Move Over Wild, Wild West: Here Come the Cowboys of Costa Rica

Described as The Last Cowboys, the Sabaneros of Guanacaste are a definite highlight of your vacation, as you get to sample what life is like home on the range with these true country men.

Preserving the heritage of Costa Rica

Costa Rica vacations offer many delightful surprises and the chance to find out about the life and cultural heritage of the Sabaneros is definitely one of them.

Tanned faces and a wiry body, they are the very epitome of what you would expect a cowboy to look like, especially when you take in the wide-brimmed hat, the leather boots, and elaborately decorated buckles and belts to complete the look.

Costa Rica

[Image not Mine]


The Guanacaste Province is in the northwestern part of Costa Rica and close to the borders of Nicaragua.

Guanacaste runs along the coast of the Pacific Ocean so despite it being one of the more sparsely populated areas of the country and having an arid climate with very little rainfall, there are some stunning beaches to head to when you need to cool down and get a contrasting view from the steep mountains followed by rolling flatlands.

Immerse in the culture and history

A visit to this region sometimes feels like you are stepping back in time and there are plenty of opportunities to immerse in the culture and history of life as a Sabaneros in this sometimes challenging but always spectacular part of Costa Rica.

Using a local guide while you are in the region, you can get the chance to go on a horseback tour that offers a unique insight into the world of the cowboy, both in the past and present. Hundreds of farms are dotted around the landscape and there are still plenty of opportunities for the Sabaneros to round up cattle in true cowboy style.


Understandably, the Costa Rican people like to celebrate their heritage and the Sabaneros are considered to be instrumental in forming the basis of two of the region’s most important festivals.

Tope Festival Costa Rica

[Image not Mine]

 These two festivals are known as Topes and Montaderas, and both have their unique perspective and traditions based on their rich history. The Topes festival brings many of the different local towns together for one major festival, which involves the Sabaneros driving the cattle from the fields and into the bullring. The amusing anecdotes that are told about this festival often include a tale of a cow or bull that has lost its way and runs through someone’s house or garden, before eventually being round up again.

 The Montaderas festival is based around a rodeo in which the challenge is to see which rider can hold on to the bulls back for the longest time. Needless to say, there is plenty of guaro to go round, which is the local cane liquor, and the handmade tortillas make a tasty accompaniment as you enjoy one of the liveliest festivals around.

So if you want the true cowboy experience while you are in Costa Rica, then make your way to Guanacaste.

 Marcus Anderson is a travel fan of many years. An avid blogger, you can find his entertaining articles mainly on travel and tourism blog sites.

[ Tagged In ] , , , , ,

Comments are closed.