Costa Rican Rodeo on the Nicoya Peninsula

Costa Rican Rodeo – A Drunken Brawl Where People Are the Targets

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Costa Rica

Attending a rodeo seemed like an opportunity to witness a bit of local culture in an otherwise culture-less visit to the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, so I agreed to split the $60 round-trip taxi fare from Santa Teresa to Cobano with five other people. The bull riding was routine, except for the fact that dozens of (mostly drunk) people were in the ring with the bucking Brahmas. Once the cowboys were thrown, the bulls turned their fury on the surrounding people. You’ve heard of slapping the bull on the ass? Well, the point of this rodeo seemed to be to slap the bull between the horns without getting gored or trampled. Some participants came fully equipped with bullfighter capes and fake swords; others donned super hero costumes, apparently convinced the outfits made them indestructible. A couple of young men succeeded in hitting the mark as they streaked in front of the bull at full speed, but two were trampled in the attempt and had to be carried out of the ring. Both appeared later in the evening, apparently unharmed, except for the noticeable limp exhibited by one of them.

Series NavigationCosta Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula – More Than A Little DisappointingA Nine Day Tour of the Top Tourist Sites in Costa Rica

11 Comments on “Costa Rican Rodeo – A Drunken Brawl Where People Are the Targets

  1. I love Costa Rica, especially Corcovado National park which is just one of the great sample of those natural parks in the country.
    I have been there for 7 days last year, and i will go there for longer next year.

  2. That sounds amazing! At least they aren’t killing the bull like they do in many places and it has a fighting chance. I wouldn’t get in the ring but a drunk superhero getting hit by a bull sounds like a pretty funny sight.

  3. Ive always wanted to do the bull run in Spain! Im adding this one to my list of adrenaline-pumping activities!

  4. Got to admit not my idea for fun.  However, different strokes for different folks I guess.  I am fine just admiring the bull from afar without the desire to smack it. 🙂

  5. While the chance of getting gored is probably fairly low, after having seen some videos of it online, I wouldn’t take the chance! Ouch!

  6. Crazy… I just can’t understand why people do this… especially while drunk (actually, maybe it’s the drinking that is the only reason they did it in the first place?) 
    Maybe I’m just too boring… lol

  7. Interesting write up, not sure if I could have gone…events like this always struck me as inhumane.

  8. Ooh, the Costa Rica equivalent of Pamplona – I run a mile from this kind of stuff but my 19 year old son would have been in that ring like a shot!

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