National Pejibaye Festival
Every October the sleepy village of Tucurrique comes alive with thousands of visitors to celebrate the National Pejibaye Festival. Spanning two weekends, the event honors the town's regional specialty – pejibaye, or peach palm fruit.
A unique fruit that tastes like a cross between a baked potato and roasted chestnuts, the pejibaye is yellowish-orange to red in color, and is always boiled before consumption. Delicious even when served plain, the pejibaye is often crowned with a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise.
At the Pejibaye Festival, the hosts prepare this delicacy in many different ways. You'll be able to try creamy bisque, cakes, cookies and breads, drinks, jellies, and even homemade liquor – all made from pejibaye.
In between mouthwatering goodies, guests can enjoy the festival's other attractions. An adjacent farm gives pejibaye tours on traditional oxcarts or tractors that detail peach palm cultivation and production. Another favorite is shopping artisan and bakery stands, run by locals who sell their handicrafts and typical foods.
The festival also promises a wide range of events, including parades, folkloric dancing, fireworks, contests, rodeos and horseback rides. Live music is always a staple and tunes range from steel band cimarronas to modern favorites like salsa and cumbia. The annual festival is held downtown at the Centro Agricola Cantonal de Tucurrique, located on the outskirts of Turrialba. Tel. 2535-0038 or 2535-0094
Bus: From San Jose, take the bus to Cartago. ($1; 4:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; 1 hour. Buses depart three blocks north of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social building. 2537-2320) From Cartago, take the bus to Tucurrique. ($1.50; 9:15 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 9:30 p.m.; 1 hour. Buses depart behind the Colegio Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. 2574-6127)
Car: From San Jose, take the Interamerican Highway east to Cartago. Turn on Route 10 toward Paraiso where you'll take Route 225 south to Ujarras. After passing Ujarras, look for signs to Tucurrique, just 13 miles farther on Route 225.