A new decade is upon us, and there’s no better way to ring in the New Year than with (new) New Year’s traditions from Costa Rica! Nobody throws a better party than the Ticos, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorite ways to celebrate the birth of a new decade in Central America. As always, fireworks are at the forefront of the celebration, but the fun doesn’t stop there! Grab some grapes and your favorite thing to BBQ (yes, you read that right), and let’s get started.


bbq pork costa ricaIt’s All About the BBQ

Rather than spending the night out in the club, most Ticos prefer to countdown the clock in the comfort of their own home with family and friends. Drinks flow liberally, the conversation is bubbling and the food is plentiful. The barbecue is always the center of the party, with pork leg being the most commonly enjoyed treat. If you’re veggie or vegan, no problem – many families are beginning to accommodate untraditional foods into their home-cooked menu.



NYE lucky underwear

Color-Code Your Underwear

Not everyone participates in this fun tradition – actually, they might… but it’s sort of hard to tell. On New Year’s eve, be sure to choose your undergarments (or bathing suit) wisely. Yellow skivvies are thought to bring about good luck, while green will help you rake in the cash. Wear red and you’ll be sure to meet the love of your life. We haven’t heard what happens if you forgo underwear on NYE. Maybe the New Year will give you a stronger sense of freedom?



costa rica new year

Throw Out the Old Year

Look – it’s the end of December. We’re tired of 2019 and we’re ready to embrace whatever 2020 has in store for us. In order to step into the New Year and welcome the good fortune that awaits, you’ve gotta let go of the past. How? With a pan and some water. That’s it. Simply take your pan, fill it with water, and toss it over your shoulder. If you feel like you’re still trapped by some of the tougher times of the past 12 months, then toss another one. Soon, you’ll be able to step into the future and embrace it with open arms.



Eat 12 Grapes

new year grapes costa rica

Last but not least, our very favorite New Year’s tradition from Costa Rica: eating grapes. Although this tradition isn’t completely uncommon (there are other countries – like Spain – that believe in grape-lore, too), eating grapes can seem quirky – especially because they aren’t native to Costa Rica! You’ll notice an influx of grapes in the super market around, and that’s because everyone – and we mean everyone – greets the New Year by stuffing 12 grapes into their mouth at midnight. Rumor has it that they’ll bring you good luck all year!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these New Year’s Traditions from Costa Rica! Happy 2020 from all of us at Gecko Trail. We are so grateful for those of you who have traveled with us in 2019, and we can’t wait to dive into more adventures with you in 2020. See you in Costa Rica!