Take a break from the cold weather, stress, and consumerism of the holiday season back home by spending New Year’s in Costa Rica! The New Year is the perfect time to try something new like surfing, hiking a volcano, or seeing monkeys in the wild. So, start your year off right with an adventure in a new land and plan your Costa Rica Holidays 2022-2023.
As a mostly Catholic country, Costa Ricans really get into the Christmas spirit, with Christmas decorations, festive lights, and manger scenes. The festivities don’t stop after Christmas Day, however. New Year’s Eve in Costa Rica is a big part of the holiday season, which is celebrated in a big way!
The holiday season is a very busy time for tourism and Costa Rica holidays 2022-2023 will be no different. Travelers wishing to come to Costa Rica for the holiday season will need to book their plans well in advance. The Costa Rica holiday season is not only a busy time for international tourism but for local tourism as well. Costa Rican school children will be on their longest break of the year and many local families will be planning beach vacations with their Christmas bonuses, which usually amount to a full month’s salary. While the beaches will be busier and many tours fully booked, you will find everyone in high spirits, happy to be on their annual vacation. Just be sure to book your accommodations and tours well in advance so you don’t miss out on anything you had your heart set on. It is recommended to book accommodations three months in advance if you are planning to travel during Costa Rica holidays 2022-2023.
While Christmas celebrations tend to be a family-based event in Costa Rica, New Year’s Eve is the biggest party of the year. Full of revelers, music, and fireworks displays, the excitement is contagious! If you plan to be in Tamarindo Costa Rica on New Year’s Eve you are sure to find a party. The party scene in Tamarindo is attended by tourists and ticos (locals) alike. The bars will be open, bands will be playing, and the party will spill out onto the main streets well into the early morning hours.
The Costa Rica holiday season is the only time of year to witness a “cimarrona”, which is a small percussion and brass band that play from the back of a pickup truck, blasting national music at all hours. While shocking to hear a short blast of music drive by at 5 am, it is a piece of traditional Costa Rican holiday culture you will be lucky to experience.
In Tamarindo, you will see fire shows and other performers along the beach at sunset every night of the holiday season. People can watch the shows from the beachfront bars or right along the beach itself. There will also be beach bonfires and live music to enjoy during New Year’s in Costa Rica. This tends to be a family-friendly environment, with many locals and vacationers bringing their families to watch the entertainment at the beach. Sunset takes place at 6 pm nightly, so there is plenty of time to watch the performances before bedtime.
Costa Ricans love their fireworks! Between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you can see fireworks going off every evening in a place like Tamarindo Beach Costa Rica. It all culminates on New Year’s Eve, with a big fireworks display on Tamarindo Beach at midnight. So, grab a bottle of champagne and find a spot on the beach to watch the night sky light up and reflect off of the ocean. It’s the perfect way to ring in the New Year!
The Costa Rica holiday season means it’s tamale time! Tamales in Costa Rica have a base of corn masa (dough), with meat like chicken or pork, rice, and carrots wrapped in a banana leaf. Tamales often include surprise additions such as olives and even dates, depending on the region. This is a seasonal treat that cannot be missed! Tamales are usually only available around the holiday season, because of the amount of effort involved in making the tasty treats. Tamales are often sold in pairs, tied together, which are referred to as a piña (pineapple).
If you can’t go without your typical seasonal staples, you’re in luck. Restaurants in places like Tamarindo and other touristy locations make sure to have your favorite meals during the Costa Rica holidays. During the festive days around Christmas and New Year’s they usually have specials, so you can enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner menu filled with classic dishes. If you want to try a traditional Costa Rican New Year’s Eve meal, however, be sure to have a pierna de cerdo (pork roast) dinner.
A lot is going on during the holiday season in Costa Rica, thanks to people in Costa Rica having time off of work and school and extra money to spend. That’s why the Costa Rica holiday season is the time of year when fiestas take place. A fiesta in Costa Rica is like a fair and rodeo mixed into one, with many small towns and bigger cities hosting their own event. With happy locals and plenty of typical food to sample in one spot, these events should not be missed during your Costa Rica holidays 2022-2023.
The month of December heralds the end of the rainy season and travel and tourism start to pick back up, so things that were closed and tours that were canceled during the rainy season are back in full swing by Christmas. There is a lot to do in the Tamarindo area during the Costa Rica holiday season.
There is plenty of sunshine from December to April, making it an ideal time for exploring volcanos and lounging on the beach. Christmas and New Year’s in Costa Rica is an ideal time to visit, as the beaches are still lush and green since it’s at the very end of the rainy season. By April, beach towns like Tamarindo will be dry and many of the trees will drop their leaves.
Tours to the volcano to go white water rafting, rock rappelling, and zipline won’t be bogged down with rain in December and January. You’ll have clear waters for snorkeling and scuba diving during the dry season, too. Plus, a day of sport fishing or a sunset cruise on a catamaran is way more fun in the sun than in the rain.
December and January are the perfect time to try a beginner surf lesson because the waves are generally smaller and easier to manage than they were in the rainy season. With the rains gone, the water is clearer, so there is less chance of getting hit by floating debris.
If you’re a solo traveler looking to make friends over the holiday season, you’ll love the Iguana Surf Camp, with private and dorm-style rooms. If you want to travel to Tamarindo for the holidays with friends and family, the Iguana Surf Estate includes five private condos that all feature deluxe kitchens, free wifi, air conditioning, hot water, luxury bedding, beach towels, and beach chairs. The condos surround a gorgeous outside common area with a pool, outdoor dining, and barbecue area. This is all a mere two-minute walk to the beach and center of town with over 90 restaurants, bars, and shops! We recently started renting the entire estate together, and we also have a large house next door to the condos with 10 beds that sleeps 16 people. So, if you are looking to book a large family or group vacation for the holidays contact us to rent out the entire estate!
If you want to experience all the festivities, food, fiestas, fireworks, and fun Costa Rica has to offer, a trip to Tamarindo is the perfect place to kick off the New Year!
Written by Jennifer LaCharite