Local Attractions

Things to do and see in Barva, Costa Rica

Steeped in colonial tradition, Barva is known best for its hugely popular Feria de la Mascarada. This annual cultural event revolves around masks. Local craftsmen and artisans create larger-than-life colorful characters: demons and devils, local politicians, and celebrities.  Donning these massive head pieces, festival revelers dance and parade around the town plaza. It can become a bit congested and raucous, but well worth viewing at least once.

Barva is also the gateway for one of Costa Rica's most bio-diverse national parks: the Braulio Carillo. Accessed via the road to San Jose de Montana, over 44,000 hectares have been protected since 1978 as one of the country's most important natural corridors.  Braulio Carillo encompasses seven diverse habitats and includes 500 species of birds, 6,000 species of trees and plants, and over 135 species of animals. Braulio Carillo park is a must see for naturalists.  The best time of year to visit is March and April (because there is less rain), but be prepared as it can get quite chilly. 

A sampling of other recommended things to see and do in the Barva area includes:

  • Café Britt Coffee Tour
  • Casa de Flores Guesthouse and Villa
  • Canopy Adventures (featuring zip-lines and volcanoe hike tours
  • La Luna de Valencia Restaurant – Best Spanish Paella & Sangria