Holy Week, Semana Santa, is traditionally one of the busiest weeks of the year in any coastal town in Costa Rica. This religious holiday is a time where families get together and often head to the beach. Big beach towns in Costa Rica like Tamarindo, Jacó, and Puerto Viejo attract droves of local and international tourists during Semana Santa, in particular. Every hotel and beach front rental will be booked, restaurants and bars will be packed, the beach will be sparse of unoccupied patches of sand, and the traffic will be heavy. The Semana Santa scene is a bit more mellow in Playa Grande though. Here’s what our last week was like in Playa Grande.
Every day during Semana Santa, including today, Easter Sunday, was cloudless, breezy, and hot; the perfect beach weather. Families packed up their coolers, beach chairs, umbrellas, shade tents, music, beach games, surfboards, and boggie boards each morning after breakfast and walked or drove down to the beach for the day. Playa Grande, aptly named, is a very expansive beach, so there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out if they wanted to. Young children played in the cool shallows, the adults enjoyed adult beverages and comical conservations, the surfers surfed the consistent waves that blessed the week, and everyone embraced the good weather, the quality family time, the delicious picnic food, and the vacation days this holiday grants.
Locals and visitors alike returned to the beach for sunset every night where the sky was painted with a soft dream-like palette. Families, friends, and couples sat closely to one another and shared in the awe-inspiring moment when the sun dips into tomorrow. While the population in Playa Grande was definitely larger than it normally is, in no way did it feel overwhelmingly packed to the seams. There was enough intimate space for families and friends to truly enjoy this special place with the special people in their lives.
There was live music this week at the RipJack Inn, Sugar’s Monkey, and the Wilmart, where the highly anticipated Wilstock 2 kicked off Friday during the day (games, horseback riding, and face painting for the kids) and well into the wee hours of the night for those who had wild hair and felt moved by the music and the almost full moon. There was also an Easter egg hunt and a pancake brunch at the RipJack Inn on Sunday for the local and visiting families. The beach was left clean, the roadways were kept unjammed, and Semana Santa went down in Playa Grande with a lot of laughter and fun, joyous vibes, and a respect for the beach and the town that is not always given elsewhere during this busy week.
Where will you and your family be next Semana Santa?