A Costa Rican Halloween in Las Catalinas

January 5, 2020

Halloween is a particular favorite holiday in Las Catalinas for a number of reasons, and 2019’s Halloween celebration showed why. Town came to life with parents and kids of all ages, who set out to trick-or-treat the walkable streets and cap off the evening with a beachfront Halloween festival of carnival games, Halloween-themed snacks and drinks, and a haunted maze.

The traditional architecture, urban design, natural sociability, walkability of town, and the freedom for kids all contributed to a lively and fun Halloween celebration.


Why Town Works for Halloween

Playa Danta during the festival


Halloween comes just before the start of the Costa Rican summer, which brings temperatures in the low 80s with a cool onshore breeze that helped keep costumes enjoyable. Clear skies all night and the new moon were a pleasant contrast to the bright lights and color in town.

The start of trick-or-treating


Trick-or-treating started out on Paseo del Mar and headed off along the walkable streets ready-made for the activity. There’s no need to worry about cars on any of the streets in town, which offers a social, lively place for both residents, weekend visitors, and Halloween guests to come together.

Trick-or-treating at the homes in town


In the evening light, town’s architecture takes on a different character. The light and shadows playing on the details of the facades enhance the old, traditional feeling of town’s timeless tropical architecture, accented by doors of many shapes and sizes hiding friendly faces in costume.


Trick-or-treaters at 9 Calle La Ronda


The planning of town’s winding streets and archways draws the eye naturally around corners, through hidden passways, and through soaring archways lit by lantern light. During the day, each twist and turn in these walkable streets makes the brain subconsciously wonder what’s coming around the next turn. During Halloween, the answers were always fun and surprising.

Kids celebrating halloween in Plaza Lucia


The walkability of town also offers kids a freedom to explore during the Halloween celebration. The whole town is a safe place to discover hidden corners and lantern-lit buildings, find new places beckoning with candy, bump into friends and share costumes, and relish the atmosphere of the festivity.

It’s a freedom that even some of the youngest visitors have the opportunity to enjoy. Freedom to explore a beautiful place filled with friends and new faces, and dive into a time of wonder.


Parents and friends of Las Catalinas at the Halloween Celebration


Halloween in town brings good times for the parents as well. The costumes are a bit larger, the candy and treats are different, but the sociability and fun of the evening remain. Whether out on trick-or-treating with the kids or helping distribute candy at home base, all of the adults get to join in on the fun.


The whole family out for Halloween


One of the many benefits of a walkable town is that it helps break down boundaries. Parents and kids aren’t separated by the ability to drive or the need to be driven, and most of town’s activities are available no matter what the age. It brings the generations closer together, and events like Halloween are a good example.

Playa Danta on Halloween


Trick-or-treating led to the beachfront festival out front of Limonada and the Santarena Hotel, complete with carnival games, Halloween themed food and beverage, and a haunted maze. After the flurry of activity on the streets, the large open space of the beachfront means kids and parents can be together all in one open area to wind down the evening.

A Walkable Vacation Destination

These are just a few of the reasons that town is good for Halloween, and these different aspects of life in Las Catalinas are present during every part of the year. The inviting weather, the timeless architecture and walkable streets, the freedom for children and sociability for parents, and the ability for everyone of all ages to come together all combine to make Las Catalinas a welcoming destination for friends and family.


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