So, you want to travel to Costa Rica with family or friends. And maybe thinking to yourself, “What is Thanksgiving like in Costa Rica?”
In this article, we will help you understand what happens in Costa Rica during the USA Thanksgiving celebration because this is where we see a lot of tourists come down to visit since they have more time off. The month of November is often less expensive than December and January months.
Does Costa Rica Celebrate Thanksgiving?
No, they don’t. Not how the United States celebrates Thanksgiving, or at least they haven’t, historically. Since many ex-pats would get together during this time, the Costa Rica government has recognized this and decided to dip their toes in the holiday.
According to The Tico Times, “The Costa Rican Congress decided to approve in a first debate a Bill of Law to declare the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.”
You may recognize that some hotels or restaurants are starting to have holiday traditions, such as watching some football and eating traditional Thanksgiving food. But, of course, if you are with the family and want to walk off the food, walk on the beach and enjoy the sunset together.
When is Thanksgiving in Costa Rica?
Since Costa Rica decided to pass the build to celebrate Thanksgiving for the Ex-Pats, it will be on the last Thursday of November.
What is the Weather Like in Costa Rica for Thanksgiving?
We love the month of November regarding the weather in Costa Rica. While the beginning of the month, the rainy season may be lingering, when you come down to Costa Rica during Thanksgiving, you can see some of the lowest temperatures of the year.
If you are on the beaches and the lowlands of Costa Rica, you will enjoy the high 70’s to the low 80s with a perfect breeze off the ocean. If you head to San Jose, you may want to bring a jacket, which can be about 5 – 10 degrees cooler.
Where to Go In Costa Rica for Thanksgiving?
There are several options depending on what you are craving for your holiday.
If you want beach time, the opportunity of how quickly you can get to a beach from the Liberia airport, along the Guanacaste Coast, such as Tamarindo, Flamingo, Papagayo, and Playa del Coco, is about an hour from the airport.
If you are craving sometime in a cooler climate, such as Arenal Volcano, you will travel for about 90 minutes if you fly into the Liberia Airport. Still, if you are flying into the San Jose Airport, it will take about 4 hours.
If you want to head to the Cloud Forest of Monteverde, leaving from the Liberia Airport will take about 2 hours, and from the San Jose Airport, it will be around 2:30 hours.
If you are not in the mood for a turkey dinner but are craving to catch a marlin for dinner, we suggest that you head down to Los Suenos or Jaco, which is only 1.5 hours from San Jose Airport but 3 hours from the Liberia airport.
Any place you pick in Costa Rica for Thanksgiving is a perfect time. At least that’s what we think!
Sidenote: While Costa Rica is not a big country, if you jump on a map to see how long it takes, it isn’t about the hours; it is about the roads, the rain, or the cows that can slow you down.
When to Book Flights to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving?
When looking for flights, you always want to find the best deal, but you may not want to be traveling for 24 hours to get down here.
With that said, we highly suggest that you look as far as two months in advance to book your flight to Costa Rica. But we recommend you keep looking for some deals because they are out there. You may be able to find a round-trip flight for only a few hundred dollars. If you are a family of four, that isn’t too bad!
Will You Spend Thanksgiving in Costa Rica?
If you want to head down to Costa Rica for Thanksgiving to celebrate with family and friends, Costa Rica will welcome you with open arms.
Here are a few bullet points that may help you when you make your decision to come down during November:
- Book early for your flights and your hotels.
- Find out if your hotel will be celebrating a traditional US Thanksgiving. If not, what will you be doing instead?
- Will you be renting a car or grabbing a shuttle? We suggest that you book that early as well.
- Decide where you want to be during the Thanksgiving holiday, a beach, a volcano, a rainforest, or a cloud forest.
- How long are you going to stay?
We are happy to help you make these decisions and provide you with more details to experience Thanksgiving in the “Pura Vida” way.
Jen Rulon is an avid traveler and writer for Costa Rica Escapes. She is also a triathlon coach and author. You can find her knowledge as an author and speaker ranging from Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Men’s Journal Online New York Times.
As she has retired from the triathlon space, Jen’s love of Costa Rica began. She realized that she loves the beaches, and the coffee of Costa Rica and now wants to share through the eyes of what she sees with Costa Rica Escapes. Read Jen’s stories and advice for travelers who wish to see the authentic side of Costa Rica on their vacation.