A new decade is upon us, and there鈥檚 no better way to ring in the New Year than with (new) New Year鈥檚 traditions from Costa Rica! Nobody throws a better party than the Ticos, so we鈥檝e 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鈥檚 get started.


bbq pork costa ricaIt鈥檚 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鈥檙e veggie or vegan, no problem 鈥 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鈥 but it鈥檚 sort of hard to tell. On New Year鈥檚 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鈥檒l be sure to meet the love of your life. We haven鈥檛 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 鈥 it鈥檚 the end of December. We鈥檙e tired of 2019 and we鈥檙e 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鈥檝e gotta let go of the past. How? With a pan and some water. That鈥檚 it. Simply take your pan, fill it with water, and toss it over your shoulder. If you feel like you鈥檙e still trapped by some of the tougher times of the past 12 months, then toss another one. Soon, you鈥檒l 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鈥檚 tradition from Costa Rica: eating grapes. Although this tradition isn鈥檛 completely uncommon (there are other countries 鈥 like Spain 鈥 that believe in grape-lore, too), eating grapes can seem quirky 鈥 especially because they aren鈥檛 native to Costa Rica! You鈥檒l notice an influx of grapes in the super market around, and that鈥檚 because everyone 鈥 and we mean everyone 鈥 greets the New Year by stuffing 12 grapes into their mouth at midnight. Rumor has it that they鈥檒l bring you good luck all year!

We hope you’ve enjoyed these New Year鈥檚 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鈥檛 wait to dive into more adventures with you in 2020. See you in Costa Rica!