Easter Week is called “Semana Santa”, or “Holy Week”, in Costa Rica, and is one of the most important dates in the cultural calendar. Not only do the tourist destinations fill up with foreign holiday makers on spring break, but it is also one of the key times of year where you see the big holiday spots fill up with national tourists.
Although ostensibly a religious holiday, Semana Santa has become more of a party week in recent years. Most Costa Ricans have the Thursday and Friday off, making for a nice long weekend, and the mass exodus from the Central Valley towards the beaches begins usually by Wednesday afternoon. Religious observances are still a large part of the week, with the Friday Passion processional marking the Stations of the Cross through most villages and towns. Up until this year, Easter Thursday and Friday were always “dry” days, with no alcohol being allowed for sale in restaurants and stores on those days out of respect for the religious holiday. This year the Costa Rican government has decided to allow each Municipality to decide if they observe the dry days or not. Visitors to the Manuel Antonio this week will be pleased to hear that our county of Aguirre, has decided to NOT observe the dry days, so alcohol sales will continue as normal.
While the beaches will be packed this weekend, the party atmosphere all over the country is tons of fun. All hotels and vacation rentals on Manuel Antonio are fully booked, and many intrepid vacationers camp out right on the beach. While the rest of the country is, in effect, shut down, including banks and government offices, the Manuel Antonio area is at its busiest!
If you are planning to spend next Easter week in Manuel Antonio, book one of our vacation rentals early and make sure to book your tours in advance! You’ll love the excitement, the party atmosphere, and the hot sunny weather at this time of year. The Easter bunny is conspicuously absent in Costa Rica, so if you are travelling with your kids, pack the Easter baskets!