Azul Grill

Grilled feasts, a cold drink, and revelry are key to Costa Rica New Year’s

Celebrating a holiday in paradise is an adjustment. (A wonderful one, but still an adjustment!) Whether you’re planning to celebrate Costa Rica New Year’s or are thinking more toward Spring Break, the summer holidays, or the 2023 holiday season, especially Christmas or the 2023-2024 New Year’s Eve in Costa Rica, then it’s time to start planning.

That’s not hyperbole. The holidays in Costa Rica book up well in advance, especially here at desirable Hacienda Pinilla. So, plan well. Plan in some indulgence. And embrace Costa Rica’s traditions and customs.

Whether you’ll be here in paradise or back home for the new year, here are a few ways you can celebrate the season, Tico-style:

How to Celebrate Costa Rica New Year’s


When it comes to New Year’s, we’re really talking about New Year’s Eve in Costa Rica. That’s when and how we celebrate.

Here are the four elements you need to ring in 2023, Costa Rica style!

Element #1: Fire Up the BBQ

There’s nothing more Costa Rican than a barbecued feast on New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s traditional coffee wood, charcoal, or whatever’s on hand, Costa Rican families and friends light a flame and grab their favorite grill goodies – sausage/chorizo, chicken, beef, veggies, hotdogs, hamburgers, corn tortillas, etc. – to roast and toast to the coming year.

Element #2: Prep for a Party

Costa Rica does New Year’s two ways – and either is wholly acceptable and appropriate (and enjoyable). It’s a holiday meant for fun, so you do you!

Traditionally, New Year’s Eve was a family get-together: a (somewhat) quiet affair with your nearest and dearest, paired with plenty of music, great barbecue food, and drink. Entertain, converse, and await the coming of the new year. As we ring in 2023, many families will continue to celebrate in this exact way.

The second, and ever more popular way to spend New Year’s Eve is partying it up, whatever that means for you. For many Costa Ricans, this means hosting a big party at home; it’s similar to the family gathering described above, only bigger and louder and more festive. Add lots and lots of music, ice-cold beers, and (legal) fireworks, and you’re ready to go.

Of course, there is a third option: New Year’s Eve parties. They used to be so uncommon as to be almost impossible to find, but today – and especially in nearby Tamarindo – if you want to go out on NYE, there’s a way and a place. (Ask us. We’re still waiting on all the local events to be announced!)

Element #3: Enjoy the Fireworks!

Fireworks are integral to Costa Rica’s New Year’s Eve celebration. And we love it!

Traditionally, Costa Ricans purchased their own fireworks – the smaller, safer, DIY variety bought at a roadside stand and lit in your backyard. Today, they’re still incredibly popular. And they’ve increased in complexity; some backyards put on a serious show! If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot someone else’s fireworks from your own backyard.

If you want an absolute surety in the fireworks department, then know that many commercial establishments and public places put on their own fireworks shows. Near Hacienda Pinilla and around Tamarindo, you’ll find some of the best shows right on the beach: Find a place before midnight, dig your toes into the sand, and watch as the fire dancers come to life and fireworks light the sky. It’s an incredible sight, especially reflected over the Pacific. You’re going to love it!

Element #4: Indulge in a Few Costa Rica New Year’s Traditions

Latin America has many New Year’s customs and traditions, many built around wishes for luck, happiness, finances, and joy for the year to come. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • 12 Grapes: Grapes are a very traditional New Year’s treat in Costa Rica. To start, they’re imported and therefore more expensive than tropical fruits, making them a holiday treat. More than that, though, many Costa Ricans eat 12 grapes at New Year’s to symbolize 12 wishes and/or 12 months of prosperity for the year to come.
  • The Santa Lucía Flower: Many Costa Ricans will place a Santa Lucía flower (often, dried) in their wallets on January 1, to carry throughout the year and bring financial success.
  • Coordinate Your Underwear: Believe it or not, an old wives’ tale in Costa Rica says that the color of your underwear on NYE can influence your new year. Wear red to spark romance; choose green to bring financial success; and go for yellow to attract overall good luck!
  • Grab Your Suitcase: Want to ensure new travels in the new year? Grab your empty suitcase and walk it around the block (or thereabouts) to guarantee many new travels for the next year.

And with that, you’re ready to practice saying ¡Feliz año nuevo! It’s pronounced (more or less) like feh-leez ahn-yo new-ay-voh and means “Happy New Year!” If you write it out, be sure to include the ñ in año, as otherwise, it is a somewhat vulgar (albeit in a humorous way) phrase!

Resolve to Travel: Where to Stay in 2023


If travel is on your New Year’s resolution menu, then grab your suitcase, don your yellow underwear, and grab your agenda or planner! Because, while New Year’s traditions can represent a fun step in the right direction, what you really need is an intention followed by serious planning.

As you do, know that we have your back. In addition to discussing everything you’ll find within Hacienda Pinilla – the community’s luxury amenities, Playa Avellanas, our five-star experience, Hacienda Pinilla restaurants, and more – we’ve developed local travel resources, to help you chase Guanacaste waterfalls, explore our favorite beaches, discover our national parks, go surfing, and so much more.

Check out our blog and begin planning. And for any questions you can’t answer there, get in touch! Our talented and expert concierge, Cris, knows everything about Hacienda Pinilla, Tamarindo, and Guanacaste! And she’s happy to help.

In the meantime, here are two resolutions you may want to put on your 2023 list:

Casa Kenkai

4 Beds | 3 Baths | 8 Guests

Casa Kenkai luxury vacation home in Costa Rica

Brand new and absolutely idyllic, Casa Kenkai is nestled into a serene nature preserve – your own hidden gem, where you can not only hide away but revel in the joys of a Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste vacation.

Because here, you’re treated to dazzling days on the pool terrace and unforgettable sunsets. To the privacy of your own swimming pool and access to the many wonders of a private nature preserve. To the majesty of all things Costa Rica, paired with the promises of exclusive Hacienda Pinilla.

Casa Kenkai is a tropical paradise: a natural light-filled, sun-splashed, modern home overlooking a sparkling pool and lush vistas, where you can relax by the warmth of the day and beneath the stars at night. And, in case you’re curious: Yes, there’s a barbecue! Even if you’re not here for the New Year, you can grill up a NYE-worthy feast! ¡Feliz 2023!

>> Inquire Here <<

Casa Savanna

4 Beds | 4 Baths | 13 Guests

Casa Savanna Hacienda Pinilla Costa Rica

Sometimes, a family vacation isn’t about doing everything on the agenda but rather, doing almost nothing at all. In our busy world, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of daily life and packed-to-the-gills schedules, vacation can be a time for escape – for reading books by the poolside and taking time to prepare a meal together, for long conversations and morning coffee on the terrace.

This is Casa Savanna, an elevated vacation home that values your family’s privacy. Because here, within these meticulously designed four walls, this lovely home delivers ample social areas paired with four independent bedroom-bathroom suites: spaces carved out for your time together and your solo time to recharge.

Outdoors, Casa Savanna’s focal point sparkles – literally! Families love the gorgeous private pool, bordered by lounge chairs and bathed in sun. Just adjacent: shaded terraces and an outdoor grill, to whip up a feast as you relax, swim, and spend sun-dappled afternoons ensconced within your own private paradise.

>> Inquire Here <<

Costa Rica New Year’s Resolution: Travel More!

Looking for that just-right luxury surf paradise? Seeking a little planning know-how? Hoping for a great deal? Can’t decide on which of our rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica is right for your group?

Get in touch! We love to chat Tamarindo, celebrations, and vacation rentals. We readily share our experiences and advice. And we promise, we’re friendly, to boot. We look forward to hearing from you.