San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Puntarenas Carnival Gears Up

The Puntarenas Carnavales kicked off yesterday in the Pacific port city with fireworks, bullfights, dancing and mascaradas (masked parades) in the streets.

The annual carnival is one of the country’s biggest parties, featuring 10 days of festivities until the fireworks show at 10 p.m., Feb. 19, shuts the party down.

Daily events include painting exhibitions at 10 a.m., at the cruise ship terminal; mascaradas at 3 p.m., starting from Abelardo Lobo park; and bullfights at 7 p.m. in the Plaza de Toros.

The Plaza de las Artesanías will be hosting a variety of cultural events, and bars and kiosks along the Paseo de los Turistas are set up with refreshments and music to get folks dancing.

Highlights this weekend include a fishing tournament at the Puntarenas estuary tomorrow at 5 a.m.; a tope (horse parade) starting at the marine park tomorrow at 4 p.m.; and the Open-Water Sports Tournament, on the beach in front of Capitán Moreno, Sunday at 10 a.m.

For a full schedule of events, visit (Spanish only).


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