It’s hard to imagine what Costa Rica would be like without the spectacular beaches and rugged natural beauty of Guanacaste. This July 25th marks the 190th anniversary of the Annexation of Guanacaste – the day this vast northwestern province stopped being a part of Nicaragua and started being a part of Costa Rica. Here are some local activities and ideas to celebrate:
Expo Liberia: July 18-27
Guanacaste’s capital city of Liberia pretty much shuts down for over a week for the annual Annexation Day celebration of bullfights, carnivals, horse parades and general drunken debauchery. It’s great fun, Tico style. Here’s a general breakdown of the festivities.
July 18: “Entering of the horses” commencement ceremony. Carnival begins at 5pm and the rodeo starts at 7:00pm.
July 19: Horse show at 8:30am, followed by a music recital at 6:00pm and bull fighting at 7:00pm.
July 20: Music concert by the national group PERCANSE and three other music acts.
July 21: 8:00 am Entrance of the agricultural machines and vehicles to the Expo Liberia campground. 1:00pm Commencement of the cattle exposition, the Exposition Nacional de Ganado Cebú.
July 22: Parade and mule exhibition.
July 23: Weighing and judging of the cattle for the exposition begins at 8:00am, with the inaugural ceremony dedicated to President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera at 3:00pm and an equestrian event at 7:30pm.
July 24: Parade of young-people horse riders at 2:00pm and a rodeo at 6:00pm.
July 25: Zumba class at 7:00am, and judging of the cattle at 8:00am. Horseback riding parade at 1:00pm and the running of the bulls at 7:00pm.
July 26: More judging of cattle in the morning at 8:00am, along with a dog activity. More running of the bulls at 8:00pm.
July 27: The final day of the Expo Liberia fiestas will end with the same morning schedule as yesterday, with a music concert at 6:00pm and a final running of the bulls at 7:00pm.
Nicoya Festivities: July 22-27
Nicoya is the another huge Annexation Day destination. Click here and scroll down for a full schedule of activities. Highlights include the Indigenous Dance of La Yegüita at 5:30pm on the 22nd and the horse parade at 3pm on the 25th (rumor has it the president of Costa Rica will also be in Nicoya for the festivities on the this day).
Festival de la Tortilla: July 22, 23 & 24 Corralillo, Nicoya
If you love tortillas (and really, who doesn’t?) you’ll love this tortilla making contest in Corralillo, Nicoya. Check out this article for more info.
Vamos a Turistear! July 24, Nicoya
While you’re in the Nicoya area, “tourist around” on a walking tour of this historical city. Tours leave July 24th at 2pm and 7pm.
El Sabor de Guanacaste: July 25, Playa Flamingo
The “Taste of Guanacaste” celebration will be held in Playa Flamingo this Thursday from 9am to 10pm. Don’t eat before you come, as you’ll want to have plenty of appetite for sampling all of the typical foods so important to this region’s national identity and culture. The festival will also feature local musicians and art exhibits. Check out their website or Facebook page for more info.