Costa Rica Holidays

Whether you are planning to visit Costa Rica, or you just moved here and wonder why everything is closed, it is important to beware of the holidays. 

In general, holiday dates are fixed, and unlike the United States, are not moved to make a three day weekend.  For example, Mother's day is always on August 15th.  However, due to the COVID pandemic, the Costa Rica Government has temporarily aligned some holidays to a Friday or Monday targeting those who vacation and travel within Costa Rica, hoping to improve the economy.

Below are the important dates for 2021:

  • New Year's Day - Friday, January 1
  • Holy Week - Sunday, March 28 - Saturday, April 3
  • Maundy Thursday - Thursday, April 1
  • Good Friday - April 2
  • Juan Santamaria Day - Friday, Apr 11
  • Labor Day - Saturday, May 1
  • Annexation of Nicoya - Monday, July 26
  • Virgin of the Angels - Monday, August 2
  • Feast of Assumption - Sunday, Aug 15
  • Mother's Day - Sunday, August 15
  • Independence Day - Wednesday, September 15
  • Military Abolition Day - Wednesday, December 1
  • Christmas - Saturday, December 25


For those not familiar with Costa Rica, certain parts of the country, such as the Guanacaste beach towns of Tamarindo, Playas del Coco and Flamingo become very crowded over the Christmas and Easter holidays for a period of 2 weeks or so.  Beaches and restaurants are jammed, prices are much more expensive than normal and the traffic from San Jose north to Guanacaste is very heavy, especially at the beginning and end of these holiday periods.  For major week long holidays, most Costa Ricans depart on the first day of the holiday period and return home on the last.

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