San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Volcano marathon, a culinary challenge, and other happenings around Costa Rica

The Challenge Irazú

It’s a marathon. On mountain trails. Around a volcano. Sound intense? It is. The Challenge Irazú combines multiple races on one action-packed day, which unfold around the breathtaking landscape of the Cartago canton. Just when you think this battle against nature couldn’t get more adventurous, consider this: The half-marathon and 10K races takes place at night. Sponsored by New Balance shoes, The Challenge Irazú has won global attention for its scenic trail running.

The Irazú Marathon takes place March 29 in Tres Ríos and Cartago. 7 a.m. (full marathon) and 5 p.m. (half-marathon and 10K). Info: Race website.

Master Chef

Sixteen teams compete for the title of “Maestro Culinario.” Catch some of Costa Rica’s finest chefs in action.

“Maestro Culinario” takes place April 1 & 2 at the Children’s Museum, San José. 9 a.m.–5:30 a.m. Free. Reservations: 2288-2331.

Holi One Colour Festival

Like the ancient Indian festival, Holi One is an explosion of colored powder. Wear something disposable, come with a great attitude.

Holi One takes place March 29 at Pedregal Event Center, Belén. 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. ₡23,500 ($47). Info: Holi One website.

Restaurant Opening: La Sula Sea Lounge

The luxury Hotel Le Caméléon marks its fifth anniversary with a brand-new restaurant, La Sula Sea Lounge. Named after the benevolent Bribrí spirit, the restaurant opens to a beach barbeque, special cocktails, and music.

Opening takes place March 30 at Hotel Le Caméléon, Playa Cocles. 3-10 p.m. Free. Info: Le Caméléon website.

Music: National Symphony Orchestra Plays Salazar Theater

Hear the works of Berlioz and Tchaikovsky performed by the finest orchestra in Costa Rica.

The Symphony plays March 28 (8 p.m.) and March 30 (10:30 a.m.) at the Melico Salazar Theater, downtown San José. Info: National Symphony Orchestra website.

Music: Manuel Obregón

The master pianist and retiring culture minister plays a solo concert in Alajuela.

Manuel Obregón performs April 3 at the Juan Santamaría Museum. ₡1,000 ($2). Info: Juan Santamaría Historical Museum website.

Fine Art: “Exploring with Glass”

Artist Fernán Salazar E. presents his glass sculptures of tropical animals.

Reception for “Explorando con el Vidrio” takes place April 3 at TAOS Plus, San Pedro. 7 p.m. Free. Info & Reservations: 8395-1715.

Music: The Band of Heredia Plays the Beatles

This 22-piece band plays Beatles classics in downtown Heredia. Related concerts include the Bands of San José (March 30, Palmar Sur) and Alajuela (March 30, Alajuela Central Park and Cathedral).

La Banda de Heredia performs March 30 in Central Park of Heredia. 9 a.m. Free. Info: Culture Ministry website.

International Clarinet Festival

This multi-day festival draws musicians from all over the world. See just how diverse clarinet playing can be.

The Clarinet Festival continues through March 29, various times and locations. ₡2,500-4,500 ($5-9). Info: Festival website.

Enamorate de tu ciudad

Yes, you can get gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-long celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check back for games, workshops, presentations and surprise performances.

Fall in Love with Your City takes place on Saturdays in various parks in downtown San José. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Info: Enamorate de tu Ciudad website.

Theater: “The House of the Spirits”

Teatro Espressivo presents a theatrical adaptation of Isabel Allende’s classic novel, “The House of the Spirits.” This epic magic-realist story receives an inventive adaptation by Caridad Svich.

“The House of the Spirits” continues through April 13 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. 8,000-15,000 ($16-30). Info: Performance website.

Theater: “100 Square Meters”

Catch the final week of this sharp Spanish-language satire, produced by TIKTAKProductions.

“100 Metros Cuadrados” runs through March 30 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. 5,500 ($11) general admission, 3,000 ($6) students. Info: RedCultura site.

Photography: Vía PanAm

Journey the Pan-American Highway with Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen, part of the International Arts Festival.

“Vía PanAm” continues through April 13 at Antigua Aduana, Barrio Aranjuez. Admission is free. Info (in Spanish): International Arts Festival website.

Fine Art: “In the Woods”

The Museum of Costa Rican Art presents this haunting and beautiful series of landscapes by Gerardo González. See his unique vision of the rainforest.

“Bosque Adentro” continues through April 6 at the Museum of Costa Rican Art, La Sabana Park. Tue.-Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Info: Museum website.


Contact Robert Isenberg at

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