Costa Rica Blog
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Costa Rica Holidays

Events in Costa Rica – Independence Day

Costa Rica is a lush tropical paradise in Central America.  Its location and plentiful natural resources made it appealing to other countries as well, and the local people have been conquered more than once. This complicated history can be confusing to outsiders, because the country celebrates more than one Independence Day.

The most important one took place on September 15, 1821. It was then 204 years ago, that the residents of Costa Rica gained their Independence from Spain. Celebrations actually begin on the 14th of September and run throughout el Mes de la Patria, or “Month of the Nation.”

Enjoying your vacation during this time will give you a rich cultural experience full of parades, music, and delicious food.

A Touch of History

Spain supported the independence of Central America from Spain feeling that the less advanced countries were draining Spain’s resources.

The Act of Independence was signed on Septermber 15, 1821 by the Central American Congress. Spain granted independence to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica all at the same time.

The news had to be hand delivered by messenger and took until October 13, 1821 to arrive in Costa Rica, so they didn’t know they were independent for a month!

What Can You Expect for this holiday

The party begins on the 14th when a symbolic torch is carried from Guatemala. Originally, word of the country’s independence was brought by horseback. Today it is carried by a series of relay runners and arrives in the capital city of San Jose On September 14th, just in time for the traditional Desfile de Faroles. Thi is a nighttime lantern parade when school children carry handmade wooden or paper lanterns in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • Expect to find all businesses, banks, and government buildings closed for the day. This is so that the entire population can hit the streets to enjoy the celebration.
  • Dancers in bright costumes entertain the crowd to the music of marching bands, or salsa music, Color Guards march in formation, and you will see much of the population wearing their traditional costumes with their gorgeous hand-embroidery in bright colors.
  • Locals and business owners festoon their properties and storefronts banners and bunting the country’s national colors of red, white, and blue, as well as plenty of flags. Main streets will be closed to traffic.
  • Celebrations include a day-long party outside in the sunshine, plenty of live music, and street vendors. You will find a lavish variety of succulent dishes served from road side stalls, and mobile food trucks.

Combine Cultural Celebrations and Luxurious Accommodations

The largest Independence Day celebrations take place right in the heart of San Jose. Luckily, we have a selection of stunning properties, so you can enjoy the festivities for a while and then return to the luxury and comfort of your home-away-from-home.

This gives you the ideal way to immerse yourself in local traditions while having your own oasis to enjoy when you’re finished dancing along to the marching band, and you want to unwind.


Come join us in celebrating Costa Rica Independence day with us