What’s about the miracle week in Costa Rica?
Semana Santa is called the current Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday in Latin America. Most of the countries in the world celebrate Easter just a day or at most one weekend. But Costa Rica takes a whole week to celebrate this event. This year Easter Day is the 21st of April and Holy Week is celebrated the 14th of April until the 20th of April. It is one of the country’s most important religious holidays because over 75% of the Costa Ricans are Catholic. The schools are closed, and the cities are almost empty during Semana Santa. Thursday and Friday before Easter Day are government mandated holidays so that families may spend time together. Parades are held in many cities, such as San José, Cartago, Heredia, and Guanacaste, with colourful, authentic costumes depicting the scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion. The Costa Rican usually take the whole week off and head to the beaches. It is not unusual to see the beaches filled with large family groups. It is a special time in Costa Rica, and everything is a bit different than usually. The Costa Rican avoid eating meat during the Holy Week and eat a lot of fish and seafood instead. Families prepare for example rice and shrimp, ceviche and fried fish. The most popular desserts include “empanadas con miel de chiverre”, “miel de coco” and “arroz con leche”. In the past, it was prohibited to sell alcohol on Holy Thursday. This law was changed a few years ago and it is now up to each municipality to set their own law. In popular beach areas like Tamarindo you will have no problem buying alcohol on these holy days.
No matter how you spend the holiday, you are sure to see a variety of religious traditions and a unique aspect of Costa Rican culture.
So, if you plan to visit Costa Rica on Easter you should be aware about some things.
Easter Week sees the country’s busiest traffic so, if you fly into San José you can expect a lot of traffic jams from Wednesday before Easter through Easter Sunday. The beaches are crowded and most hotels are booked months in advance.
If you love lots of activity and people-watching, this time will be perfect for you. You can enjoy the energy – music, food, fun and family. You get in touch easily with Costa Rican people. The best time to practice your Spanish skills! There are also several events during the week at and around the beaches. Tamarindo is never boring, but during Semana Santa it really does become a whole different place.
If you prefer quiet beach walks, Semana Santa may stretch a bit your patience. You should avoid the beaches and go more into the central valley for example to San José, La Fortuna, Monteverde.
We wish you Happy Easter!! 🙂