Those who prefer contests be¬tween man and beast can visit the province of Guanacaste, commonly known as the "Texas of Costa Rica." There ticos take part in an activity that is a cross between bullfighting and a Texas rodeo. The sport dates back to the days of the first Spanish settlers. Back then sabaneros, or cowboys, proved how tough they were by riding on the backs of bulls. The longer they could hang on, the tougher they were.
These days the tradition continues. A sabanero slides onto the bare back of a 1,500 pound bull. The rider tries to hang on as the angry beast bucks and kicks. When the rider falls off, other sabańeros in the ring try to dodge the bull. Do not try this at home!