Music in Costa Rica is music to dance. From salsa to chamber music, there is something for everyone. Live bands play in different clubs throughout the rural area. Salsa, Jazz, Rock, Tango, Tex-Mex and Calypso are all over the place at different night spots in Costa Rica.
If you are staying in San José, the perfect nightlife is at El Pueblo in Escazú. Here you can find restaurants, clubs and shops. Club Twister is a very popular club that plays Latin and up-to-date music. Another is El Tobagan and although they are only open on weekends, they are always full.
Somewhere in El Pueblo is the Tango Bar. It has a couple of older girls serving drinks and playing sentimental ballads. If you’re lucky, an Argentine visitor can translate the lyrics. From time to time you will have the pleasure of seeing a good tango performed.
Costa Ricans love to dance and they are so good that it is scary. Not too much cha cha, but there is a lot of cumbia, meringue, lambada and salsa. If you get the chance at home from Costa Rica, go out of your way to get some salsa lessons. It’s the most fun you can have and it sure lets you know you’re alive. There is dancing at night in any set of clubs throughout Costa Rica, but most of the large hotels have music at night.
If you speak a small volume of Spanish and are looking for local events, you can make an effort to read the local Tico Time and La Nacion newspapers. They should guide you in finding local movie times and information on concerts and festivals.
Every year in February and March, the Monteverde Art Festival is held, which features local musicians and guest musicians. Venues for music change from year to year based on what the festival organizers have in mind, so check your local newspaper or just ask. Local Ticos will be more than happy to present you with whatever information they have on where the next performance will be.
Costa Rica is predominantly Catholic, so most of its holidays follow normal Catholic holidays like Christmas and Easter, but one holiday that stands out is the Jet Christ Esquipulas celebration. This festival originates from Guatemala but is celebrated throughout Costa Rica. There is a large population of Guatemalan immigrants, so this may have something to do with the celebration.
The National Theater was previously built in more than a hundred and in that time Costa Ricans have obtained their own national theater company. Also, Costa Rica has its own Symphony and Ticos love classical music almost as much as salsa.
For those of you who like a different kind of nightlife, there are additionally some nature and wildlife tours. In the Mountverde Cloud Forest there are night tours that allow you to know the beauty of the wildlife that is only displayed at night.