Posted on 3/21/2024

Costa Rica Easter Week: Traditions, Activities, Attractions & Accommodations

Costa Rica Easter week is one of our sunniest, most festive, and busiest times. Locally known as Semana Santa or Holy Week – typically, falling late March to early April – this time of year welcomes festivities, tradition, Spring Break travel, and delightful weather, with warm sunshine, lush landscapes, and bustling beaches.

Whether due to your kids' spring break from school, an interest in Latin American Easter customs, or simply the allure of this vibrant season, Costa Rica Holy Week promises a memorable experience. Regardless of your motivation, you're inf or an incredible vacation, rich with cultural experiences, bright sun, and plenty of activity.

Because, while Costa Rica Easter week is extraordinary, it's also incredibly busy. Some strategic planning will ensure a smoother, more enjoyable getaway. So let's dive in!

Costa Rica Easter Week: When, Where & What

Before we get into the details, let's begin with the basics:

When: The dates of Easter Week, aka Semana Santa, vary annually. This is because Easter Sunday aligns with the Jewish Passover, which changes yearly. Holy Week spans from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, falling typically from mid-March to mid-April, coinciding with Costa Rica's dry season, promising pleasant temperatures and ample daylight, especially in sun-blessed Tamarindo.

Where: Tamarindo sits on Costa Rica's north-Pacific coast, about 75 minutes southwest of the international Guanacaste Airport. Latitude and longitude coordinates (10.2993° N, 85.8371° W) lead you to our front door, which in practice extends to nearby areas like Playa Langosta, Playa Grande, and more.

What: Easter Week in Costa Rica is characterized by special pastries, elaborate processions, and a nationwide holiday drawing crowds to the beaches. Tamarindo is a particular favorite, thanks to its mile-long coastline, offering prime surfing spots and a diverse natural landscape.

Tamarindo brims with ocean mangroves, dry forests, and rolling hills, serving as a haven for tropical flora and fauna. Amidst its scenic beauty, the town radiates a laid-back beach vibe, promoting activities like surfing, yoga, and nature tours.

Of course, if you choose to visit during Costa Rica Holy Week, you’re here for more than the standard smorgasbord of activities, attractions, and relaxation. And with that in mind, let's delve into Easter festivities.

Costa Rican Easter Traditions, Customs, and Festivities

Easter Week holds profound religious significance in Costa Rica – Catholicism is the country’s official religion – marked by preparations starting from Ash Wednesday through Lent. One of the most wide-reaching, traditional practices include adorning crosses with purple, black, and white drapes, symbolizing Jesus' journey to resurrection.

Culinary traditions feature chiverre squash treats and seafood dishes, reflecting Lenten fasting practices. Families flock to coastal areas for the holiday, leading to a surge in beach-bound travelers, necessitating early bookings at your favorite vacation home.

Furthermore, most towns and regions around the country host events on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, with Easter Sunday being less significant, though some churches hold Joyful Resurrection processions. And, while it witnessing these traditions can offer fascinating insight into Costa Rican traditions, it’s essential to recognize that the country is deeply religious and these processions are solemn religious affairs.

On Holy Thursday, witness the somber procession of the Last Supper, featuring Jesus, the apostles, and Mary figures, typically observed in reverent silence. The procession begins at a designated point and culminates at a church, where the Last Supper is re-enacted.

Good Friday boasts the most elaborate events, featuring a route adorned with the 14 stations of the cross, often intricately designed and adorned. Participants, including Jesus, the Roman court, soldiers, and disciples, traverse the route in elaborate attire, evoking a profound spiritual and religious experience. While these events occur throughout Costa Rica, their scale varies by location.

Note: In the past, alcohol sales were prohibited from midnight on Wednesday through Good Friday. However, this law has since changed, with municipalities now having autonomy over alcohol sales during this period. In popular beach areas including Tamarindo, alcohol is readily available, even during these holy days.

The BPM Festival: A New Easter-Week Tradition in Tamarindo

In 2023, the BPM Festival returned to Tamarindo after a multi-year hiatus (due to a certain global event that shall not be named), where it was greeted with joy and enthusiasm.

This year, the BPM Festival will again be held during Easter Week (March 28-30, 2024), promising a vibrant celebration filled with music and dance against the backdrop of Tamarindo's stunning beaches.

Things to Do During Costa Rica Easter Week

While you’ll likely spend some of your time enjoying Easter festivities, food, and traditions, you’ll also want to build plenty of fun and relaxation into your Easter-Week vacation. A word of caution, though: This week is bustling, so pre-booking activities is crucial to avoid missing out. Here's a glimpse of the most popular Spring-Break, Easter-Week, Semana-Santa pursuits:

Surfing: Tamarindo boasts world-renowned surf spots suitable for all skill levels, ensuring an unforgettable experience for wave enthusiasts.

Catamaran Sailing: Indulge in the magic of Tamarindo sunsets aboard a catamaran, combining snorkeling adventures with coastal vistas.

Sport Fishing: Explore Costa Rica's rich marine life through guided fishing expeditions, promising memorable catches and scenic views.

Turtle Nesting: Witness the marvel of turtle nesting at Ostional Wildlife Refuge, offering a glimpse into the region's conservation efforts.

Canopy Tours: Embark on exhilarating zipline adventures, soaring through lush canopies and embracing nature's wonders.

Mangrove Tours: Delve into Tamarindo's biodiversity with mangrove excursions, spotting crocodiles, monkeys, and exotic bird species.

The full list extends to include a wide world of land and water activities, like horseback riding, spa retreats, and wildlife tours, ensuring a fulfilling Tamarindo experience.

Exploring Tamarindo's Attractions

Beyond activities, Costa Rica Easter Week is a celebration of sun, blue skies, and perfect weather – an idyllic, postcard-perfect time to visit Tamarindo’s captivating sights:

Beaches: Tamarindo's diverse beaches cater to every preference, offering opportunities for surfing, relaxation, and scenic strolls.

Las Baulas National Marine Park: Explore pristine beaches and wildlife habitats, immersing yourself in Costa Rica's natural splendor.

Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge: Discover a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, with diverse ecosystems teeming with exotic flora and fauna.

Catalina Islands: Delight in scuba diving adventures amidst stunning island scenery, encountering marine life in its natural habitat.

Nightlife: Tamarindo's vibrant nightlife scene comes alive during Easter Week, offering a mix of dining, entertainment, and beachfront festivities.

Where to Stay During Costa Rica Easter Week

Keep in mind that Easter Week is one of the busiest times of year, so it can be challenging to find accommodations – even if you’re looking months (or a year+) in advance!

Our best advice: If you’re planning on visiting during this season, then start researching in advance. And once you’ve narrowed down your list of favorite rentals, inquire and make a booking. Most will go fast, often selling out up to a year in advance of the following Easter Week.

With that in mind, and while there are many accommodation options available, allow us to highlight a few exceptional properties that surpass even the most exclusive Tamarindo Beach resorts in luxury and comfort.

Playa Grande | 4 bedrooms | 4 baths | 12 guests

Well hello, beach lovers! When you’re craving the tranquil melody of waves crashing against the shore, Casa Colibri answers: Tucked against a backdrop of glistening sands, Casa Colibri offers a fabulous private pool boasting breathtaking sea vistas – especially mesmerizing at sunset. Just imagine unwinding with your favorite drink and basking in this serenity. It's like having your own exclusive resort experience, right here.

But wait, it gets even better because we've ensured this haven is stocked with everything you need for a worry-free getaway. From the fully equipped kitchen with ocean views to the cozy beds and hammocks that gently sway, we've taken care of it all. Whether you're a thrill-seeker eager to ride the waves or simply yearning for a lazy day under the swaying palm trees, Playa Grande offers it all. And the best part? It's just steps away from your doorstep!

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Tamarindo | 4 bedrooms | 3 baths | 10 guests

Somewhere between sea and sky, of in-the-middle-of-it-all and off-the-beaten-path, Casa Xanadu sits overlooking Las Baulas National Marine Park and its important sea turtle nesting sites; the Tamarindo Estuary, a rare and ecologically important wildlife habitat; critical and rare tropical dry forest; and two scenic beaches (Playa Tamarindo and Playa Grande), both known for their sand and surf.

And here, at the crossroads of wildlife and wonder, Casa Xanadu welcomes you to some of the best sunset lookouts in the area, paired with shaded terraces, a private infinity pool and sun-splashed balconies. Tucked into the embrace of this luxury home, where oversized windows frame the view and even the most discerning travelers find their happy place, this is the kind of home-away-from-home that makes you wish you were just home.

Because this view? It's why you came, why you're here, and why you'll want to stay forever. Welcome to Casa Xanadu. Welcome to paradise!

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Hacienda Pinilla | 5 bedrooms | 5 baths | 10 guests

Step into the enchanting realm of Casa Serena, and you'll find yourself transported to a world of exclusive, barefoot opulence. Here, koi ponds seamlessly transition into majestic great rooms, and spiral staircasesgracefully ascend to airy lofts. Casa Serena undeniably lives up to the term "spectacular."

A sumptuous terrace and a shimmering infinity pool open up to the pristine sands of Playa Bonita, providing a front-row seat to Guanacaste's breathtaking sunsets. From the expansive pool and shaded outdoor terrace to the fully equipped gym, private spa, and soothing sauna, every aspect of this home is meticulously crafted for the perfect vacation experience.

Casa Serena, located directly on the beach, boasts four independent bedroom and bathroom suites, along with a generously sized separate apartment casita. Two master bedrooms, one on the ground floor and another above, offer all the expected luxury amenities, including a comprehensive smart sound systemthroughout the home, a chef's kitchen, central air-conditioning, a wet bar with a gas grill, a tree-shaded terrace with a serene koi pond, and much more. This is the epitome of barefoot luxury. This is paradise.

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Planning a Costa Rica Easter Week Stay?

At Stay in Tamarindo, we really are different. We really do care about you. And we really will go the extra mile, especially when searching out the best luxury rentals in Costa Rica for your needs.

We’re going to work hard for you. We’re going to follow up with you. And we’re going to do everything we can, to ensure that this is not just your Best Vacation Ever, but also Everything You Want It to Be.

Because that is what we mean, when we talk about our quality of service: We want to transform the way you travel. We want to deliver the best everything you’ve ever experienced – including the best value. And we want you to go home completely fulfilled, whether you came to relax for a week straight or packed your days full of every adrenaline-soaked, high-adventure activity you could fit in.

So go ahead, give us a try. Embrace the experience. Live your best life. And now, book your best-ever vacation. It all starts with getting in touch with our concierge!

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