Every July 25, Costa Rica celebrates its annexation of Guanacaste province from Nicaragua in 1824. Guanacaste Day, as the national holiday is known, commemorates what has been viewed as the triumph of democracy in Costa Rica.
Many natives and tourists take to the streets around July 25 for up to 12 days of parades and festivals. One traditional parade, called the Tope, features Criollo horses and sabaneros (the term for cowboys in Guanacaste) showing off their fancy high-stepping staccato footwork. If you choose to attend a Tope, be sure to wear your cowboy boots to dance the night away to Marimba music.
The city of Liberia features the most action during Guanacaste Day, including concerts, traditional music, dancing, and bullfighting.
If rhythmical foot stomping is more your speed, then you want to check out the parades featuring the traditional dance called Punto Guanacasteo. Various regions throughout Costa Rica also feature rodeos which have both horseback riding events as well as non-violent bull riding.
Our local area in Manuel Antonio often celebrates Guanacaste Day with traditional events and costumes. Ask our team where you might find some of our local culture and we’ll be happy to coordinate a day of tradition and fun for you!