Tag Archives: Costa Rica Christmas

Costa Rica Christmas: The Best Family Vacation You Can Plan

Imagine spending your family Christmas vacation hiking through rainforests and frolicking in the crystal clear surf of a tropical paradise? Have a Costa Rica Christmas…because you can!

Cost Rica is a fantastic family vacation destination at any time of year, and even more so during the Christmas holiday break. Parades, fiestas, processions and street parties characterize December in most parts of the country and, being in at the height of tourist peak season, it means that everything – from the weather to the attractions and activities – is at its very best.

Costa Rica Christmas

It’s not too late to plan an unforgettable Costa Rica Christmas in one of the most enticing and varied countries on earth. With its enticing culture and myriad of natural wilderness, Costa Rica offers an infinite array of exciting adventures, spectacular scenery and amazing cultural insights, for young and old alike.

So let us help you plan a Costa Rica Christmas you will never, ever, forget.

Trust the Experts

There are some parts of the country you may want to avoid when visiting during a Costa Rica Christmas holiday break. Places where the tourists outnumber locals and where crowds swell to such an extent that enjoying a particular place, no matter out extraordinary, becomes a tad challenging. An expert and trusted tour operator should always be able to cater to your needs for exclusivity when planning a wicked itinerary. They’ll know the best places to visit (and ones to avoid) and even plan your daily itinerary to dodge the crowds. Never will it be more priceless to plan a private and personalized Costa Rica tour than at Christmas, a time when families should enjoy quality time together. The best Costa Rica tour operators should be creative in tailoring your tour and take all your desires into consideration.

Costa Rica Christmas

Expensive? It’s Relative!

While it’s true that the big holidays in Costa Rica (like Christmas and Easter) attract the highest prices, it’s also true that, relatively speaking, travel to Costa Rica is still an absolute bargain when compared to other popular holiday destinations. Sure, your flights and accommodation may be dearer than at other times of year, but they’ll still be more affordable than, say, Hawaii or the Caribbean islands. So don’t be scared off by the ‘high season pricing’, Costa Rica is one of the most rewarding travel destinations of all at Christmas, and paying a few extra bucks for the privilege of spending your family vacation here is certainly a very worthwhile thing to do. Besides, check out the red-eye flights to San Jose from LA, with arrival on Christmas Eve, and you’ll be surprised to discover how cheap flying at peak times can be.

Adrenaline-Pumping Activities

Costa Rica Christmas

Costa Rica is renowned as an active traveler’s paradise and this is a side of the country you should definitely explore. From forest canopy zip-lines to white water river rafting, horse riding and downhill mountain biking: you name it, and in Costa Rica, you’ll find it! Costa Rica is a perfect destination for families with active teenagers in tow and also those with younger children.

The options for safe modifications of activities to suit smaller kids are always on offer. This is arguably why Costa Rica makes for such a fantastic family vacation destination. Children simply go nuts for the wildlife, the water sports, and all the fun activities enjoyed in pristine nature.

It’s a Costa Rica Christmas – Book Ahead

When traveling at peak tourist times it’s a very good idea to book as many activities as possible ahead of time. About the only thing we’d say you can safely leave until the last minute are surfing lessons, which you can book right on the beach on the day you visit. Not only will you avoid disappointment by booking ahead, but you’ll also save a neat bundle, as last-minute prices for group activities are usually much higher.

Costa Rica surfboards

Ready to book that exceptional Christmas family experience? We offer the best Costa Rica family guided tours you’ll find anywhere, and will tailor an itinerary to suit your specific needs and wants, and those of your whole adventurous brood.

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Costa Rica in December: the Most Festive Month of the Year

When it comes to cultural highlights, there’s no better time of year to visit Costa Rica than December. That’s when the country has its most festive month of the year in anticipation of Christmas, a time when festivals, fireworks and frivolities are everyday occurrences.

Here are just some of December’s very best highlights.

1st – 7th December

Christmas treeChristmas may still be a few weeks away, but Ticos have already begun decorating their homes. Around this time, locals start making tamales, which are delicious steamed cornmeal pockets filled with meat and vegetables, or jam and fruit. They’re tedious to prepare and quite time -consuming, with each secret family recipe being a source of much pride. In Costa Rica, it’s customary to exchange tamales at Christmas as gifts to friends, family members and neighbors, and to include them in all the festivities.

This week also marks the beginning of Lights Fiesta – Festival de la Luz – which will be a week-long celebration in San Jose with lighting displays, lots of music and food and nightly fireworks.

As if they don’t have enough to do, Ticos also start harvesting coffee at this time of year! Nature also begins her early celebrations by sending humpback whales from Alaska to Cano Island.

8th – 15th December

Fiesta de los NegritosTravel to the indigenous village of Boruca this week and you can partake in the Fiesta de los Negritos, an incredible festival which combines indigenous and Catholic rituals to create a visual spectacle like no other. The costumes are outrageous, the music and the dance hypnotic and the food on offer simply delectable. On the 8th December Costa Rica also celebrates the Lady of the Immaculate Conception, and you’ll see fiestas countrywide celebrating Mary, and plenty of young girls donning blinding-white starched skirts.

The Nicoya Peninsula celebrates Fiesta de la Yeguita on 12th December, with parades, bullfights (but without violence!), concerts and food stalls set up in towns all over the peninsula.

Around mid-December is also a time when Ticos receive their ‘aguinaldo’ which is essentially a Christmas bonus: a little bit of extra cash to help pay for gifts and celebrations. At this time, locals will start to set up their Christmas trees and put up nativity sets, which here are called ‘portales’.

Cano Island also celebrates its own ‘lighting festival’ in mid-December. This is the time of year which sees the most electrical storm activity in the entire region.

16th – 23rd December

Turtle preservationProcessions, religious reenactments, fiestas, fireworks and tamales are all the rage by the third week of December. Rompopo, the local eggnog, makes an appearance at festivals, as do the tamales, of course. Nativity set competitions are held in villages all over the country.

Meanwhile, hordes of Olive Ridley turtles continue to arrive on Playa Nancite (Santa Rosa National Park) to lay their eggs. This is one of the country’s most famous turtle nesting site.

24th – 31st December

It’s tradition in Costa Rica to attend mass on Christmas Eve, feast on a sumptuous dinner at midnight and open presents shortly thereafter. Tamales are the centrepiece of each meal, with plenty of rompopo, chicha (an alcoholic corn brew) and coconut candies (melcochas) laid out. When all the evening’s festivities wind down, baby Jesus is ceremonially placed in the crib of nativity sets. Christmas day is usually a quieter affair, with families gathering late in the afternoon to feast on leftovers.

Horse paradeHead to San Jose on Boxing Day and you’ll witness El Tope, a famous horse parade which is meant to showcase the prowess of the animals and skills of the riders. The festival continues the next day, with a colossal carnival taking place in the heart of the city. Large flamboyant floats, live music and more food than you can imagine!

New Year’s eve celebrations are held countrywide, with more food, fireworks, dance, music and fair-rides helping Ticos and visitors bring in the New Year in vibrant style.