When I first moved to Costa Rica in the early 1980s nobody celebrated Halloween. However, as the number of Americans retirees and others has grown in the country there are more and more Halloween parties every year. In remember in 1985 I went to my first two Halloween parties in Costa Rica. The first costume party was held at the old Audio Visual Language Institute near the main courthouse in San José. Over 100 people attended.
The same year I went to another Halloween party at the La Fonda Restaurant which used to be on Second Avenue near el Paseo de Los Estudiantes. The costume party had a pleasant of Costa Ricans and gringos. Everyone had a fantastic time.
In Costa Rica the 31st October is known better as La Noche de las Brujas (Witches’ Night). Many Catholics here consider Halloween a form of devil worship, so in the past a lot of Costa Ricans didn’t put any importance on this day. However, nowadays many young Costa Ricans are starting to take part in the festivities.
There are usually good parties at a few clubs around San José, Escazú, Santa Ana and Jacó Beach. Make sure you check La Nación’s, the country’s leading Spanish language newspaper, weekend entertainment section and in AM Costa Rica on-line and you will find all of the places that will be jumping on Halloween.
The Fiesta Casino near the airport will have its annual Halloween bash. Also the Sportsman’s Lodge and the Hotel del Rey in the Gringo Gulch area will feature Halloween activities. It is rumored that the bartends at the Del Rey will be clad in body paint only, indeed a sight for sore male eyes.
Halloween is just one of the many activities retirees and other foreigners living in Costa Rican can participate in to stay busy and happy.