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Travel guide: Costa Rica

Festival destacado

Zapote Festival

Las Fiestas de Zapote, Costa Rica
Diciembre / Enero

Al final de las celebraciones de Navidad, Zapote, un pequeño pueblo al norte de San José, la capital de Costa Rica, se prepara para la mayor fiesta del año, Las Fiestas de Zapote. Los eventos, que duran hasta el 5 de enero, llenan el pueblo de vida con este triunfante adiós al año pasado con música en vivo, rodeos y un gran parque de atracciones.

Las fiestas giran en torno a su mayor espectáculo, la exhibición de caballos y los rodeos, que incluyen monta de toros y juegos, como correr delante de los toros, tocarles, tirarles del rabo o, incluso, saltar por encima suyo.

Aunque este espectáculo se asemeja a los encierros de las fiestas de Pamplona en España, la tradición costarriqueña no incluye la corrida clásica española. Los eventos de Zapote son más como un rodeo tradicional en el que se anima a la gente a participar y probar a montar los toros.

Durante las semanas de fiestas, se organizan cada día dos espectáculos de toreo y rodeo, uno por la tarde y otro por la noche. Aunque los toros no son el único entretenimiento que ofrecen las Fiestas de Zapote. Fuera de la plaza de toros, hay muchísimo que hacer. El gran recinto ferial está cargado de atracciones, norias (ruedas hidráulicas), coches de choque y carruseles.

Los conciertos de música en vivo y las actuaciones de danza tradicional son también de los eventos más concurridos durante las fiestas. Todo acompañado, por supuesto, con una gran variedad de puestos de comida que venden de todo, desde nubes o algodón de azúcar y manzanas acarameladas hasta carne de barbacoa y platos típicos a base de arroz.

Estas fiestas te ofrecerán además una excelente oportunidad para descubrir uno de los países más bonitos de Centro América. La selva tropical y su rica fauna, sus preciosas costas del Caribe y el Pacífico, su impresionante volcán Arenal y sus históricas instituciones culturales, como el Museo Precolombino del Oro, te dejarán con la boca abierta.

Featured festival

Zapote Festival, Costa Rica
December/January

At the end of the Christmas celebrations, Zapote, a small town in the north of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, gets ready for the biggest festival of the year, the Zapote Festival. The events that usually run until January 5 bring the town to life with this triumphant goodbye to the past year with live music, traditional rodeos and a big fun fair.

The festival revolves around its biggest show, the horse shows and rodeos, which include bull riding and bull-theme games, such us touching the bull, pulling its tail, running in front of it or even, somersaulting over the bull.

The festival resembles Pamplona’s running of the bulls in Spain, although the Costa Rican tradition does not include the classic Spanish run. The event in Zapote is more like a traditional rodeo in which people from the crowd are welcome to step into the ring and try riding the bull.

Typically, each day of the festival has two bullfight and rodeo events, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, but the bullfights are not the only entertainment at the Zapote Festival. Besides the bullring there is a lot to do. The large fairgrounds are packed with Ferris wheels, bumper cars, teacups and other fair rides.

The live music concerts and traditional dance performances are also one of the most attended festivities events. All of this is accompanied of course with a large variety of food stalls selling everything from cotton candy and candy apples, to barbecued meats and rice dishes.

This festival will give you the opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. The rainforest and rich wildlife, its beautiful coastlines on both the Caribbean and the Pacific, the stunning Arenal Volcano and the country’s cultural institutions, like the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum, will leave you astounded.

 


Recommended travel guides

Lonely Planet Discover Costa Rica (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet's Discover Costa Rica is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Climb Cerro Chirripo, explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest, or catch a wave in Mal Pais; all with your trusted travel companion. Discover the best of Costa Rica and begin your journey now!

Fodor's Costa Rica 2015 (Full-color Travel Guide)

Fodor’s correspondents highlight the best of Costa Rica, including canopy tours, surf spots, beaches on both coasts, and eco-lodges from Manuel Antonio to the Osa Peninsula. Our local experts vet every recommendation to ensure you make the most of your time, whether it’s your first trip or your fifth.
MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS from Arenal to Monteverde Cloud Forest
PERFECT HOTELS for every budget
BEST RESTAURANTS to satisfy a range of tastes
GORGEOUS FEATURES on biodiversity, coffee, and bird-watching
VALUABLE TIPS on when to go and ways to save
INSIDER PERSPECTIVE from local experts
COLOR PHOTOS AND MAPS to inspire and guide your trip

 

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