Around the Christmas holidays, Costa Rica goes wild with street fairs, festivals, and fireworks galore. Fiestas Palmares is the biggest, and most agree it's the best, of them all. This year, Fiestas Palmares celebrates its 25th anniversary, and the party promises to be one to remember. Fiestas Palmares — Photo courtesy of Galeria Do Bem
Throughout January 9-21, 2013, the small suburb of Palmares is transformed into the country's most outrageous party. Costa Rican bullfights and tope (horse parades) are highlights, but there are also live concerts by international acts, carnivals and plenty of revelry; it was recently announced that Fiestas Palmares is second only to Oktoberfest in the most beer consumed in an annual festival.
To get warmed up, there are events scheduled throughout the month of December, including the Espactulo de Navidad and a handful of bull fights, mostly centered in and around the Rendondel de Toros (a round pavilion erected especially for the Fiestas). Road to Palmares — Photo courtesy of Galeria de Bo
More than 500,000 people are expected to attend Fiestas Palmares this year and traffic around the town will be hairy; impromptu tailgating keeps the party vibe going. Palmares is located 56 kilometers from the capital city of San Jose, and transportation to and from may be arranged in advance.