Costa Rica welcomes nearly a million tourists in the first months of 2023.

The tico’s visitation numbers are now virtually on par with their pre-pandemic showings.

What in many countries could be seen as merely another number in a boring government quarterly notice, in Costa Rica becomes a very important barometer of the nation’s wellbeing. Since the Costa Rican central industry is services and tourism, the visitation numbers from each quarter are essential to not only identify current trends, but also project the rest of the year from an economic perspective. 

The most recent report from Costa Rica’s Tourism Institute (ICT, for its Spanish acronym) shows that the country received 968,000 tourists in the first 4 months of 2023. This number nearly equals the 974,000 of 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

As surprise to none, the United States continues to be the main market demographic for the ticos, with a whopping 536,000 visitors, actually surpassing data from 2019. After the US, the next main influx of tourists comes from France, surprisingly Europe’s top market, and other Old World nations like the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada for North America. Additionally, Peru and Chili are the main Latin American countries sending tourists to Costa Rica.

All of the aforementioned countries have increased their visitation numbers from 2019, with only other Latin American countries like Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico representing a decrease. The increase in direct flight offerings both to the Juan Santamaria Airport and the Guanacaste Airport in Liberia have been an important factor linked to the country’s current upwards trend. The growth of Guanacaste’s Airport in particular has diversified routes and provided tourists with an even more appealing and direct way of reaching the most popular tico destinations in the Gold Coast. This quadrimester, that meant 315,000 international arrivals, nearly a 16% increase from 2019.

As Costa Rica’s tourism infrastructure continues to develop, and more and more world-class investments come to the country, the comforts and conveniences offered to international visitors will only grow, meaning there still room to grow in the future from what’s an already strong showing, even by the high standards of the country’s high season during the summer months.

Two new plant species are discovered in Costa Rica

This is a new reminder that this small Central American nation is one of the planet’s most bountiful ecological settings.

Costa Rica is known internationally as one of the world’s most abundant corners in terms of biodiversity. Be it its enchanting mountain areas like Chirripó, Irazú, and Poas, its immersive tropical jungles all around the country, or the paradisiacal beaches on both coasts, this small Central American nation is truly a treasure trove for nature lovers worldwide.

Bird-watching tours, whale sighting adventures, and a myriad of activities devoted to plant lovers are all just glimpses of how Costa Rica shares its blessed environs with visitors. And the thing is, no matter when or where you explore Costa Rica, there’s always something new to discover, another natural spectacle waiting to manifest itself. A clear example is the recent discovery of two new plant species in the country: the Sternospemation coques and Ilex hamelii. 

These plants are endemic to Isla del Coco and the Guanacaste mountain range, respectively, but draw interest in the country as a whole. Just how many other nations can casually announce these relevant scientific discoveries from two independent investigations, in two different areas of the country? After being peer-reviewed by some of the most prestigious scientists in the world, the announcement of each one of these discoveries came by way of recent publications released almost side-by-side, which naturally garnered attention once again to what’s widely considered to be one of Earth’s oasis.

Given Costa Rica’s continued commitment towards preservation and conservation areas, as well as the importance of its national parks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to continue seeing more and more of these breakthroughs happening in the country. After all, ecotourism has grown in popularity in the last decade, elevating the country even more as an unmissable destination. 

A new law looks to establish Costa Rica as a top filming destination

Building from a storied tradition and the current victory lap of Costa Rican cinema internationally, the recently signed legislation is a way to dynamize local economies

The misty mountains and dead forests around Turrialba, the moon-like, barren lands at the top of Irazú’s viewpoint, the dense and uncharted jungles and diverse national parks of the Central and Southern Pacific, and the paradisiacal beaches of the Gold Coast are just some of the many cinematic sights that can be found in Costa Rica. After all, the country’s reputation as a natural oasis comes precisely from its wide array of settings within a relatively small area. Many different experiences can be had in Costa Rica, be it as a thrill-seeking adventurer, or simply as an exotic background for your rest and relaxation.

This fact has been taken into account by Hollywood on different occasions, using the ticos’ blessed corner of the Earth to represent untamed wilderness in Ridley Scott’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993), Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002), and M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth (2013), just to name some of the higher profile features filmed in the country.

Additionally, Costa Rica has been of particular note on the international festival landscape recently, with productions from tico talent like Valentina Maurel’s Tengo Sueños Eléctricos (2022),  Nathalie Alvárez’s Clara Sola (2021), and Antonella Sudassassi’s El Despertar de las Hormigas (2019) playing and awarded in some of the world’s premiere audiovisual showcases like Cannes, Berlinale, and Locarno, among others.

Recently, a 2021 law was approved to make the most out of this historic period of visibility, and bring more international investment to the country. Called the Law of Filmic Investment Attraction, this legislation creates incentives for international productions to use the country as a filming location, such as tax exonerations and importation of goods during the shoot.

When a film production takes place, the economy of the location is suddenly dynamized, with crew, cast and production members all using the rental, service, and nourishment options while filming, bringing a healthy influx of cash to the community in question. The idea is that this law will put Costa Rica at the forefront of filming location options in the region, highlighting the country’s renowned natural richness, stability and high-grade professionals.

Costa Rica is the perfect wedding destination

Boasting all the pillars needed for the perfect ceremony, this small Central American nation shines bright as the place to be when exchanging vows.

The vibrant waters of the Pacific coast as an almost angelic backdrop. White sands that perfectly complement the bride’s dress. An unforgettable tropical party in a truly paradisiacal environment. Just by going through these images, it’s no surprise that Costa Rica has become a well-known wedding destination. Can you really imagine a more scenic tropical setting for your wedding pictures?

In terms of pure photographic potential, Costa Rica not only hosts its celebrated natural wonders, but the very essence of its climate is also a plus within the area. Luminous landscapes and blue skies tend to be the norm during the summer months, so even if you decide for one of the mountain destinations the country offers, it’ll most probably be just the right set of circumstances.

The country also has the benefit of a robust and apparently ever growing tourism infrastructure, which really sets it apart from other wedding destinations. In Costa Rica, the high education level within the service industry, and the amount of years established as one of the world’s definitive tropical vacation spots, means there’s already a reference and a history you can look back to. After all, unless you have a very specific vision for your big night, an integral part of a destination wedding is also the guests’ experience, and Costa Rica is more than prepared for demanding and large groups of all kinds.

Be it an intimate and atmospheric immersion on the misty mountainside of a volcano, or embracing the vividness of the tropical beach, Costa Rica is as picturesque a setting as you can find, while also certifying your dream day with an internationally renowned stability and preparedness for visitors.

Retiring in Costa Rica

The idea of flocking to greener pastures during our twilight years has been deeply ingrained in society for ages. Be it leaving town for a secluded cabin in the woods like in the old days, or flying to a warmer climate and more accessible setting with the advent of commercial aviation, migration is something everyone eventually considers as they approach the time for retirement.

Since the United States’ economic boom of the 1950s, a golden age for international travel quickly reconfigured the reach of retiree planning, and Costa Rica has been one of the prime beneficiaries. With the country’s initial steps towards tourism infrastructure and development in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a pioneering set of individuals saw too many perks in tropical paradise, and decided to establish themselves there. These initial expat communities laid the groundwork for the country’s ever growing popularity amongst North American visitors, to the point of being, by far, Costa Rica’s biggest economic asset, both in terms of the tourism industry and growing foreign investment.

Why Costa Rica specifically? Well, this small Central American nation’s astonishing natural beauty has been well documented, boasting pristine beaches, virgin jungles, exotic wildlife, towering volcanoes, green valleys, clear lakes and rivers, and an unparalleled biodiversity. The climate is also a big draw for many, having temperatures around 26 degrees Celsius year-round, and compiling different kinds of atmospheres in short distances. In an hour, you can easily enjoy the best of urban comforts, traverse the scenic mountainside, and reach the iconic paradisiacal beaches that bless the country.

But inspite of its alluring, off-the-grid feel, Costa Rica also has a robust net of conveniences ready to please any lifestyle. One of the most acclaimed is the tico public healthcare system, a highly celebrated and readily accessible option for every resident. Costa Rica also enjoys from a political stability that’s sadly a rare sight in the region.

With an already established expat community spread all around the country, and the unique features that make Costa Rica the quintessential tropical destination, there’s hardly a better place where to lay back and enjoy the inherent wellness I’d the pura vida lifestyle. 

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best January destinations

Travel & Leisure, the prestigious US-based magazine highlights the country’s wonderful summer weather, and wide array of potential activities.

Costa Rica is a fabulous destination basically year-round, but it’s no surprise that the country’s high-season begins around the months of November and December, up until April. The reason is twofold, as this is where the country’s summer season begins, offering fresh breezes in December, and wonderful sunny days throughout the next months. The feared tropical rains only start popping up around May, so your outdoor activities should be safer if you decide to visit Costa Rica during this stretch.

Coincidentally, Costa Rica’s high tourist season is in great part due to the winter months in the Northern hemisphere. As the great cities of Europe and North America begin their descent towards freezing temperatures and layers and layers of clothing, people in the tropics are still rocking shorts and a tank top. Such a contrast makes a nice escapade towards warmer latitudes a common vacation plan for many

Taking all these into account, it makes perfect sense that Costa Rica appears as one Travel & Leisure magazine’s 11 best destinations in the world for January 2023. Travel & Leisure magazine is one of the globe’s leading travel publications, based in New York but read in most parts of the anglophone world as an important reference.

The magazine’s rationale behind Costa Rica’s placing comes in great part due to this small Central American nation’s renowned natural diversity. From adventurous mountain experiences, to paradisiacal beaches and ecological resorts, there’s basically something for all kinds of tourists. Naturally, the magazine also highlights the perks of the dry season in Costa Rica, a time of warm and sunny weather that’s best experienced through the Pura Vida lifestyle of the country’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts.

The rest of Travel & Leisure magazine’s picks for January are some charming winter destinations like Park City, Utah, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Vienna, Austria, as well as the warmer beach options of Bahamas, Jamaica and Mazatlán in Mexico. Charleston, South Carolina, Las Vegas, Nevada, Queensland, Australia, and Fox Worth Texas round off the remaining selections of the publication.

If you’re looking to escape from the icy landscapes and cold temperature of the northern hemisphere, and favor a country with delicious summer weather and a myriad of potential activities, the experts seem to concur that Costa Rica shines as one of the world’s best options.

Costa Rica is Wanderlust’s Best International Destination of 2022!

The renowned UK magazine gives the gold position to this small Central American nation due to its biodiversity and authenticity.

For many decades Costa Rica has made an active effort to grow its tourism infrastructure and develop its conservation initiatives as a way to cement its place as perhaps the quintessential tropical destination. Many Caribbean countries might equal some of Costa Rica’s pristine and secluded beaches, but what this small Central American nation offers is a truly immersive, ecological experience that goes beyond luxury resorts and high-end hotels (despite also having those).

Visiting Costa Rica is both a time for relaxation in a tropical oasis, as well as an opportunity for adventure. Within its small area, the country offers visitors magical volcano trips, involving jungle hikes, magnificent natural spectacles and exorbitant flora and fauna. Most of the tico’s policy is built around sustainability, and safekeeping their blessed corner of the globe, and this commitment has rapidly drawn many to its unparalleled environments.

One of the most recent accolades has come in the form of Wanderlust Magazine’s 2022 Travel Awards. This UK publication is the country’s leading travel magazine, ever since it was established in 1993. For the English speaking world, Wanderlust is one of the most trustworthy and serious publications around, alway maintaining a particular focus on conscious and sustainable travel. It should come as no surprise then, that Costa Rica was highlighted by its readership.

The tico country was chosen as the magazine Gold winner for the “Rest of the World” Category, beating Silver and Bronze medalists Canada and Australia. Wanderlust readership’s rationale highlights Costa Rica’s role as a pioneer in eco-tourism, its extraordinary rainforest and coastal environments, and its vast biodiversity, including 500,000 species ranging all the way from sloths and toucans to sea turtles and howler monkeys. The rest of the top 10 is rounded off by the USA, Japan, Peru, South Korea, South Africa and Jordan, in that order.

Given Costa Rica’s post-pandemic blow-up as one of the world’s premiere destinations, recognitions like this only help strengthen the country’s appeal to UK tourists, who already compose the second largest visitor market after the US. Let’s hope more people get to experience the magical setting that is this tropical paradise!

Travelbook calls Costa Rica the world’s best long travel destination.

The German-based travel magazine rewarded the country for its natural beauty and commitment towards ecological sustainability.

Costa Rica’s series of international acknowledgements keeps on growing as global traveling keeps skyrocketing after the Covid-19 pandemic. The country has always been a favorite destination in Latin America due to its unparalleled biodiversity, paradisiacal beaches, and laid-back atmosphere, but in recent years this small Central American nation has shined beyond the realm of the region.

Just recently, German travel magazine Travelbook deemed Costa Rica the “Best Long Travel Destination”. The rationale behind this decision came from an interlocking series of factors, including the ticos’ commitment towards sustainability and preservation, its healthy service industry and tourist amenities, and the overall cost-quality relation.

The jury chose Costa Rica over countries like Australia, South Africa, United States and Indonesia, and highlighted the country’s groundbreaking efforts towards an ecologically minded tourist industry. Other factors that the 9-people jury took into consideration were social sustainability, human rights, security, cleanliness, water quality, accessibility, diversity of activities and quality of public transportation. 

The fact that a German magazine rewards Costa Rica should come as no surprise, since this nation is the first European country in yearly number of tourists in Costa Rica. ICT numbers show that around 44 thousand Germans visited between January and August. The hope is that these accolades will only grow those numbers, as more and more tourists get to know the innate wonders of this beautiful tropical gem.

Costa Rica works towards tourism inclusivity.

A growing initiative looks to expand the accessibility of the country’s many tourist attractions.

Costa Rica’s main draw as a destination comes from the cohesive experience it offers visitors worldwide. True, this Central American oasis boasts a wide variety of ecosystems and kinds of experiences, but they’re all framed within the same nationwide commitment towards innovation and sustainability. 

It’s no secret that the country profits from its reputation as one of the best places to be in the whole world, a fact that comes not only from its lush tropical marvels, but also its forward-thinking planning and robust social security network. Every year, this small nation shares the top spots of green development, eco-sustainability and overall happiness, solidifying its place as a dream destination for those seeking a change of pace in modern life. 

One of the latest developments in Costa Rica’s never-ending search for optimization in the tourism industry is an initiative to make the country’s natural allure more accessible. Costa Rica’s Accessible Tourism Network has the objective of providing alternatives so anyone can enjoy the stunning beaches, waterfalls and forest trails, no matter their condition. 

Through a multi-axis project that intertwines education, information and revision, this network has rapidly positioned Costa Rica as an international leader in the area. Just recently the country was awarded a recognition in the Sustainable Social Tourism Summit. 

The project works as a main directory where accessibility is the main focus, highlighting tours, destinations and providers that offer a more inclusive experience. The network also works towards an strategic alliance with the UNED to specialize young professionals in accessible tourism. Additionally, one of the most visible efforts so far has been the accessible beach project, in which 10 national beaches have been granted the infrastructure to host people with disabilities. 

In the near future, Costa Rica’s Accessible Tourism Network looks to reform Law 7600 (the constitution’s main axis for inclusivity) and create a proper Law for Accessible tourism, as well as working hand-in-hand with Airbnb and hotel owners to create accessibility filters and improvements that grant everyone the opportunity to enjoy the country’s many highlights. 

New Atlanta-Costa Rica connections! The Central American nation expands its link with the United State’s most important airport

As global travel continues to compensate for its down years during the Covid-19 pandemic, Costa Rica remains in the spotlight as one of the most sought after destinations. After all, who wouldn’t want to relax in tropical paradise after a couple of tense years? 

With Covid restrictions giving way to the new normal, and airlines returning to full strength, Costa Rica has seen an important growth in terms of daily and weekly flights. The latest announcement comes from Frontier airlines.

This low-cost airline announced that it’ll start operations on a San Jose-Atlanta connection as soon as November 17, 2022, and an Atlanta-Liberia flight from December 17 of the same year. 

Atlanta is one of the United State’s main flight harbors, widely considered to be one of the busiest airports in the world. It serves 150 U.S. destinations an more than 75 destinations in 50 countries all around the world. Data shows the airport handles around 2,500 flights and 275,000 passengers a day, making it a strategic location for furthering the link between U.S. tourists (by far Costa Rica’s main source of visitors) and Costa Rica. 

With a direct link to the United State’s main hub for connection flights, Costa Rica seeks to expand on the more than 800,000 US tourists that have visited the country during the first seven months of 2022. The Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT) considers the news as a big positive for the nation’s economic reactivation, while the National Chamber of Tourism (CONATUR) sees this as a great opportunity to continue moving forward with more connections and market penetration in the United States.