Costa Rica: Holidays, Events, Climate
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints' Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|19th March||San José Day|
|March April||the Easter holidays are celebrated Palm Sunday,
Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday
and Sunday (Semana Santa).
|11 April||Juan Santamaría Day|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|July 25||Guanacaste day|
|August 2||Feast day of the Virgin of Los Angeles|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|October 12||Columbus day|
|December 8||Feast of the Immaculate Conception|
|25 December||Christmas - Navidad|
Source: Countryaah - Costa Rica Holidays
|January-March||Monteverde Music Festival, famous musicians make music with the symphony orchestra|
|Easter||Easter processions across the country|
|April-November||Season of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Teatro Nacional in San José|
|July August||International music festival (classical, jazz) in the Meseta Central|
|October 12||Carnival in Puerto Limón, traditional parade with costumes|
|30th of December||Festival de los Diablitos (Festival of the Little Devils) in Bourca,
three-day celebration of the Indian residents, at the end of which there is an allegorical
victory against the Spaniards.
Miracle processions/Cartago Every
year on August 2nd, believers from Costa Rica and all of Central America come to Cartago to attend the "Procesión de los milagros" (miracle procession). In the early morning a train of penitents leaves San José, many carrying wooden crosses on their backs, others sliding on their knees. Monks living in self-imposed poverty and lepers who are missing limbs beg for alms along the way. Votive candles and flowers are sold all along the way.
|all year rou||Horse racing in San José|
|April||Fería del Ganado, largest cattle market in Costa Rica with rodeos|
|July||International sailfish fishing competition in Nicoya/Playa Flamingo|
|December||Car racing (La Guácima Race Track), Costa Rican Formula 3 Grand Prix in the Meseta Central|
Costa Rica: climate
The climate of Costa Rica is characterized by two seasons: the rainy and dry season. The rainy season extends from May to November, the dry season from December to April. Due to its location between 8 ° and 11 ° north latitude, Costa Rica is in the tropics, but the amounts of precipitation differ considerably. In San José, for example, precipitation falls 1,870 mm per year, in Puerto Limón on the Caribbean coast almost twice as much with 3,520 mm.
Costa Rica: Attractions
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Talamanca Nature Reserve and La Amistad National Park
The La Amistad National Park belongs to the countries of Costa Rica and Panamá, so it is cross-border. The areas of the parks in both countries (Costa Rica and Panamá) are about the same size, each has an area of around 2,000 km².
The highest point in the national park is the mountain "Cerro Kamuk" with a height of 3,550 m. The national park consists for the most part of rain forest and cloud forest (a forest that is in clouds in wet weather). The species diversity of birds is very large, but iguanas, jaguars and numerous reptile species also live there.
The Cordillera de Talamanca is the highest mountain range in Costa Rica. The area of the national park is about 11 km². The highest mountain is the Cerro Chirripó with a height of 3,819 m, it is located in the province of Cordillera de Talamanca. Part of the mountain range lies in the La Amistad National Park.
The Cordillera de Talamanca did not arise from volcanic eruptions, but is a mountain of folds. Howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, helmet basilisks (iguana-like lizards), leaf cutter ants, tree termites and raccoons live in the national park. The biodiversity of the plants is also great. There are numerous endemic (only growing here) plants.
The Talamanca Nature Reserve and La Amistad National Park were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983 and expanded in 1990.
Cocos Islands National Park
The Cocos Islands are about 500 km off the coast of Costa Rica, their area is approx. 24 km², the highest point is 630 m. The island was probably formed by eruptions from a volcano on the sea floor. It is not inhabited. About 70 endemic (native only to this area) plants grow in their tropical rainforest, three endemic birds live here and many other sea birds.
The biodiversity of the sea is particularly unique. There are 32 different types of corals, 57 crustaceans and 500 molluscs on the coral reefs. Schools of bow-forehead hammerheads, manta rays and reef sharks cavort in large numbers near the island.
The Cocos Islands National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997, and the protected area around the island was expanded in 2001.
The province of Guanacaste is located in the northwest of the country and borders the Pacific Ocean to the west. The province has three national parks, the Santa Rosa National Park, the Guanacaste National Park and the Rincón de la Vieja National Park. The biodiversity of animals and plants in this area is very high and the endangered hybrid turtles live in the protected area. These marine animals have to go ashore to lay their eggs, where they bury them in the sand. They have natural enemies - but the greatest enemy is above all humans, who collect their eggs and thus hinder or prevent the reproduction of marine animals. Various vegetation zones can be found in the Santa Rosa National Park: tropical dry forest areas, humid tropical rainforests, savannas,
About 500 different bird species, 60 bat species, iguanas, various poisonous snakes, various monkey species, pointed crocodiles, white-lipped pigs that can crack coconuts live there. On the still active volcanic massif Rincón de la Vieja, you can find hot springs and geysers. Smaller eruptions take place here every day, during which hot vapors and liquid shoot out.
The Guanacaste protected area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 and expanded in 2004.
Pre-Columbian settlements and stone balls of the Diquis
The approximately 300 stone balls found here consist mostly of granite-like rock and about a dozen are made of shell limestone and sandstone.
Some balls can be viewed in the National Museum of Costa Rica. They were brought there after many of the bullets were damaged when the jungle was cleared.
It was even rumored that gold was hidden inside and they were blown up. The sites are widely scattered and range from the Diguis Delta on the Osa Peninsula to Papagaya.
They date from pre-Columbian times. The bullets were also found on the islands of Guanacaste and Isla del Caño.
Their size is very different, some balls have a diameter of approx. 2 m and others are only a few centimeters small.
The balls were made by the Diquis, who are considered to be gifted craftsmen. They also created gold and pottery.
The culture of the Diquis culture was a pre-Columbian indigenous culture in Costa Rica that flourished from about AD 700 to AD 1530.
However, one does not really know what these balls were for - was it just for decoration or should the gods be appeased with skittles?
Scientists also believe they see symbols of power in them.
The pre-Columbian settlements and stone spheres of the Diquis were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.
Interesting cities and towns
See AllCityPopulation for a list of largest cities in the country of Costa Rica.
San José is the largest city in the country and the capital of Costa Rica with around 340,000 residents. The city is centrally located inland on a high plateau. The city offers visitors a lot of attractions and acts as a transport hub for travel to all regions of the country.
Puerto Limón has around 105,000 residents, making it the country's second largest city. The city is located in the west of the country on the Caribbean coast. Because of this location, Puerto Limón is Costa Rica's main port.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
The village of Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca), located in the southeast and on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, is in the province of Limón, not far from the border with Panama. Many travelers cross it on their way from one country to another - most of them full of enthusiasm.
Puerto Viejo is surrounded by dense jungle and endless, wide sandy beaches that attract countless tourists. But not only typical white sandy beaches can be found in Puerto Viejo, but also a Playa Negra (in German: Black Beach) with its dark volcanic sand provides variety among tourists - many of them surfers. The numerous reefs around Puerto Viejo generate the best waves in Costa Rica and are known for this among surfers worldwide.
Puerto Viejo has a very special Caribbean flair; Due to the tropical humidity and a relatively high and constant climate, it seems as if the clock has stopped there. Hippies, local Rastafarians and backpackers sip cocktails, relax in hammocks or go on excursions into the picturesque surroundings. B. is home to parrots, howler monkeys and protected jaguars.
Dozens of hostels, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and bars are available and there is hardly a lack of activities in Puerto Viejo. Whether relaxing on the beach, excursions to the nearby waterfalls, canoeing through jungle pools (watch out there are alligators and snakes!) Or encounters with the Bribri, an indigenous people in the mountains who introduce tourists to the teaching of healing methods - Puerto Viejo is definitely one Worth a visit. You should only be prepared for the fact that the so-called Tranquillo mentality prevails on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and that everything is going a little slower there. Serenity is very important there.
Alajuela has about 50,000 residents and is centrally located inland near the capital San José.
Spanish fort in Heredia.
Cementerio Obreros Cemetery/San José
The remains of many well-known Costa Ricans rest here in impressive mausoleums and graves decorated with angels, cherubins, ornaments and sculptures.
Monument to Juan Santamaría
This monument to Juan Santamaría is located in Alajuela.
Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold Art, Museo de Oro precolumbial/San José
Many claim that the museum contains the largest collection of pre-Columbian gold. The exhibition definitely houses over 20,000 pieces of jewelry, including the (golden) breastplate of a chief.
Museo del Jade Jade
Museum in San José.
Museo de los Niños
In San José.
In San José.
Museo de Arte Costarricense
The museum is located in San José.
Museo de arte y diseño contemporáneo
in San José.
Museo Juan Santamaría
Teatro Nacional/San José
The neoclassical theater is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. In 1897 the doors of the theater were officially opened for the first time and the Parisian ensemble delighted the residents of San Jose with the opera Faust.
The opera house was built in the style of the Paris Opera, statues of various muses adorn the neo-Renaissance facade and a mural emblazoned above the foyer.
Teatro Melico Salazar
The theater can be found in San José.
Eugene O'Neill Theater
The theater can be found in San José.
Basilica de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles/Cartago
The most important church in the country was built in 1826 on the ruins of its predecessor.
Every day, numerous believers flock to the house of God to pray to the mulatto La Negra, who is said to perform miraculous healings. The figure, which measures just 20 cm, stands in a gold shrine above the altar. In the side chapels there are supplications and votive offerings (promesas), which the faithful left behind to thank them for hearing their prayers.
Catedral Metropólitano/San José In
early 1871, the cathedral was completed on the site of an older church that fell victim to the earthquake in 1821.
It was built with a blue dome in the Greek Orthodox style and has a beautifully decorated altarpiece.
The Central Cathedral
The theater can be found in Alajuela.
Iglesia La Agonía
The theater can be found in Alajuela.
Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica
This university was founded in Cartago in 1971.
Universidad de Costa Rica
The University of Costa Rica was founded in San José in 1843 and currently has around 40,000 students.
This university currently has around 12,000 students.
Arenal National Park
The national park has an area of 5,208 hectares = 52.08 km² and includes the area around Lake Arenal and the still active El Arenal volcano, where, with a lot of luck, you can admire the flowing lava. This national park, which can be described as a protected zone, is home to an incredible variety of different animals and plants.
Cahuita National Park
The tropical Cahuita National Park is 1,100 ha = 11 km² and consists of swamp, wet and mangrove forests, which are home to numerous tropical birds. The park is bordered by fine white sandy beaches.
Here you can find toucans, green parrots and a large number of hummingbirds, the chirping of which mixes with the screaming of the howler monkeys in the morning. Iguanas, sloths and snakes can also be encountered here.
A hiking trail leads through nature along the shores of the azure blue sea.
Corcovado National Park
The crown jewel of the Costa Rican rainforest national parks looks like the Amazon region in miniature and with its colorful flora and fauna makes up for the inconveniences such as high humidity and frequent rainfall (up to 8,000 mm per year).
The enormous amounts of water here in the tropics bring forth life in abundance, such as the rare Jolillo palm forest.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
The cloud forest in Monteverde at an altitude of approx. 1,290 m is still largely original and has fascinating and dense tropical flora and fauna. The average annual rainfall is around 3,000 mm, which is why many rivers and streams have their origin here. The high humidity is responsible for the occurrence of around 2,500 plant species. Orchids, bromeliads, bamboo and ficus species grow there alongside many other types of plants. With a lot of luck you can see the famous quetzal bird there. This is also the home of the golden toad, which only exists in Monteverde in the world. An alternative to the local suspension bridge path is a so-called canopy tour, where you - attached to a thick steel cable - "fly" at a rapid pace from tree top to tree top
Rincón del la Vieja
National Park The national park with a size of 14,000 ha = 140 km² extends on the slopes of the two volcanoes Rincón de la Vieja and Santa Maria in the so-called "Cordillera de Guanacaste". The 1,896 m high Rincón de la Vieja is one of the dormant volcanoes. The neighboring volcano Santa Maria, 1,672 m high, has long been extinct. In the park itself you can follow a nice tour and boiling mud holes at Las Pailas indicate volcanic activity.
Tenorio National Park
This 130 km² national park is a little less known, but no less spectacular. It is located in the north of Costa Rica and extends over an extensive nature reserve at the foot of the 1,913 m high Tenorio volcano.
The main attraction of the national park is the turquoise blue river Río Celeste. Its bright blue is created by reflections of sunlight from minerals in the river.
Legend has it that blue was created when God washed out his brushes in the Río Celeste after he had painted the sky blue.
In the middle of the national park, between ancient moss-covered trees, lianas and orchids, the Río Celeste plunges into a 20 m high waterfall. The descent to the catch basin is worthwhile.
Tortuguero National Park
The national park is one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. With an area of around 20,000 ha = 200 km², through which many canals and lagoons run, it offers a habitat for a variety of animals and plants.
The national park is most important for the protection of sea turtles, from which it gets its name. Several species of turtles, including the rare hawksbill turtle, come ashore between July and October to lay their eggs.
From a boat with the help of a guide, one can observe numerous animal residents of the park, ideally in the early morning hours.
Jardín Botánico Lankester/Cartago
The garden, which only covers an area of 11 hectares, is one of the most interesting botanical gardens in America. It holds an invaluable collection of Neotropical plants.
The 700 species of orchids as well as the palms and bromeliads attract butterflies by the thousands. In spring the plant is in full bloom.
Activities in the country
Adventure and active vacationers can prove themselves with white water rafting and kayak tours in rapid rivers such as the Río Pacuare. Surfers and divers will find numerous hotspots in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Hikers, riders or mountain bikers can pursue their hobby in the national parks or on the volcanoes, among other places. For mountaineers the highest peak in Costa Rica in the Chirripó National Park - the 3,821 m high Cerro Chirripó is recommended.
A series of wooden suspension bridges lead through and over the treetops of the rainforest.
Those who just want to spend a beach holiday are recommended the Pacific beaches in Guanacaste, Manuel Antonio or on the Nicoya Peninsula.
The most beautiful bays can be found in Bahía Drake, Golfo Dulce or in the Marino Ballena National Park.
Coffee lovers can find out more about the production of the "Grano de Oro" coffee bean at a coffee plantation in the central highlands.
You can go on a culinary discovery tour at the numerous markets in the country. And admire goods that we rarely or not at all.
Discover Costa Rica by shuttle bus
With the shuttle bus to the most beautiful places in the world
If you want to discover South America, you can hardly avoid Costa Rica. The colorful country between Nicaragua and Panama has a lot to offer travelers.
Here you can still find original landscapes and fantastic natural spectacles that not only make the hearts of hiking enthusiasts beat faster. Costa Rica also impresses with its incredible biodiversity, gigantic trees and an alpine plateau.
Large parts of this impressive landscape are under nature protection, but can be visited by cautious tourists. Real relaxation and sporting challenges alternate. The long, largely unspoilt beaches of Costa Rica are great for swimming, snorkeling and diving.
But deep-sea anglers and sailing enthusiasts also get their money's worth. Rafting tours and accompanied kayak trips provide an extra dose of adventure.
Those who like it a little quieter will find extensive routes that are ideal for hiking, climbing and cycling.
Impressive panorama included, of course.
Costa Rica is particularly popular in the months of November to April. During this time there is a temperate climate. The dry season is from December to April. The rainy season, which prevails from May to October, is also an attractive travel time for tourists.
The rains are usually short-lived and mainly fall during the night. The temperatures during the day are particularly pleasant because the rain cools everything down by a few degrees overnight.
The rainy season has a special charm for nature lovers. In the rainy months, nature in Costa Rica is in full bloom and shows all its biodiversity.
Experience Costa Rica up close with the shuttle bus
Costa Rica is a country of great diversity and delightful places. This country is made for a tour. In this way, as much as possible can be packed into the vacation trip.
If you want to go on your own, you can rent a rental car on site and discover the most beautiful spots in Costa Rica. However, guided tours are currently particularly popular. For many visitors, shuttle buses are a very interesting alternative to renting a car.
Many locals and tourists travel by bus in Costa Rica. All large cities and larger settlements are well connected by regular bus services. There are stops almost everywhere.
Traveling by bus is a practical and inexpensive way of getting around in Costa Rica. However, if you travel this way, you should bring some time with you.
Especially outside of the largest cities, the local road conditions cannot be compared with European conditions. Progress is often slow here. But there is even more of the beautiful landscape to see.
If you decide to take a shuttle trip through Costa Rica, you book a real first-hand experience in addition to many sights and breathtaking views. Many bus companies have specialized in not only bringing their fellow travelers closer to the traditional tourist centers of the country, but also providing real insights into life in this tropical region. The locals in Costa Rica are extremely hospitable and always happy to see you.
Often the round trips in the shuttle bus can be booked flexibly on site and can be started on a daily basis and depending on the desired location. The tour operator Ticotrotter provides information about the various booking options and available travel destinations in Costa Rica.
Another big advantage of a round trip in the shuttle bus is that the transfer always takes place directly from hotel to hotel, thus eliminating long waiting times on public bus routes.
The hotels approached are of course handpicked by the tour operator and offer their guests a high level of comfort. That makes traveling not only pleasant but also safe. The whole diversity of the tropical region can be experienced in a one to three week trip.
Travel and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office
Basically, Costa Rica is considered a relatively safe travel destination. The Foreign Office in Berlin informs that no special vaccinations are required for direct entry from Germany.
However, it is advisable to take into account the current vaccination calendar and to check the vaccination protection that is already in place and to refresh it if necessary. This recommendation applies to adults and also to children and adolescents from the age of 1.
Particularly noteworthy here are the vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, mumps, measles, rubella, whooping cough (pertussis), influenza (flu) and pneumococci. In Costa Rica there is also a risk of contracting malaria or dengue fever.
The trigger is always the bite of a specific mosquito native to Costa Rica.
The Anopheles mosquito, which is mainly active in the evening and at night, transmits malaria. The mosquito Aedes aegypti is responsible for the transmission of dengue fever. She is active during the day.
There is currently no effective vaccination for either disease. Travelers should therefore protect themselves against the risk of mosquito bites. Ideally, this is done by wearing light, long clothing.
In addition to typical diseases, various natural conditions in Costa Rica can also pose a risk. These include, for example, the active volcano Turrialba, which is located south of the capital San José. With regular small eruptions and the discharge of ash clouds in the past few months it has repeatedly caused excitement and the closure of various surrounding areas. If necessary, travel to and from the airport by plane can be affected by the activities of the volcano.
In addition, Costa Rica is in a hurricane zone. Depending on the season and weather conditions, strong storms can occur. The risk of a hurricane is particularly high in June through November. Under certain circumstances, there may be serious disruptions to travel.
On an accompanied trip in the shuttle bus, travelers can generally feel completely safe, as travel companions are usually well informed about local conditions and fellow travelers can give valuable tips about safety and travel comfort.
Politically, Costa Rica has been a very stable country for years. Democracy was introduced here in the 1950s and has been alive ever since. The locals attach great importance to a good infrastructure and a high level of education.
Visitors can experience a very relaxed holiday here and enjoy the beauty of a fascinating world of animals and plants.