San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Beach race, Shakespeare and other happenings in Costa Rica

Race: Ruta La Paz

Helping Costa Rican education never felt so good: This easygoing race takes place in the beautiful setting of Playa Flamingo, and all proceeds benefit the APEGUA alliance, an organization dedicated to improving the school system in Guanacaste. Runners can opt for the 5K or the 10K, and young athletes can enjoy free recreational activities at 9 a.m.

Ruta La Paz takes place May 3 in Flamingo Beach, Guanacaste. 6:30 a.m. ₡10,000-12,500 ($20-25). Info: CEPIA website.

Presidential Inauguration

Costa Rica turns a new leaf: Watch Guillermo Solís get sworn in as the nation’s new president during this historic event.

The inauguration takes place May 8 at the National Stadium, La Sabana. Events start 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Culture: Celebration of Francisca “Pancha” Carrasco

Art, music, and dance commemorate “Pancha” Carrasco, female folk hero and fighter against the U.S. filibustero profiteers. Learn about this extraordinary historical figure.

Celebration takes place May 3 & 4 at the Juan Santamaría Museum, downtown Alajuela. Info: Museum website.

American Football: X-Cite Sports International Classic

Cross-national American football game played between Tico team the CR Stars and the USA Patriots, a semi-pro team from the Midwest.

Game takes place May 3 at the Garabito Sports Plaza, Playa Jacó, Puntarenas. 6 p.m. ₡3,000 ($6).

Exhibit: “Tintin”

A retrospective on the dashing young journalist, his pup Snowy and his friend Captain Haddock. Visit the Alianza Francesa to see the works of Belgian cartoonist Hergé.

The Tintin exhibit takes place May 2-31 at the Alianza Francesa, La Sabana. Free. Info: Alianza Francesa website.

Theater: “King Lear”

The acclaimed Shakespeare adaptation returns for a new round of blood and tragedy, thanks to the National Theater Company of Costa Rica.

“Rey Lear” performs May 2-4 at the National Theater, downtown San José. Fri. & Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 6 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: National Theater website.

Art: “Mayo en Verde”

Celebrate the coming of the “Green Season” with these colorful landscapes, painted by a variety of Costa Rican artists.

“Mayo en Verde” takes place at the López Ecarré Gallery, National Theater, downtown San José. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Free. Info: Gallery website.

Mother Africa

Prepare for sensory overload: Created by acrobat Winston Ruddle, “Mother Africa” combines Pan-African music, song, tumbling and step dance. The extravaganza showcases two dozen performers, celebrating not only the continent but also the breadth of the African diaspora.

“Madre Africa” takes place April 25 through May 4 at the National Gymnasium, La Sabana. Mon.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 3 & 8 p.m. VIP seating ₡29,000 ($60), general admission ₡23,000 ($46) and budget tickets ₡16,000 ($32). Info: eTicket website.

Art: Great Painters Exhibit

Paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Renoir and Andy Warhol arrive in Costa Rica. Presented by the National Gallery, this collection incorporates 158 artworks and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture, based in the former penitentiary.

“Herencia del Arte” takes place April 28–June 28 at the National Gallery in Barrio Mexico. Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. Info: National Gallery website.

Art: “Cuerpo Ajeno”

“Foreign Body” showcases photographs of transgendered people of Central America.

“Cuerpo Ajeno” opens Friday, April 25, at Galería Talentum, Barrio Amón. 8 p.m. Free. Info: Galería Talentum Facebook page.

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.

Contact Robert Isenberg at

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