Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Palmares Festival (Fiestas Palmares) Costa Rica

11 January - 21 January

, ,
Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant energy in one of Costa Rica’s most electrifying festivals. The Palmares Festival (Fiestas Palmares) explodes every January, transforming the quaint town of Palmares into a two-week fiesta of music, dance and revelry. From exhilarating carnival parades to traditional bullfighting (with a unique Costa Rican twist!), this cultural extravaganza will leave you breathless and begging for more.

History of the Fiestas Palmares

The Palmares Festival boasts a rich heritage dating back to the 1950s. Initially a modest celebration organized by local farmers, it has evolved into a national phenomenon, attracting over a million visitors annually. Its spirit reflects Costa Rica’s vibrant culture, blending traditional customs with contemporary flair, making it a true celebration of Costa Rica’s Pura Vida (pure life).

What to Expect at the Fiestas Palmares

Get swept away by the infectious rhythm of live music, from local bands to international superstars. You will witness dazzling parades, bursting with colourful costumes, energetic dancers, and infectious laughter. Savour the thrill of the tope, a massive horse parade showcasing Costa Rica’s equestrian heritage, or cheer on the teams in the football/soccer competition.

And, for the adventurous, experience the Tica traditional bullfighting, where volunteers get into the ring, trying to dodge, rather than harm, the bulls. For Costa Rican bullfighting, try not to think of the Spanish variety; it’s completely different. It is about avoiding the bull charges and, if they have not had too much beer, the participants are usually successful in doing this. If not, ambulance teams are on standby.

Local animal rights groups monitor the event and there is no intent to harm the animals.

When is the Palmares Festival?

The Palmares Festival kicks off on 11 January 2024, and pulsates for two exhilarating weeks, culminating on Sunday, 21 January, 2024. Don’t miss out on possibly the biggest party in Costa Rica!

Where Does It Take Place?

This vibrant fiesta unfolds in the charming town of Palmares, nestled between Alajuela and San Ramon, to the west of the capital. Prepare to be enveloped by the warm hospitality and infectious energy of the local community.

What to Eat and Drink

Embark on a culinary adventure, indulging in authentic Costa Rican fare. Savour the succulent taste of casado, a traditional dish featuring rice, beans, meat, and plantains. Quench your thirst with Imperial, the country’s beloved beer, or sip on freshly squeezed tropical fruit juices.

What to Do in Costa Rica

Sloth Pixabay

Beyond the festival, Costa Rica offers a kaleidoscope of adventures. Trek through lush rainforests, bask on pristine beaches, surf world-class waves, or soar through the canopy on ziplines. Immerse yourself in the vibrant wildlife, from majestic humpback whales to playful monkeys. Discover more about Costa Rica.

Flights and Accommodation to Costa Rica

From the Juan Santamaria International Airport there are direct international flights to Panama, Bogota, Mexico City, Madrid, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Toronto, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Charlotte.

Once you arrive in San José, hop on a bus or rent a car for a scenic, hour-long journey to Palmares.

To find the best accommodation in the places you visit, as well as international flights, please search via our comparison engine, which scans all the major booking sites so you don’t have to.

More Information on Costa Rica

Official website of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute:

Get ready to lose yourself in the pulsating rhythm of the Palmares Festival! Book your trip, pack your dancing shoes, and prepare to experience the infectious Pura Vida spirit of Costa Rica.


11 January
21 January


Palmares,Costa Rica+ Google Map

Explore Topics

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

Read more posts by Mark Bibby Jackson →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *