in Costa Rica.
- Holy Week – Being a major Catholic country, you can expect to see lots of festivals and parades all over the country.
- Juan Santamaría Day – This is a national holiday that remembers a soldier who gave his life in the battle against William Walker’s troops in 1856.
- Puerto Limon – There is usually a carnival and/or festival of sorts every May.
- San Isidro Labrador’s Day – A small holiday that honors the patron saint of farming.
- Corpus Christi Day – A religious holiday that happen on May 29.
- Saints Peter & Paul Day – Small religious holiday that falls on June 29. No big festivals, but occasionally there are parades in small towns.
- Virgin of The Sea – This festival takes place in the fishing town of Puntaranes where the fishing boats honor Puntarenas’ Patron Saint. You will also find parades, dances and fireworks.
- Guanacaste Day – A typical festival in the Gunacaste area.
- Virgin of Los Angeles – A religious holiday that honors Costa Rica’s Patron Saint , “La Negrita” with nationwide pilgrimage to the Basilica in Cartago.
- Costa Rica’s Independence Day – This celebrated on September 15th. There are a variety of festivals all over the country. Some places have parades filled with children and lanterns.
- Limon Carnival – This is the biggest festival to hit the Carribean side of Costa Rica all year.
- Tres Rios Virgen del Pilar’s Day – Another religous holiday the honors the Patron Saint with parades and costumes made entirely of corn husks and byproducts.
- All Souls day – On November 2 Costa Rica celebrates its day of the dead. While its not nearly as exciting as in other countries, you may find a random parade here or there.
- Central Valley Coffee Festival – An all around fun festival with a coffee pick contest, music, food, vendors, and more.
- Fiesta de los Negritos – This is a popular event held in the Indian village of Boruca. At it, they perform an ancient Indian ritual that honors the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.
- Nicoya Fiesta de la Yeguita – Another typical Costa Rica festival that is complete with bull fights, music, dancing, fireworks,a nd more.
- Carnival – This is San Joses equivalent of Mardi Gras. A large festival full of music, drinking, food, and events.