San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

A colossal paint party, and other happenings in Costa Rica

Life in Color

If you’ve never heard of “the world’s largest paint party,” imagine a regular old gigantic concert that also involves blasting colored paint out of a hose. We advise you to bring some disposable clothing, because it will likely get splattered with neon-hued liquid. The DJ lineup includes Javier Portilla and Bartosz Brenes, among others. You may not have many other paint parties to compare it to, but we’re pretty sure this one is bigger.

Life in Color takes place Feb. 8 at Pedregal Conventional Center, San Antonio de Belén. 4 p.m. 20,000 ($40). Info: Life in Color website.

National Mule Festival

You’ve seen bullfights. You’ve seen horse parades. But have you seen an entire town celebrate mules? This offbeat festival has taken place in the town of Parrita since 1971. After 11 days of peculiar games and showcases, the festival culminates in a tope parade (Feb. 15) and a mule race (Feb. 16).

The National Mule Festival takes place Feb. 6-17 in Parrita, Puntarenas. Info: Festival’s Facebook page.

Music: Best Fest

A 2,000-acre farm, breathtaking scenery, and an all-star lineup of bands. No wonder they call this three-day music festival “Best Fest.” Choose from a wide variety of accommodations, from camping to four-star hotels.

Best Fest takes place Feb. 7-9 in Costa Bellena. Fri. & Sat., 2:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.; Sun., 2-9:30 p.m. $100-120. Info: Best Fest website.

Atenas Chili Cook Off

Twenty-two chefs compete for the most delicious chili. But no matter who is victorious, everyone is a winner at the Atenas Chili Cook Off, whose proceeds benefit the Hogar de Vida children’s home. The cook off has been an Atenas tradition since 2006  – and organizers expect more than 1,000 visitors.

The cook off takes place Feb. 9 at Quinta Roma Vista, Barrio Mercedes, Atenas. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Info: Atenas Chili Cook Off website.

“Dr. Strangelove” screening

Club de Cine deleFOCO continues its Stanley Kubrick/George Lucas film series with “Dr. Strangelove,” the great 1968 black comedy about mutual assured destruction.

“Dr. Strangelove” screens Feb. 13 at Casa Batsú, Barrio Escalante, San José. 7 p.m. Free. Info: Event Facebook page.

Have a Heart Fundraiser

A silent auction and cocktail party – first of a three-part fundraiser for Amigos de la Educación, a scholarship program in Guanacaste. Part two, dubbed “Dinner with Friends,” is a feast that features gourmet platters, created by beloved local chefs.

Silent auction takes place Feb. 7 at Villa Alegre B&B, Playa Langosta, Guanacaste. (Free). “Dinner with Friends” takes place at Rancho Villa Real Club House, Playa Langosta, Guanacaste. $50. Info: Amigos de la Educación website.

Historical Cartoon Exhibition

How better for kids to understand history than through comic strips? Eighteen works illustrate the history of Costa Rica, thanks to a comics workshop hosted by the Juan Santamaría Historical Museum.

Exhibit continues through Feb. 27 at the Juan Santamaría Historical Museum, Alajuela. 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Free. Info: Museum Facebook page.

Music: Album prelaunch party

Celebrate the new album “Rabia y Sentimiento” (“Rage and Feeling”) with ska-punk band Askatasuna and Jamaican Beat.

Party takes place Feb. 7 at Bar El Observatorio, Barrio California. 8 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: Red Cultura website.

Music Salon

A veritable potluck of musicians performing at Jazz Café, including violinist-guitarist Syel and singer-songwriter Juan Bautista, among others.

Music Salon plays Feb. 10 at Jazz Café, Escazú. 8:30 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6). Info: Red Cultura website.

More American football

If the Superbowl wasn’t enough, tune into American football in Costa Rica. A live game happens today in the Central Valley: Saints vs. Toros, Panthers vs. Dragons.

Game takes place Feb. 8 at Pipilo Umaña Stadium, San Vicente. 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. ₡2,000, or Free for children 12 and under. Info:

Valentine’s Day

And don’t forget it’s El Día de San Valentín, (or Día de los Enamorados, depending on whom you ask). There are too many excellent restaurants and romantic getaways to list, and don’t forget the chocolate.

Contact Robert Isenberg at

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jeffy kirk

had big fun when I was there in Golfito, nice to read about the fun keeps on keepin on.
Continue to attract crowds from every where in the weirld, and soon enuff,
You’ll be the weirdld’s funnest place to be. Die surfing bfore you go south.

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