The Best Time NOT to Visit San Jose

If you have been in Costa Rica during Easter week, you know what I’m talking about. Easter week, or Semana Santa as it’s known in the Spanish speaking world, is a time of religion and vacation trips. But unless YOUR idea of a great vacation is joining the other pilgrims on their annual walk from San Jose to Cartago, Semana Santa is the worst week of the year to visit.

Probably the worst thing about this particular week is the fact that most of the places of interest to the single male traveler will either be closed or might as well be. Things start winding down about a week before Easter Sunday and reach a virtual standstill on Good Friday. If you are a drinking kind of guy you might not like the fact that sales of alcohol are prohibited from Wednesday until midnight Friday. Of course you can buy your own ahead of time but somehow it’s not quite the same sitting in your hotel room, watching ‘The Ten Commandments’ on TV.

What about the girls, you ask? Like at Christmas, most of them are at home with their families. This isn’t limited to Ticas. The Colombianas and Nicas and Dominicanas take this week to go home if they are going to go at all. The MPs will be closed and so will virtually all of the bars.

An exception to this is the Del Rey, which remains open with a skeleton crew to serve soft drinks and juices. There will probably be a handful of Gringos and a handful of girls inside, but it will hardly be the scene most of us are used to.

The beach towns such as Jaco are filled with Ticos on their annual vacations. If you’re feeling lonely I suppose you could go to the beach. I just hope you made your reservation a long time ago and don’t mind crowds.

The good news is, there are only two not-so-hot weeks to visit Costa Rica, and once this one’s over you don’t have to worry until Christmas. So at the very least you can console yourself knowing that even if YOU aren’t having a wild time, neither are those of us who live here. There… feel better?

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  1. Just came out of the Del Rey and not much for day shift apart from some die hard chicas. Streets are already full of beggars, crazed street sellers and lots of odd characters. Don't even thing of going into a bank to change money with it also being Tico pay day. In a couple days it will all be a ghost town.