Are you ready to fiesta? Are you ready to partyyyyyy?!?! Here in the region of Guanacaste, Costa Rica, dry season means it's Fiesta season -- woohoo!! And the Fiestas for the Tamarindo area start next week!
But wait, what the heck is a Fiesta in Costa Rica?
Translated to English, "fiesta" means "party". The Fiestas Civicas, or Fiestas, celebrate Guanacaste's rich traditions of their cowboys (sabaneros), who take pride in their horses and cattle. The major towns in Guanacaste have a Fiesta (or two) during dry season, typically lasting four days.
(The local Fiesta where I'm located in Tamarindo is in Villareal, which is located right outside of Tamarindo. Villareal has two Fiestas during dry season - - one at the end of December and one mid March).
So what happens during the Fiestas?
The Fiestas kick off with the "tope", an equestrian parade with the sabaneros riding their horses, who are doing a special high stepping dance. The tope parade leads to the fairground, which typically is located in the town's center plaza (and also location of the town's soccer field).
In the plaza during the Fiestas, there will be multiple carnival rides set up for little kids, food and beverage vendors, and the main attraction, a bull ring. And believe it or not, that bull ring is set up using only wood and all by hand!!! It takes a little over a week for the ring and small stands to be constructed -- or in other words, probably the fastest thing to be built in Costa Rica!
After the afternoon tope, the rodeo takes place, starting around 7PM each night of the Fiesta, with the cowboys riding on huge bulls (no bull fighting). AND to top that off, in the bull ring, locals will be standing in the bull ring while the cowboys are riding the bulls! Words can't describe how thrilling it is to see a sabonero fight to stay on + ride the bull, and then afterwards, the craziest part -- the bulls chasing the locals around the bull ring!!!!
I've been to many Fiestas, and each time I watch the rodeo, I scream like a little kid as a local ducks under the fence, inches away from getting gored by a bull!!! And what happens if a sabonero gets hurt from being ejected off the bull or a local run over by a bull? There's a small window chute constructed on the side of the bull ring that will open to slide the injured through, straight into am ambulance!
When the rodeo finishes, everyone gathers at the community hall to dance + drink until late in the night. Then the next day, it starts all over again!
So my question to you, are you ready to come visit Pura Vidadise and experience a Fiesta?!?!
AND you can attend the Tamarindo International Surf Film Festival too! If you simply just need a warm weather beach vacation like N-O-W to escape all that rain and snow, Tamarindo is hosting an International Surf Film Festival next week (March 13th-15th) during the Villareal Fiestas too.... there's still enough time for you to book your plane ticket, reserve a hotel, and escape to surf Pura Vidadise! So what are you waiting for?!