Christmas in Costa Rica – The Happiest Holidays

Christmas in Costa Rica – The Happiest Holidays

It is now November, and for folks in the northern hemisphere, winter is fast approaching. Temperatures are dropping, the days are getting shorter, and the holidays are just around the corner! While it is lots of fun to go skiing, drink hot cocoa, and sit by the fire watching the snow falling outside, think of how much more you could see and experience by spending the holiday season on the beach! Although spending the holidays somewhere tropical is something that most people are not used to, a family trip is a gift that keeps on giving. Christmas in Costa Rica is just about as merry and bright as it gets! 

The holiday season in Tamarindo is busy and bustling, and there are tons of fun things to do, events to attend, and waves to surf! The holiday months are some of the most beautiful months of the year in Costa Rica, with clear skies and sunshine pretty much every single day, not much wind, and lush, green foliage all around from the previous months of the rainy season. The month of December is one of the busiest and most exciting months of the year in Tamarindo, and you can feel the energy all around you. You will find people from all over the world who have all come for different reasons – families who want to learn how to surf and enjoy the holidays on the beach together, groups of friends who want to experience the nightlife and see the sights, solo travelers that are just passing through, and everyone in between. There is something for everyone in Tamarindo, and it is certain to be a holiday season you will never, ever forget.

Another plus of spending the holidays in Costa Rica is that you will be able to skip out on all of the more frustrating parts of the holiday season. We all know the feeling of waiting in long lines to buy last-minute gifts or to pick up the whipped cream for the pie that your uncle forgot. Sometimes the crowds are pretty unbearable, but down at the beach that isn’t an issue! Also, if you are not in town, you won’t have to deal with any holiday festivities that you would prefer not to attend. Have you been dreading having to answer all of Aunt Karen’s questions at the annual family dinner? Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. While the rest of the family is eating dinner in the snow, you can be relaxing at the beach with a nice cold beer in your hand and not a care in the world. You will also save money by not having to buy gifts for your loved ones… instead, give them a trip full of life experiences that they will never forget! A trip with your friends or family to a new place has way more value than any material items. 

Things start off slow at the beginning of December, with fewer crowds and plenty of waves to go around. During this time, it is still fairly easy to find a place to stay, book all of the activities that you want to try, and spend plenty of time relaxing on the beach. Try out any number of the awesome tours in the area like zip-lining, ATVs, the sunset catamaran cruise, and more. There are also tons of awesome restaurants to check out, themed events, and lots of fun shops to buy trinkets for your loved ones! 

Once the month is about halfway through, the town begins to fill up and things start to get busier. If you are planning to come during the two weeks before and after Christmas, it is a good idea to do a decent amount of planning ahead in order to make sure you have your accommodation and activities all figured out, because everything will definitely fill up! The beachfront Iguana Surf Hotel has great room options in the ideal location, so definitely check that out for availability. It is also recommended that you make reservations if you would like to try out Iguana’s Tamarindo surf school because lessons will get full! There are surf lessons daily at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm (yes, even on Christmas!) so take your pick of what time works best for you and make a reservation online, in the shop, give us a call, or shoot us an email! The waves in December are awesome for beginners, and bigger swells bring some sweet intermediate and advanced waves as well. If you have time, make sure to check out some of the surrounding beaches like Playa Grande, Playa Avellanas, or Playa Negra for new breaks and more beautiful spots for soaking up the sun. You will certainly not be bored! 

When Christmas comes, things are in full swing and stay that way until after the new year. Many locals come from different parts of Costa Rica on their vacations from work to enjoy their time off on the beach and tourists come from all over the world to experience high season, so Tamarindo will be full of visitors and Costa Ricans alike. While the weather is hot and sunny, the town still has a festive and cozy vibe because of all the people and Christmas themed events going on. 


New Years is a big deal in Tamarindo. The town doesn’t sleep for about a week. So if you want to celebrate hard, Tamarindo is a great place to be. Lots of people come for the festivities that go on for about a week on the days leading up to the 31st. Multiple big stages are set up along the beach, and the music starts at about 3 pm every day, finishing well after dark. It is essentially a nonstop party, with groups of people playing their own music all along the beach, cars parked along the street with big speakers, and big parties with well-known DJs in all of the clubs and bars every night. You can dance your way through the week starting on the beach in the afternoon, and then going out until the wee hours of the morning. By the time the 1st rolls around, you are sure to be exhausted but full to the brim with amazing memories and the best of times with family and friends both old and new. New Years in Costa Rica surely cannot be beat. 

If this all sounds awesome to you, the last thing to do is book a darn plane ticket! The great news is, there are a ton of awesome flights to Costa Rica that are direct and affordable, and more just keep getting added. The closest airport to Tamarindo is Liberia, which is very nice and easy to get around and is also being expanded to make things even smoother. There are plenty of direct flights to Liberia from many big cities in North America like Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, Calgary, New York, Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and more. Round trip tickets can be as low as about $350! If you can’t find any good flights to Liberia, check out San Jose which is the capital city and home to the biggest airport in the country. Although a little further away from Tamarindo, there are plenty of buses and shuttle services that can quickly get you to where you need to go. And getting from Liberia to Tamarindo is only about an hour drive, so getting a bus, shuttle, or even just a taxi is a piece of cake. There are plenty that you can book in advance so that someone is waiting for you when you arrive in paradise. It doesn’t get easier than that! 

Most people don’t think that flying somewhere exotic like Costa Rica could possibly be affordable, but it is actually very reasonable because of its closer proximity to the United States and the high level of infrastructure in Costa Rica. It’s easier than you think! So now that you literally have no excuse, it’s time to pull up google flights! We can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with you in paradise! 


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