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What is Semana Santa in Costa Rica?

March 26, 2021 2 min read

Batten down the hatches at the beaches, because Semana Santa starts next week here in Costa Rica.

Semana what?!?!

So what is Semana Santa in Costa Rica?

In English, it's Holy Week or Easter week. And Semana Santa in Costa Rica is one of the country's two major vacation times (the other being Christmas). Costa Ricans (Ticos) flock to the beaches for rest, relaxation...and a whole lot of partying!

Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa (Holy Thursday and Good Friday) are national holidays AND ironically enough, these two days are "dry" -- no alcoholic beverages can be sold! (But you can still drink these days if you planned ahead and stocked up...😂😂😂). 

In addition to what seems as the whole country visiting the beaches during Semana Santa, it's also a popular tourist vacation week for foreigners. This influx in demand creates high prices and low availability. The beaches are packed and the traffic is insane.

Bottom line, don't visit the beaches in Costa Rica during Semana Santa...or be prepared to grocery shop ahead of time (before Wednesday of Easter Week), and then hunker down + enjoy time in your rental home, hotel, or AirBnB!

Beach palm trees and driftwood in Costa Rica. "Via Paradise" beach print at The Sunset Shop by Samba to the Sea.

-->"Via Paradise" <-- 


P.S. If you're reading this post and haven't made travel plans yet to Costa Rica/ can still make changes, I recommend scheduling your beach time Palm Sunday through Holy Thursday, then visiting Costa Rica's volcanoes and rainforests during from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday. You'll avoid the huge crowds at the beach!

What do I do for Semana Santa?
Don't get me wrong. I love Costa Rica, but I don't love the craziness that Semana Santa brings...especially here in Tamarindo, one of Costa Rica's main beach towns.

For the first couple of years, I hunkered down + it wasn't fun (say hello to power outages and water running out because so many people are in town at the end of 4 months of no rain). Then I wisened up. I typically plan a trip to the US, and one year I planned a trip to the capital city of San Jose (and it was amazing -- typically San Jose is traffic snarled, but with everyone down at the beaches, I was able to get a lot of home shopping done sans traffic + explore the mountains!)



P.S. Do you have more questions about Costa Rica?

Click here to read more of my Costa Rica tips, check out the highlights in my Instagram stories "CR Tips", or feel free to email me and ask away!



P u r a   V i d a,





*[Blog post originally posted on 4/19/19, updated 3/26/21]*

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