The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information
The Fiestas Cívicas de Cobano take place each year mid of February and last for 2 weeks. For tourists it's a great opportunity to experience the authentic and cheerful atmosphere of a Costa Rican fiesta, with traditional food and music, proud horse riders and rodeo with bull riding.
On the Nicoya Peninsula cattle raising characterizes much of the lifestyle and traditions. The sabaneros, the Tico version of cowboys, are well-respected in the rural areas. On the fiestas civicas they ply their talents by riding the fiercest bulls of the country without even holding a rope. The rodeo in Cobano is an important event as on a certain day the best bull riders of Costa Rica compete for the national championship.
Highlights of the Fiestas:
El Tope Horse lovers shouldn't miss the parade of horse riders. For this important social event Ticos from all neighboring communities and farms saddle their best horses, to be admired by friends and visitors. The participants gather in the morning and pay a flat fee for eating and drinking the whole day. Around noon time they make an equestrian parade through Cobano.
Los Boyeros. In former times ox carts were widely used in Costa Rica. Besides the rough carts used for daily chores you will also see richly decorated versions, which are an important part of Costa Rican folklore.
Rodeo for everybody. A special rodeo for the brave among the tourists who want to test their riding skills on a bull. The beasts are a bit smaller than the usual rodeo bulls but for the unskilled rider it's a real challenge to keep themselves on their back even for a short time.
Rodeo for the family. This is a fun event with entertainment and games. There is lady soccer spiced with the occasional free wheeling bull and a not really serious rodeo with obstacles and clowns. Live broadcasted on TV all over the country. Later dancing with live band.
On the last sunday of the Fiestas is the National Rodeo championship. The best bull riders on the fiercest bulls of Costa Rica. Later dancing with live band.
On Monday usually the fiestas end with Fire works. Later there is dancing to Marimba, the traditional music, played by three or four men on a wooden xylaphone
On every day during the 2 weeks of the fiesta you find food and sales stalls on the fairground where you can buy typical Costa Rican crafts and souvenirs. Each day at 5 pm is bull riding in the rodeo followed by music and dancing in the saloon.
When parking your car, leave nothing of value inside to avoid being stolen.
Besides Cobano you can also attend Fiestas Civicas in other villages of the Southern Nicoya Peninsula. Mid January are the Fiestas de San Francisco de Coyote, before that the fiestas of Vainilla, Paquera and Rio Grande, and as the last of the summer season, the fiesta in Rio Negro.