We arrived in Costa Rica on December 5th, a very beautiful, and very quiet time here in Tamarindo. When tourism and the start of the Costa Rican summer season picked up mid-December we were told that the crowds we were seeing were just the beginning of a very busy, but important time in this small tourist town. The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was extremely crowded. While the crowds died down after the holiday, it hasn’t been “quiet” since that time. The summer season here keeps this town afloat during the rainy winter season that is just around the corner.
We enjoyed our early days in Tamarindo, feeling like we were the only “tourists” in a sleepy little town. Eating alone at restaurants, night after night, and seeing the same faces on the beaches day after day. But watching the town come alive and bustle with activity and business has been equally fun and fascinating. Since the first holiday surge, we have been told over and over, “just wait for Semana Santa, just wait and see!” We didn’t know what to think about this anticipated week, but there were enough comments and stories to capture our curiosity.
Semana Santa – Easter week – holy week – is one of the most important holidays of the year in Costa Rica. There are many religious and cultural traditions that are honored, but one of the most important is time for rest and family. Thursday and Friday are recognized as days off, but many people take the entire week off and enjoy vacationing with friends and family. And where better to vacation than the beaches of Tamarindo?!?
The beaches were packed, the hotels were booked, and there were people everywhere. We went to the beach mid-day just to witness the scene. At low tide there was a lot of space to play soccer, build sand castles, play in the waves, etc. But, at high tide, (and the tide was especially high this last week), the water came so far up the beach that people – their tents, barbecues, towels and umbrellas – kept getting pushed back. It was almost impossible to find a little space in the sand.
We enjoyed the energy – music, food, fun and family – lots and lots of family – everywhere. We enjoyed the ease and openness of other kids joining us for a game of football or inviting us into a game of soccer.
Once again, we had the opportunity to practice our hilarious, broken Spanish. I think Matt especially enjoyed speaking Spanish with a three year old boy who joined him and the kids for a game of football. He asked him his name and then said, “Cuanto anos tiene?” – How old are you? The little boy replied, “No se.” – I don’t know. Matt said, “yeah, I get it,” No se – I don’t know – is our favorite thing to say in Spanish. We feel like we are three all the time!
We know he was three because he finally managed three fingers to show his age.
Instead, we spent Easter Sunday at Jeffrey’s house… Stay Tuned.