Is Costa Rica the New Tulum?
Jul 13, 2022
4 min read
While Tulum has long been considered Central America’s most infamous festival locale, Costa Rica has become a burgeoning destination for house and techno fans. Similar to Croatia’s rise from underground scene to festival hub ten years ago when the Balkan country was seen as a cheaper option than Ibiza and became a hotspot for renowned promoters —such as Ultra, Time Warp, Defected, and elrow— to grow their brands. Is the same happening with Costa Rica when compared to Tulum?
The lush country has boasted the likes of BPM and Envision, with Solumun even saying he would be performing in Costa Rica this year as opposed to Tulum.
In addition to Costa Rica’s beautiful landscape, the paradise destination also features outdoor adventures, a thriving health and wellness community, beautiful weather, and a lack of strict laws. Sheila DeMoura, who has attended Envision, adds that the diversity of the plants, focus on sovereignty, and being a “spiritual hub for higher consciousness via healing modalities” make it an attractive destination.
“I loved that I not only got to attend a festival [in Costa Rica] but also experience the indigenous land, the culture, the people, and surrounding national parks,” Envision attendee Nellie Mar says of what makes the country an attractive event destination. “Costa Rica draws in adventurous explorers who want to connect with nature, so it was very easy to meet friendly and open travelers and natives.”
Kate Weil, who has attended Envision, says the location is her favorite part of the music festival as she finds it “incomparable to most” event locations.
“Envision is located in an amazing part of Costa Rica called Uvita just outside of Dominical. You get the best of both worlds in this area, [which] is located on the beach but has gorgeous jungle scenery as well,” she says. “The sounds of the jungle in the early mornings for sunrise are truly something everyone should experience. It is almost like a vibration that coincides with the music and just creates this incredible experience.”
When compared to other festivals, Envision attendee Bridge Spoth notes that being near a forest offers a different element compared to other camping festivals he has attended before.
BPM Festival goer Yvonne Thea echos a similar statement. The surrounding jungle is part of the event, offering a more natural, immersive experience when compared to other festivals she has attended. She adds that she finds Costa Rica an affordable option—similar to how Croatia was seen compared to Ibiza.
BPM Costa Rica
Tulum is currently seen as one of the main hubs for dance music, attracting music lovers from around the world. However, the two destinations seem to have stark differences, according to Mikala Lugen, who has ventured to Tulum but hasn’t attended an event there. She says the city felt “very contrived and not cultural” as she saw “white people with yoga shops, vegan restaurants, etc.” In addition, she notes that Tulum didn’t feel like as much of a cultural experience as Costa Rica.
“Tulum felt a bit more industrial and touristy to me compared to Costa Rica, where you have small beach towns with endless options of places to travel to,” Mar says of her experience there. “However, both are great destinations and you can find adventure in both places, but if you like rainforests and jungles, then Costa Rica is a better option.”
"Costa Rica is really more for the adventurer. It’s more of a 'check your inhibitions at the door' type vibe,” Ocaso festival attendee Gemma Page says. "You will see every person at the festival dancing—there are no spectators. Tulum is more for first-timers and people newer to this music. Costa Rica is hedonistic [and] it's like no place else.”
Festivals such as Envision and BPM have featured renowned artists on their lineups, such as CloZee, GRiZ, DJ Holographic, Tycho, Boris Brejcha, Loco Dice, and The Martinez Brothers, rivaling Tulum’s events. Indeed, Costa Rica has become an ideal festival location. So is it the new Tulum? We believe it is.