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The Costa Rican Government Has Closed All Beaches and Banned The Sale of Alcohol

The Costa Rican government has announced "Ley Seca" - i.e. temporary prohibition - in response to the coronavirus hysteria.


But when there's a Will there's a way. The booze black market is alive and well.


In addition to banning alcohol, the CR government has also mandated that all beaches be closed to the public. Playa Junquillal is always deserted, so I'm not sure how the law applied in this location is supposed to help stop the spreading of a contagious virus.

Anyways, I heard reports that police were calling surfers out of the water so I decided to investigate how the sand ban is being enforced. I took the rav4 for a spin to see if they had closed off any entrances to the beach.

This beach access is open, the sign is a warning for rip currents.

There's no one on the beach, but again, this is normal for Junquillal.

Another beach access point, also open. I checked all of the entrances off the main road so to save time I stayed in my car to take the rest of the pictures.

Another open access point.

Alas, we arrive at evidence of the beach ban. Hey dog! Where are you going? Didn't you get the memo?


7 Responses to “The Costa Rican Government Has Closed All Beaches and Banned The Sale of Alcohol”

  1. whaack says:

    Although they're not in the pictures (except maybe as blurry specks) I did actually see a total of 3 people on the beach.

  2. spyked says:

    Lol, wait, why would they institute a ban on alcohol? If anything, it'd prove useful in keeping drunkards in a vegetative state.

  3. Thanks for doing this. When they came up with the nonsense I half considered dropping some stuff off my schedule to make room for a beach drive just to flaunt the supposed "closure" ; but you saved me the effort.

    Same think with the derpy "curfew", there's a 22`000 colones fine for driving, comes to almost forty bucks -- but in exchange you get completely empty roads and can therefore do 240 kmph in the beautiful lands of over here. All in all I hope they make it permanent.

  4. whaack says:

    @ Spyked

    Well, when this whole shebang started I was invited to a "coronavirus party". Drinking events with ticos can get large, so I guess the rationale is banning alcohol will prevent parties. I assume it's just a way to say "we are doing [activity] to address the problem."

    @ Mircea Popescu

    Happy to help out, apologies to the ladies if I indirectly robbed them of a beach trip.

    Enjoy the empty roads!

  5. billymg says:

    The alcohol thing is stupid, glad I mentioned in #o and you had this post handy. We scored some booze in a small store nearby today. Only took two attempts and the price was quite reasonable considering the circumstances.

  6. whaack says:


    Yup, pretty dumb. Fortunately, ticos are conditioned to breaking rules so it's not much of an inconvenience. Also, there is a convenient way for the stores to prevent people witnessing the under-the-table booze sales - they can block other patrons from entering under the pretense of "social distancing."

    I went with the girl today to Automercado. Heeding the warning from your tale about being denied entry as a group, we walked in separately. But once inside we started talking too much and got too close so our cover was blown. One of the clerks came and asked if we were together, we lied and said no, and then he asked us to keep our distance. Pretty bizarre.

    We also checked out Tamarindo - it's a total ghost town with 80% of the stores/shops closed. The beach there has a lot more of the police tape blocking off entrances and when I peaked there was nobody on the beach. We spoke with the owner of one of the few surf shops that was open - he informed us that there was a gun fight in the town recently that lasted ~40 minutes and no police showed up until much later after the event. However when a lady had to chase her dog onto the beach immediately swarms of police came "as if they had found bin Laden."

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