A tropical country known for its eco-tourism, you might think it gets quiet after dark, but Costa Rica has some surprises up its sleeve in that respect.
After all, not all of the animals go to sleep once the sun sets, plus there are proverbial party animals in a select few resorts that keep things swinging, down from the trees. You can also rely on the capital San Jose to have plenty to do in the evenings, and being central it’s reachable from even the most remote coastal resorts.
Get your groove on
Surfers’ retreat Playa Tamarindo is one of the liveliest place to stay, with a central plaza that houses bars and the two-storey Aqua Disco nightclub. Here, the beach bars that serve lazy sunbather during the day also liven up at night to put on parties on the sand, so you can have a fun beach crawl.
Along with the capital San Jose, Playa Del Coco also has a lively nightlife scene at the bars around its central plaza as well as at the casino and disco. The Costa Ricans love dancing and everyone is welcomed on the dancefloor, so even in smaller resorts you might find people getting up and moving after dinner.
Night tours and hikes
Going on a jungle tour at night gives you the chance to see the many creatures that only come out after dark, with your knowledgable guide helping you to spot as many as possible. Armed with a flashlight, some comfy shoes and a healthy dose of adrenaline, many of the things you might spot aren’t so cute – giant insects, tarantulas, moths and bats, for example. But there’s also the chance of seeing small cats, sloths and other mammals.
Most tours run in the early evening after it’s just fallen dark and stick to set trails, such as heading into the Monteverde cloud forest for the chance of spotting crickets, spiders and fireflies lighting up the night sky. Other night tours include through the Hidden Valley to see hole-dwelling tarantulas, blue-crowned mot mots, agoutis and porcupines, or around the Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge for tree snakes, noisy insects and a dedicated frog night tour.
Go to the capital, San Jose
Walking through the capital at twilight you can act like a tico or tuica – native Costa Rican – but you might not feel much like one as you gaze in awe at the atmospherically lit neo-classical architecture. Either join a tour and let them enrich you with tales of the city and its history or meander along the cultured streets on your own course.
Places not to miss are the Central Market with its maze of stalls and wonderful cooking smells, and the beautifully-decorative 19th century National Theater in the aptly named Culture Plaza. When you can walk no more, stop in one of San Jose’s bars or restaurants. The vast options range from the gastronomic delicacies of La Terrasse French restaurant to cheap and cheerful Costa Rican eats at Chelles.
And, many of the hotels host fantastic night-time entertainment so even if you don’t feel like venturing out the resort, you’re night will be full of fun. All you need now is to book your holiday to Costa Rica!
Flamingo Beach Resort and Spa
Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica