Costa Rica News – Saturday the streets of San Jose will be filled with over a million people as they head to Chepe to watch the Festival of Lights (Festival de la Luz). CRT has already done an article about the event in general and that can be seen here. For all of those that are planning on attending we have some advice for your trip to San Jose, Costa Rica.
Crowds – The first thing to know is this is not for people that do not like crowds. You will be shoulder to shoulder and moving is worse than 5’o’clock traffic in Costa Rica. If you do not like being surrounded by people or you are claustrophobic this is not the place for you. I would recommend staying home and picking your drink of choice and watching it on TV. The coverage is pretty good and you will be in the comfort of your own home.
Crime – If you plan on going to watch the combination of Mardi Gras and Christmas parade I recommend purchasing a waist pack. This (As Seen Here) will allow you to keep your valuables inside your pants or shirt as pick pockets are abundant during this event. You will continually be run into and this is a tactic of pick pockets to grab what is in your pockets. By the time you realize your personal items are taken the thieves will be long gone. Do not take any thing with you that you do not want stolen. I would bring a copy of your passport instead of the real thing.
When and Where – The Festival of Lights starts at 6 pm on Saturday night, but if you want to go to the event head to San Jose Saturday morning and I actually recommend getting a hotel or motel in the area. Have a home base downtown for one night. At about 4 pm g and find your spot and set up shop. Do not plan on moving until you are ready to go home or back to your hotel. One of the biggest reasons I tell people to get a hotel is if you have to leave San Jose after the parade is over you will be fighting some of the worst traffic you will ever experience in CR as well as a lot of the drivers have alcohol in their system. So either leave early or get a hotel.
Although you might think this is a negative article, I am not trying to be negative, I just want to give advice to people planning on going to this Christmas event. It is great to go to once an I recommend people going, but they need to know the truth about what to expect. Protect your belongings, be ready for crowds, and find a place to stay in San Jose if you are going.