Semana Santa, or Easter week in English, is March 29th to April 6th this year in Costa Rica, and there are a few things you might keep in mind through the holy week.
Much of Costa Rica is gearing up for their vacation with traditional Costa Rican Easter foods showing up at various locations throughout the country. The beaches are getting booked with a mad rush of people who are ready to relax and have some fun. The Basilica of Our Lady of Angels (Basilica de Nuestro Señora de los Ángeles) in Cartago will be holding services day and night during the Easter week, and so will the many other Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical Churches of Costa Rica.
With all that in mind, there is going to be a lot of car, bus and foot traffic at the beaches and in the metropolitan areas of San Jose and the Central Valley. Travel times are going to be a bit longer than at most other times of the year. The beach may not be the place that you’ll want to visit at this time, but you should also be careful if you are going for the party there. There are only so many lifeguards on duty, and the waves have been known to take people in larger numbers during Semana Santa.
The mountains will be comparatively empty at this time. It might be a good idea to head out to the inland national parks, because you won’t be facing the large numbers of crowds that will be found at the beaches. There are plenty of little bed and breakfasts, campsites and hotels in the national park and mountainous areas, as well. Some great inland national parks that have camping include Arenal Volcano National Park, Chirripó National Park, Tapanti National Park and Braulio Carrillo National Park. Arenal will probably still have plenty of visitors at this time, though.
The beaches that will see the most traffic during the Easter week will be Jaco, Tamarindo, Puntarenas, Samara, Tambor, and the beaches near Quepos, Costa Rica, and Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific Coast. On the Caribbean Coast, Límon, Cahuita National Park and the Puerto Viejo area will see a lot of traffic, but probably not as much as the Pacific side beaches and hotels.