Costa Rican cowboys on the beach in Playas del Coco - stock photo
"Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica - January 29, 2012: Guanacaste sabaneros participating in a tope in the beach town of Playas del Coco. The Province of Guanacaste is steeped in cowboy culture. Unlike much of Costa Rica that is covered by rain forest and mountains, Guanacaste is dry coastal savannah with cattle ranching the predominate industry, apart from tourism. A tope is a horse parade where the local sabaneros, or plainsmen, show off their superb horsemanship amid loud brass bands, firecrackers, throngs of onlookers and blaring salsa music. Particularly popular in the dry season from December to April topes are a traditional excuse to have a big party, drink and show-off on horses. Topes are often combined with Costa Rican bullfighting events and a country fair. This scene depicts three sabaneros on the beach in town waiting for the start of the parade."