Costa Rica After Dark - Nightlife!
OK... I will admit this now.
I absolutely should not be writing this as I have no night life. I would be delighted if some kind reader would just send in the definitive treatise on what to do here after six PM, but for now, I will try.
There are actually a large number of really cool places to go after dark, but remember, much night life in Costa Rica starts after ten PM.
Dining Out (Also see Costa Rica Eating for dining suggestions)
There are an amazing number of really good restaurants here in Costa Rica. In the Central Valley, you not only will find great Tico eateries, you can also find Peruvian, Tai, Chinese, Chilean, Argentinean, German, Japanese (yeah Sushi aka bait), as well as the usually chains from the USA like TGI Fridays, Tony Romas, etc. and every fast food restaurant you want. Oh, they all deliver! Yes, even McDonalds!
As a people Ticos LOVE to dance, and they are good! They take their dancing seriously. Dance lessons here are cheap, and just about every couple takes lessons and goes out to strut their stuff.
Sadly, I was born rhythmically challenged, and my body has resisted all efforts to learn to salsa, meringue, mambo, and twenty other dances, but I do try. I just look terminally white bread Gringo. Luisa does dance, and loves to go. I sort of wish I drank. Might make that experience more tolerable... (dancing... not being with my wife)!
One tango club here actually gives lessons early in the evening, a policy clearly used to avoid embarrassment to those of us who can barely walk. As I said, if you live here or are planning to live here, there are a number of dancing schools that will teach you this stuff at ridiculously low prices.
Two categories here. Concerts and live bands.
Concerts range anywhere from visiting artists performing chamber music, to Flamenco dancers from Spain. From world class soloists to some of the hottest Latin bands and artists. Venues can be stadiums or theaters such as the Teatro Nacional. Check out the pages here.
In addition, there are an astonishing number of live weekend bands, and I will tell you this: They are GOOD. In the US, they'd have record contracts. These bands perform in places such as restaurants and clubby type bars.
In Costa Rica, sports = f˙tball (i.e. soccer) Games can be international or domestic. Each province fields a team, and make no mistake, these games are followed and attended. There are a large number of stadiums around the country, and this is a great and inexpensive bit of entertainment.
Scattered throughout the country at almost any time of the year are the fairs. After dark, there is the bullfighting, live bands, dancing everywhere, great food, and superb people watching. As with all large public events, watch for pickpockets and park in the well lit parking locations provided. Hint, the bull fights are great fun!
In San JosÚ, most of the first-run movies arrive almost immediately after they are released. Almost all are in the native language (usually English) but are subtitled in Spanish. The exceptions are most children's movies (Harry Potter, etc) which are dubbed because younger children may have trouble keeping up with the fast moving sub-titles), but even these may be available in English... you'll just have to look a bit harder. Regardless of the movie, you will pay a LOT less to see them here! $2.00 - $3.00. Theaters are mostly in malls and look just about the same as in the US.
If you speak Spanish or wish to learn, there are a large number a Latin produced movies that are just excellent! I mean really good! Few are subtitled in English, but often, with a bit of Spanish under your belt, you can keep up. The fact that these movies are even made shows my total lack of knowledge of foreign theater, Other than an occasional art theater showing, I had no idea of the quality of the acting and production in Latin America.
There is no doubt in my mind that I have forgotten something big. Send us what you like to do after dark! (umm... not that)