With the exception of a few locations, tourist destinations during Costa Rica Spring Break are crowded with groups of students learning first-hand about nature, sustainability, and adventure during the day. At night, that’s another story.
The months of March and April, within the North American academic school year hiatus, are regarded as Spring Break season. During these months most of Costa Rica has pleasant sunny days and maybe some scattered showers every other afternoon.
Costa Rica Spring Break Party Destinations
Although Spring Break trips to Costa Rica are not the norm from the US and Canada, there are certain spots that turn the volume up and like to party during this time of year. Places with club and bar aligned streets shooting bright lights and beats into the night. And most of the time, into the early morning. Soon the cycle begins again.
Check out these top spring break party destinations!
The dry forest beauty of Tamarindo Beach in Guanacaste is a prime destination for Costa Rica Spring Breakers looking for an energized beach town and the highest probability of sunshine. The beaches at Playa Tamarindo are ideal for sunbathing and learning to surf. Expert surfing beaches like Playa Grande are nearby. An open bar catamaran cruise can take the festivities into the horizon. Come witness the coast from the perspective of the blue Pacific Ocean. Take some nature trips to places like Rincon de la Vieja or Arenal for a hike or a great relaxation and outdoor adventures or Monteverde Cloud Forest for a stunning forest canopy. When visiting the cloud forest like Monteverde, make sure to pack a light jacket since they can get pretty cold and even rainy. Playa Grande, a quiet beach bordering Tamarindo Costa Rica sometimes hosts leatherback turtles in Las Baulas National Park. Why not try and spot them? Or if you are up for something different entirely, why not take a scuba diving trip to discover the beauty under water?
Jaco Beach is on the Central Pacific coast and one of the closest surfing beaches to San Jose and the populated Central Valley of Costa Rica. Tall skyscrapers stand over the beach tree line giving Jaco the status of the city. The days of the quaint beach town are long gone. Jaco is a busy tourist center for surfers and visitors looking for entertainment and nightlife; because of this, it’s not ideal for a family vacation package to Costa Rica.
The port town of Quepos, near Manuel Antonio National Park, has always been a fun place to go bar hopping. The city center of Quepos has lively clubs and bars with plenty of pretty people moving to those Latin beats. If you enter Manuel Antonio Park during Easter weekend, prepare yourself to see large groups of teachers and students learning from the parks licensed tour guides that can be found at the entrance. To avoid large crowds, at least for a couple of hours, go early at 06:30 am before the gates open. Manuel Antonio also has a stunning beach line. Why not take the opportunity to go for a horseback riding tour?
Travel to the Costa Rica ‘s Caribbean Coast for a whole different kind of spring break experience! The community of Puerto Viejo is very different from those at the Pacific Coast. The Afro-Caribbean culture that defines the area of Limon, is even more laid back than the typical Pura Vida Ticos. Keep in mind that in April, this side of the country will be a little more rainy than places like the province of Guanacaste or even the Central Pacific.
Where not to go during Spring break
Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, is in contrast, the most desolate place in Costa Rica during Easter weekend, starting on Monday-Thursday. Visitors might find walking the abandoned city streets during these days a surreal experience, ideal for contemplating metropolitan history through its architecture and parks. By the time the locals come back to the city from their break, most of them go to work then sit quietly at home waiting for the next paycheck.
Top Family spring break destinations
In Arenal you can treat your family to a varied and fun-filled spring break. Take a canopy tour, go white-water rafting, hike to and swim in La Fortuna Waterfall, kayak on the biggest man-made lake in Costa Rica, go horseback riding while enjoying stunning volcano views. If you choose to stay at Las Lagos, you can even enjoy full access to the hotel’s springs!
Offering one of the most gorgeous beaches in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio is also a treat for the children who wants to spot all the colorful birds and other creatures this country is known for. Manuel Antonio is also a great place for the family out for adventure with rafting trips, zip lines and even surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Explore the fascinating ecosystem of the cloud forest with your family! This is where you can see nature and its passionate desire to grow as well as spot wildlife. You can take a self-guided tour or hire a guide to help you sport the birds, sloths and monkeys. Here you can also take the longest zip-line tour in Latin America (complete with Tarzan swing) and even add some culture by visiting a coffee plantation. The butterfly garden just by the entrance to Monteverde makes for guaranteed sightings of these fast but gorgeous little birds.
We shouldn’t forget about the Caribbean Coast! Tortuguero is one of those magical and slightly remote places in the country. Rather than hiking, you will take a boat tour through the canals and see crocodiles, caimans, many species of birds, monkeys, and of course turtles. The perfect place with a rough around the edges kind of charm and full of life!
Top relaxation Spring Break destinations
Nosara is known as a haven for the yogis. Boasting some of the country’s most well-known yoga resorts with inspiring ocean views and a rainforest backdrop, this should be your top pick for a relaxing holiday where you can learn to be at home with yourself. Check out such yoga resorts such as the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort.
How does a visit to bubbling mud pots and thermal hot springs sound? Rincon de la Vieja will offer you relaxation and a little bit extra. As well as soaking in the springs, you can take hiking or horseback riding tours to explore the fascinating phenomenon of the tropical dry forest as well as the park’s many waterfalls. Spot howler monkeys, capuchins, a variety a birds ‘and’ Costa Rica national flower: the Guaria Morada. If you want to combine your relaxing holiday with a few thrills, make sure to look into the highly rated One Day Adventure Pass.
Alcohol Laws in Costa Rica
The legal drinking age in Costa Rica is 18, which may lure young tourists into the country with the idea of quenching their thirst with a cold one after a day of activities.
Beware of the Holy Thursday and Friday dry law when you cannot purchase a beer nearly anywhere in the country. The purpose of such endurance is to try to get the local population to reflect on the Christian holiday, after all, the official religion of Costa Rica according to its Constitution is the Roman Catholic Church. Yet the outcome of locked liquor shelves is doubtful since this prohibition has always lead to more consumption; that’s why Costa Rica is in full celebration mode during those special Easter weekdays.
Is Spring Break in Costa Rica a crowded affair?
Short answer? Yes. And not only because of the tourists flocking to Costa Rica’s shores. Beginning to mid April is holy week in Costa Rica, which means the locals have time off work and head straight for the sandy shores. If you would rather enjoy a spring break away from the locals on their holidays and the spring break students and escape into nature, then we have the following travel tips for you!
Destinations to escape the crowds and into nature
Southern Nicoya Peninsula
The southern most tip of the Nicoya Peninsula is a real “off the road” experience. Generally, locals as well as tourists won’t go further south than Samara and Nosara. So if you are after some peace and quiet, head to the beaches of Mal Pais, Santa Teresa and Montezuma. You won’t find a big party here, but you will be able to fully enjoy the stunning Nicoya beaches without having to fight for a spot on the sand or even the waves! Each one of these beaches is a great destination for the intermediate to advanced surfer. If you want to explore a nature reserve national park that is less crowded, head to the nearby Cabo Blanco.
Welcome to Costa Rica’s wild child! Otherwise referred to as the world’s most biologically intense place. Located in Costa Rica’s South Pacific, Osa can only be reached by plane or boat. This region is famous for the stunning Corcovado National Park and is a prime location for whale watching. Stay at Drake Bay or Uvita and surround yourself with stunning shores as well as thick, primary rainforest.
Most people have never heard of Barra del Colorado let alone plan on visiting it. Located in the northern corner of Costa Rica’s Caribbean, Limon. This area is known for its hot, humid climate as well as its remote beauty and peaceful isolation. A truly rustic area, visitors to the region will find few amenities like large resorts but it more than makes up for that with miles of natural landscapes and unique ecosystems teeming with flora and fauna. Barra del Colorado is located just over twenty miles north of the top tourist destination of Tortuguero. Sports fisherman have been coming to this area for decades because of the incredible fishing opportunities found in the gorgeous lagoons and coastal waters. This is the perfect destination for those looking for a remote destination immersed in the natural beauty and national wildlife of Costa Rica!
What is the weather like during spring break?
You may have heard that Costa Rica has a dry season and a rainy season and the last thing you will want is cloudy skies raining on your parade. Technically, April is the beginning of rainy season and there is a small chance of showers from this month on. It is worth stating, however, that even when rain occurs, showers tend to be restricted to the afternoon and usually only for a couple of hours. This leaves the morning for activities, the afternoon for relaxation, and the evenings for parties.