COSTA RICAN MASKS:
New National Symbol

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and the Ministry of Culture, have proposed a project to declare the Costa Rican Mascaradas as new national symbol.

El Instituto Costarricense de Turismo y el Ministerio de Cultura, han impulsado un proyecto que declara las mascaradas costarricenses como símbolo nacional. 

After its proposal, today April 21st 2022, the masquerades have been incorporated as a new national symbol; in addition to celebrating Traditional Masquarade Day on October 31st.

Costa Rica has a historical legacy of traditions involving masks, reason for which this project has been driven; in order to preserve and promote these traditions.

Tras proponerse el proyecto, hoy 21 de Abril del 2022, se incorporan las mascaradas como nuevo símbolo costarricense; sumándose al 31 de octubre como Día de la Mascarada Tradicional Costarricense.

Costa Rica tiene un histórico legado de tradiciones con máscaras, razón por la cual se ha impulsado este proyecto; con el fin de conservar y promover el rescate de estas tradiciones. 

The first traditional masks date from the precolombina cultures within the territory. They would create masks from mud, volcanic rock, balsa wood, jade and even gold; using natural pigments to paint them. These masks were representative of the indigenous cosmo-vision. A particular example of these traditions, that has transcended into modern day, is the ‘Juego de los Diablitos’ from the Boruca community in the Souther Pacific region of Costa Rica.


Las primeras tradiciones de mascaras provienen de las culturas precolombinas del territorio quienes fabricaban mascaras de arcilla, piedra volcánica, balsa, jade y oro; pintándolas con pigmentos naturales y que eran representativas de la cosmovisión indígena. Un destacado ejemplo de estas tradiciones, que ha llegado hasta la actualidad, es el Juego de los Diablillos de la comunidad indígena de Boruca.

During the Colonial era, masquerades came to life thanks to the so called ‘parlampanes’; groups of humble people who would dress up with disguises and use masks crafted with paper maché, which represented animals and folkloric legends. These masquerades grew popular among the religious and state festivities as well as within the bull fights.


Durante la época Colonial, las mascaradas tomaban vida entre los llamados parlampanes; vecinos generalmente humildes quienes se disfrazaban con trajes y usaban mascaras fabricadas con papel maché, que representaban animales. Estas mascaradas se popularizaron entre los festejos religiosos y populares y las corridas de toros. 

By the end of the 19th Century the traditional masquerades make a comeback, at the same time in which the National Theater was built and the National School of Arts was founded; creating a contrast between the satiric and festive culture of the streets, with the elegance of the new theatre and academy that symbolized Eurovision and contemporary culture.


A finales del siglo XIX las tradicionales mascaradas resurgen en el país, al mismo tiempo que se construía el Teatro Nacional y se fundaba la Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes; contrastando entre cultura festiva, satírica y callejera, con la elegancia del nuevo teatro que simbolizaba europeización y modernidad.

The rescue of this cultural treasure, that is engrained within the popular history of the region; has now a new value within the tourism sector of the country. Costa Rican Masks represent one more element in national culture and create a market for the millions of visitors from around the globe, who are amazed by the bright colors and mystical or popular beings who are portrayed iconically through these masks.


El rescate de esta riqueza cultural, cuyas raíces están intrínsecas en la historia popular de la región; tiene ahora un nuevo valor entre el sector turístico del país. Las máscaras costarricenses representan un elemento más en la cultura nacional y encuentran mercado entre los visitantes de todo el mundo que se deslumbran entre colores ricos y seres místicos o populares, retratados de manera icónica.







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    Our Recognitions

    LEW
    LEW
    2024-05-06
    WOW. A gem of an experience This was an absolute highlight of our visit. We did the luxury plus tour and spent the day walking through a rainforest seeing a variety of animals like toucans, snakes, sloths, monkeys, etc. It was spectacular! Our guides Pedro & Issac were wonderful and very knowledgeable. The waterfalls did not disappoint. Thermal pool swimming was my favorite. We had a lovely lunch by one of the pools. We didn’t get to do the lookout tower due to cloud cover, but saw so much else. We were picked up in Tamarindo and one thing I will say is to plan for a 12 hour day if you do this. 6 hours of driving, minimum depending on where you are. We were partially prepared for this, but thought it would be closer to 2 hours. I would suggest saying in Liberia and doing this tour from there to cut down on transit time and fully enjoy the pools and experience more. We might have stayed a little longer if we weren’t facing a 3 hour drive home! But, all in all we are SO happy we did this and if we come back to Costa Rica we will absolutely stay in the rain forest more and explore there more as it was by far the highlight.
    Lindsay
    Lindsay
    2024-04-30
    Beautiful place! Our guide, Isaac, was awesome! So knowledgable and friendly! The variety of flora was amazing, but we didn’t get to see as much wildlife as I had hoped. We did see one beautiful tropical bird, 2 small snakes, a basilisk, and some leaf-cutter ants carrying leaves. No monkeys or sloths. When you arrive, they have changing rooms, and they tell you to change into your swimsuit and wear clothes on top. Then they offered like 3 or 4 different opportunities to swim, during the hike. I wish I had not worn tight athletic pants. They were such a pain to keep taking off and putting on in a super humid environment. Bring your most comfortable swimsuit, a towel, water shoes, sunscreen and bug spray. Wear loose-fitting and lightweight pants, and comfortable hiking or walking shoes. It’s tempting to just wear quick-dry shorts, but the bugs will eat you alive, so wear pants. Since it’s a rainforest, I debated getting waterproof hiking shoes, but ended up just wearing my Nike’s, and it was totally fine. I think it always rains in the afternoon, so they just do tours in the morning, and then it will rain on your drive back.
    Marlon U
    Marlon U
    2024-04-27
    Such a great experience! Me and my girlfriend had an amazing experience! It was truly amazing having both Isaac and Johnny accompany and share this experience with us! They were wonderful and have great personalities.
    catwalsh97
    catwalsh97
    2024-04-27
    Great hike through the rainforest! Joaquin, our guide was amazing! He explained all about the eco system and animals of the rainforest. We swam in some waterfalls and beautiful thermal pools! The food and drinks were really good and the rainforest was beautiful! We saw 2 beautiful eyelash vipers!
    Danielle B
    Danielle B
    2024-04-21
    Rainforest hike and volcanic pool swims This place is beautiful. We saw tonnes of wildlife and the guides are incredible at picking it out. The pools are beautiful too. We also love the eco credentials and ethics of the place!
    Jana Elsa Muriel
    Jana Elsa Muriel
    2024-04-20
    A mini paradise on Mother Earth For me personally, since I love the rainforest and the waterfalls, the absolute highlight of our trip. It costs a little to get there but it is worth it more than a thousand times over. The pristine forest filled with streams and carefully maintained pools is a true wonder. Our guide Eri was perfect and very empathetic. Thank you very much for spoiling us!
    emike16
    emike16
    2024-03-28
    Adventure after an adventure We drove rather than taking the shuttle and that added some extra adventure. The roads are largely dirt and rocks for much of the way and you will think you are lost, but it is worth it. The waterfalls and pools are amazing. The hike is not for those not in shape, but the rainforest is incredible and you get a view of the volcano from a platform above the canopy. The chicken and rice meal was also surprisingly good and make sure you try their coffee.
    PJ A
    PJ A
    2024-03-19
    Sensoria Rainforest is a beautiful protected area of Costa Rica We had a very good time at Sensoria. The rainforest, waterfalls and scenery were beautiful. Our guide was a bit quiet but helpful and accommodating. We saw two waterfalls and were able to walk in them. The volcanic soils create the most clear and blue water we have ever seen. There were two plunge pools we were allowed to go in, as well as one thermal pool. Unfortunately the only wildlife we saw were some exotic birds and snakes (poisonous!). The property is in a type of land trust so it will not be disturbed with development, and they have motion cameras showing the wildlife within the park. The one downside is the ride to and from – horrible roads, very rough ride.
    Thomas C
    Thomas C
    2024-03-17
    Dusk Experience This was an incredible experience. Probably the best of our trip to Costa Rica. We almost didn’t do it. We did the Dusk Experience. It had a moderate hike up and down the mountain with stops at a few waterfalls and swimming holes. Isaac was our guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and friendly… an expert in the local wildlife and fauna. The tour ended with a private thermal pool, perfectly lit with accent lighting, and a special selection of finger foods. At the end, Isaac and his partner stayed late and went out of their way to help me find my lost gopro camera. Service above and beyond what would have been expected.
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