San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

A rainbow run, a pop-up store, and other happenings around Costa Rica

Color Run

If running five kilometers through a Costa Rican suburb while getting blasted with multi-hued powder is your thing, then you should absolutely sign up for the Color Run. Billed as “The Happiest 5K on the Planet,” this easygoing race has been spreading the love since 2011, blasting people with color from Australia to Portugal. For those who have a free Sunday morning and an all-white outfit, the Color Run is the perfect way to finish the weekend.

The Color Run takes place Aug. 10 in downtown Heredia. 8 a.m. ₡14,000-16,000 ($28-32). Info: Official website.


Pop-Up Store: SatisFactory

Even more grassroots than a startup company, “pop-up stores” are all the rage in progressive North American cities. SatisFactory is an arts, fashion, and design shop designed to last for a short period of time. Check out the store’s fun-filled opening on Friday night.

SatisFactory opens its doors Aug. 8 in at its new location in Barrio Escalante. Info: SatisFactory Facebook page.

Music: Ednita Nazario

The Puerto Rican chanteuse plays her special brand of pop music in Heredia.

Concert takes place Aug. 9 at the Sports Palace, Heredia. 8 p.m. ₡24,000-56,000 ($48-112). Info: La Boletería website.

Music: “Viva Vida”

Songwriters and guitarists Luis Enrique Mejía Godoy and Adrián Goizueta perform rousing acoustic pieces at the National Auditorium.

“Viva Vida” will be performed Aug. 8 at the National Auditorium, former penitentiary, San José. 8 p.m. 10,000-18,000 ($20-36). Info: La Boletería website.

Courtesy RedCultura

Music: Señor Bolero

Performers Allan and Felix Guzmán narrate the history of bolero music – and play it masterfully – during their cross-country tour.

The Señor Bolero series begins Aug. 13 at Jazz Café, San Pedro. 9 p.m. 4,000 ($8). The series continues Aug. 14 at Teatro Urbano, downtown San José. 8 p.m. 5,000 ($10). Info: Info: Jazz Café website and the Teatro Urbano website.

Zarcero Potato Fair

Celebrate Costa Rica’s National Potato Day in Zarcero, one of the most scenic towns in the region.

La Feria Nacional de la Papa takes place Aug. 8-10 in downtown Zarcero. All day. Free.

Music: Oregon Guitar Quartet

In celebration of their fifth album, “World Tour,” the classically themed Oregon Guitar Quartet plays San José.

Concert takes place Aug. 10 at the Balmoral Hotel, downtown San José. 5 p.m. Info: Credomatic website.

Film: Muses to Muses

See the films that inspired artist José Miguel Rojas to create his “Juego Sucio” series of paintings. (Read more about the exhibit below).

“Damage” screens Aug. 11, “Last Tango in Paris” screens Aug. 13 at the Central Bank Museum, downtown San José. 6 p.m. Free. Info: Bank Museum website.

Film: “El Ambulante”

This extraordinary documentary follows Argentinian filmmaker Daniel Burmeister on a movie-making road trip through the South American countryside as he creates movies starring local people.

“El Ambulante” screens Aug. 14 at the Spanish Cultural Center, Barrio Escalante. 7 p.m. Free. Info: Cultural Center website.

Art: Paintings by Fabio Rojas

The artist presents a series of landscapes at the University College of Cartago.

The exhibition will display Aug. 8-29 at the University College of Cartago. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Free. Info: University website.

Opera: “Nabucco”

Verdi’s spectacular Biblical opera receives a massive production at the National Theater, thanks to the National Lyric Company.

“Nabucco” can be seen July 31–Aug. 10 at the National Theater, downtown San José. Thu. & Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. 2,000-30,000 ($4-60). Info: National Theater website.

National Contemporary Dance Festival

The National Contemporary Dance Festival showcases some of the most exciting companies now working in Costa Rica. Each evening spotlights one to three groups.

El Festival Nacional de Danza Contemporánea takes place Aug. 5-10 at the Melico Salazar Theater and the Theater of Dance, both in downtown San José. Tue.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. 5,000 ($10). Info: Theater website.

Theater: “Amadeus”

Peter Schaffer’s masterpiece about the life of Mozart (and his bitter rival, Salieri) receives an epic production at Teatro Espressivo.

“Amadeus” plays Aug. 7 – Oct. 12 at Teatro Espressivo, Curridabat. Info: Teatro Espressivo website.

Theater: “Virus”

What is the nature of sickness? Costa Rican playwright Ana Istarú explores this theme in “Virus,” her new drama at the Vargas Calvo Theater. Read our review here.

“Virus” plays through Aug. 31 at the Vargas Calvo Theater, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. 5,500 ($11). Info: National Theater website.

Theater: “A Dog’s Life, Sweet Dreams”

La Carne Teatro presents this realistic dramedy by Miguel Morillo about two workmates who struggle to live in a modern city.

“Perra Vida, Sueños Dulces” plays through Aug. 17 at Teatro 1887, downtown San José. Thu.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m. 4,000 ($8). Info: RedCultura.

Film: Race Relations and Discrimination Cycle

Screenings of films about different ethnic groups getting along – and not.

Films will screen Aug. 7-28 at the Cartago Cultural Center, downtown Cartago. First film screens Aug. 7 at 6 p.m. Free. Info: GAMCultural.

Art: “Documentos en Línea”

Artist Guillermo Fournier exhibits his series of sketches at the National Theater.

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

Art: “Dirty Game”

Costa Rican artist José Miguel Rojas González explores the nature of winning and losing in this subversive series. Read our review here.

“Juego Sucio” continues through Oct. 11 at the Central Bank Museum, Plaza de la Cultura, San José. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 5,500 ($11). Info: Museos Banco Central website.

Art: “The Day We Became Contemporary”

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design celebrates 20 years of cutting-edge arts with a comprehensive, retrospective showcase.

“El Día Que Nos Hicimos Contemporáneos” continues through Sept. 5 at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Downtown San José. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Residents 1,000 ($2), foreigners 1,500 ($3), students 500 ($1). Info: MADC website.

Enamorate de tu ciudad

Yes, you can go gaga for San José – especially when the Culture Ministry is sponsoring Enamorate de tu ciudad, or Fall in Love With Your City, a year-round celebration of art, culture and urban parks. Check out the event site for news on 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 and Facebook page.

Contact Robert Isenberg at

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