The week preceding Easter is known as Holy Week. It begins on Palm Sunday and is traditionally a week of reflection on the events preceding Jesus’ death: his triumphant entry into Jerusalem; his betrayal by Judas; his Last Supper with his twelve apostles; his arrest, crucifixion and death; and his burial in a tomb.


In Costa Rica Easter is called Holly Weed or ‘Semana Santa‘, it starts in April the 9th up to April the 16th, and it’s when the public employees and schools have off during the whole week. For private companies, Thursday and Friday are mandatory holidays in the country, and because of this, must of the business remain closed. This year, Costa Rica added another mandatory holiday on April 11th, known as the Juan Santamaria day (Costa Rica National Hero), and because of this most of the country demography will take advantage of these holidays for their vacations.

So, here are some things that you may like to know when spending Holy Week in Costa Rica:

  • Holy Week is a busy week, one of the busiest in the calendar. This means that there will be crowds mostly everywhere, attractions, national parks, famous beaches, between a few. This means that there are higher prices for mostly everything tourism-related.
  • If you haven’t made any reservation, now it will be kind of hard to get one, we recommend staying where you are and contact us so we can give you alternatives (click here). Hotels are expecting over 95% of occupation this year.
  • In Costa Rica, during Thursday and Friday selling alcohol is forbidden in some counties, this is called the dry law, and it used to apply for the whole country, but in recent years this has changed and is up to the municipalities to decide whether to implement it or not.
  • Go for seafood! During Holy Week, it exists the tradition of not eating any red meat, so there is other traditional food during this period that is based on seafood, as well as some other products as ’empanadas de Chiverre’ (a large type of squash).
  • There are Catholic processions held in almost every city during Holy Week. You may be able to see them in San José downtown, on the right side of the central cathedral. These parades are recreations of different chapters of the biblical stories.
  • About the weather: There is significant doubt on the weather during Holy Week in Costa Rica, our country usually has great weather during the season, with temperatures ranging from 75 F to 88 F, still, during Holy Week, the central star is the heat, especially on the Pacific Coast, where temperatures can get to 96°C or more.crowd

Read also:Travel Tips to Costa Rica #1

As a recommendation;

If you are not a crowd person, but you still want to visit the beach, there are some of the tours that visit the Caribbean side of the country, which give a vast amount of activities to enjoy, as well as beautiful beaches. We can also take you to the Pacific Coast, for you to enjoy some parties, people, and visit some beautiful places in the area.

Also, if you are not up for the hot weather, we have some incredible tours that will take you up to the mountains and visit a volcano, where the weather is fresh and cool.


Newscocr. (2017, 19 March 2017). Vacationing in Costa Rica during Holy Week 2017, What you Need to Know – Costa Rica Star News. [Weblog]. Retrieved 10 April 2017, from

Curated by Carlos S. Saenz for Giotours.

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