Guanacaste Day in Costa Rica in 2024

Guanacaste Day in Costa Rica in 2024
Guanacaste, Costa Rica from the top of Cerro Pelado. Image by wollertz , via 123RF
  How long until Guanacaste Day?
Guanacaste Day
  Dates of Guanacaste Day in Costa Rica
2025 Costa Rica Fri, Jul 25 National Holiday
2024 Costa Rica Thu, Jul 25 National Holiday
2023 Costa Rica Mon, Jul 24 National Holiday
2022 Costa Rica Mon, Jul 25 National Holiday
2021 Costa Rica Mon, Jul 26 National Holiday

Marks Costa Rica's annexation of Guanacaste province in 1824

When is Guanacaste Day?

Guanacaste Day is a public holiday in Costa Rica, celebrated on July 25th. In a move intended to rejuvenate the tourism sector after the COVID-19 pandemic, this holiday may be moved to the following Monday from 2020 onwards.

Also known as 'Annexation of Nicoya Day' (La Anexión del Partido de Nicoya), this day marks the annexation of Guanacaste in 1824 when the province became part of Costa Rica.

History of Guanacaste day

Spanish rule in the central Americas ended in 1812 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1824, Costa Rica was part of the Federal Republic of Central America, along with other states such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

The region of Guanacaste was part of Nicaragua and bordered by the northern part of Costa Rica. In the three major cities in Guanacaste, there had been open meetings discussing a switch from Nicaragua to Costa Rica. A referendum was called to decide on what to do. In the referendum, Nicoya and Santa Cruz voted yes to joining Costa Rica, while Liberia voted to stay with Nicaragua. The overall result was in favour of the annexation by Costa Rica.

The Central American Federal Republic duly passed the law and signed it on July 25th 1824, allowing Guanacaste Province to become part of Costa Rican territory.

Unsurprisingly this holiday is marked with most fervour in Guanacaste. The streets are usually filled out with handicrafts and traditional Costa Rican food, like tamales and “gallos” - grilled meat with tortillas and salad. Concerts, fireworks and folk dances are also part of the celebrations.

On Guanacaste Day, banks, government offices and most businesses will be closed. Shops and restaurants will remain open.

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