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Celebrating the Holidays in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a truly heaven on earth for those who love nature. Our small country which is set between two oceans offers locals and tourists alike an array of scenery and a myriad of wildlife; volcanic peaks, huge rainforests and spectacular stretches of oceanic sand.

December is an exceptional month to take a vacation in Costa Rica. The local children embark on the long summer holiday from school. The rainy season is over and the temperatures are warm, perfect for beach festivities. All working adults are given aguinaldo by their employers. This is a bonus required by law and it is equivalent to a month’s pay.

Many Ticos in this Roman Catholic territory spend Christmas in church-related activities. For most locals, nothing can be compared to eating a pork tamale with a cup of coffee or agua dulce throughout December at any time of the day. It brings back childhood reminiscences for everyone. Tamales are prepared abundantly during the Christmas season for the family or for exchanging with friends. The customary Costa Rican Christmas delicacies are tamales, seared pork legs and heaps of eggnog (called rompope here). Each of these holiday treats have a deep implication in the hearts of the Costa Ricans.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with fireworks and firecrackers. Many will spend the evening with family and friends, sharing food and dancing to local music until midnight. Some end the parties some minutes before midnight and go to public celebrations at the beaches, recreational areas, taverns or discos.

From Christmas to New Year, most banks, post offices, shops and government offices are closed. Hotels are booked several months ahead and public transportation works on a limited schedule.

The holidays in Costa Rica are a fun time for everyone, tourists and locals alike. Vacation in Costa Rica and find the pura vida, the ‘pure life’, during Christmas in Costa Rica.

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