Go Authentic... Celebrate 11 Days with the Cowboys & Cowgirls of Costa Rica!
Liberia’s annual Carnivals starts today (the 23rd of February) ‘til their spectacular midnight closure with firework display on the 4th of March. Eleven days of partying in Cowboy Country -- as it's known and also arguably, the region of Costa Rica with the best-preserved Costa Rican culture. This year’s fiestas are dedicated to rescuing the customs and traditions of the old Guancaste.
If you want to find the ‘real’ Costa Rica on your vacation; it's right here! Daily displays of bull riding and avoiding skills will take place in the bull ring at 3:00 p.m. and 9 p.m. featuring some of the fiercest bulls that can be found! Don’t worry, the bulls in Costa Rica all end the day safe and sound with only a little hurt pride -- Spanish bull-fighting which ends in the bull’s death is illegal here.
Keep your ears open for the characteristic whooping that all Guancaste inhabitants can do at incredibly high pitch and volume! It is a treat to see the groomed horses and the equally decorated riders in the night horse parade through the streets of Liberia -- this year’s parade will be at 6 p.m. on the 2nd of March.
Live music is advertised almost daily, but for a taste of tradition, you'll need to hear the talents of the mirimba players. On Tuesday, 28th of February at 7:00 p.m., a concert featuring the giant xylophones will be held in the Mario Cañas Ruiz Park.
Liberia is about a four hour drive from San Jose, so if you’re planning a trip, reserve overnight accommodation in the area. You might want to think twice before booking a hotel in Liberia itself though. A daily 5:00 a.m. wake up call with firecrackers through the streets of town is a tradition of the festivals which is carried out with relish!
Safety Note: Do park in secure lots with guards and ensure that all valuables are left in your hotel safe, or at least, out of sight -- if left in the vehicle.
Reporting by Sara Ford
• Freelance writer for Vamos Rent-A-Car