The annual Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards poll all the newspapers’ readership to select their favorite vacation settings.
From all of the world’s destinations, 270,000 people agree that Costa Rica is the best the planet has to offer. At least these were the results of the ninth edition of the Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards, where the small Central American nation was selected as the best emerging destination.
The 270,000 votes received were all from readers of the iconic British newspaper, and it included 12 categories and 120 different destinations. The rationale behind Costa Rica’s placing was the country’s well-documented commitment to sustainability, its myriad of potential outdoor activities, and the evergreen allure of the “pura vida” lifestyle. From its impressive collection of volcanoes and expansive rainforest ranges, to the most stunning tropical beaches and bustling biodiversity, Costa Rica really is its own world of wonders. The sheer diversity within the country’s relatively small area offers tourists a compact gateway towards unlimited adventure and relaxation.
The magazine readers also recommended some of the country’s best destinations, where national parks like Manuel Antonio, Corcovado and Tortuguero were all featured, as well as the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife refuge and the impressive setting that is Playa Conchal.
It comes as no surprise that so many British people favor Costa Rica’s enthralling natural beauty, since the United Kingdom is the country that sends most tourists to Costa Rica from all of those beyond the Atlantic, a number that will surely increase after such glowing recommendations
The ticos’ qualification means an extra enticement for those who arrive in the country during november and december of 2022.
As the final whistle blew to finalize the game between Costa Rica’s football national team and New Zealand’s, the whole Central American nation felt a powerful roar of happiness and excitement. Once again, the ticos will be a part of soccer’s biggest tournament, qualifying to the edition of the World Cup that’ll be played in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th.
Naturally, this fills the hearts of most Costa Rican citizens with joy and pride, as their soccer team has steadily become a constant fixture in the tournament ever since the early 2000s. But qualifying to a World Cup also means a huge boost for a country’s economy and social life. Restaurants see important rises in attendance while the games are on, usually promoting thematic offerings linked with the tournament, while retailers see a huge increase in TV and audio equipment sales; everybody wants to experience the thrills of the World Cup in the best way possible!
As in most Latin American countries, soccer in Costa Rica is lived intensely, and in recent years the ticos’ celebrations have been well-documented internationally. Since the national team’s improbable success at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they advanced to the quarter finals until eventually losing in penalties to the Netherlands, congregations around San Pedro’s La Fuente de la Hispanidad have been a given whenever the Costa Rican squad reaches an important landmark.
If you’re thinking of traveling to Costa Rica during winter in the northern hemisphere, you might also get the unforgivable experience of seeing a country fully synced to a sporting event, and the moving displays of passion that come from it.
The country’s stabilization in terms of Covid-19 means more tourism is soon to be expected from the country’s biggest market.
The initial waves of the Covid-19 pandemic shook by storm the tourism and services industry. In the blink of an eye, staying inside and avoiding travel became a sanitary need, and the whole world was put on hold for a couple of months. With a better grasp of how the virus behaves, and the widespread accessibility of tools for its detection and avoidance, most industries have slowly come back to where they once were, and in some cases, the new trends that came with the pandemic actually helped establish a more effervescent growth.
Such is the case for travel in Costa Rica, which with the advent of digital nomads and the newfound excitement for international travel has come back with historic numbers. Just recently, The U.S. Department of State has brought even more good news for the service industry.
During the worst part of the Covid-19 pandemic, this governmental organ instated a travel advisory of level 4 alert for most countries where the virus was running rampant. That meant the highest degree of caution was recommended, and travel was not encouraged. For many years, the United States has represented the most important market for tourism in Costa Rica, and even if things were stabilizing in recent months, that level of prevention meant a hiccup for an economy seeking reactivation after some harsh years. But things are changing for the better.
The U.S. Department of State has just reinstated Costa Rica’s level to 2 out of 4, meaning it’s now back to the level the country was before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to data for the first quarter of the year that was disclosed by the tourism sector, in which nearly 80% of the visitation numbers from pre-pandemic times were achieved, things look encouraging for Costa Rica’s main economic activity.
During the 2010s Costa Rica became Central America’s hotspot for international shows. Its well-recorded sociopolitical stability, cultural affinity to US culture, and status as one of the globe’s main sustainability ambassadors, made the country the best suited destination to represent the region in the biggest pop stars’ world tours. It all started with hard rock luminaries Iron Maiden and Metallica, but soon Gen-X favorites like Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Green Day followed suit, and by the mid-decade classic rock legends like Elton John, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters, and young effervescent stars like Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, where all part of Costa Rica’s healthy roster of year-long mega-spectacles.
Naturally, all that stopped in 2020 with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and its heavy toll on the concert industry. Slowly but steadily, local venues began to open again, and by March the concert agenda finally started to get crowded once again. Just in these first couple weeks of 2022 big name artists like Bad Bunny, Coldplay, Ex-One Direction Louis Tomlinson and Karol G have all confirmed dates, and the expectation is for many more to be announced in the coming months.
One of the main advantages Costa Rica has in the booking department is how easy the pitch is to lure international stars. Coldplay, the band that’ll kickstart the country’s comeback as Central America’s concert hotspot, decided to open their tour here, and that gave them extra time to relax and explore many of the nation’s breathtaking natural attractions. The reason that this iconic British band decided on such a small nation to start off their world tour isn’t just a random occurrence either, as the country’s renewable electric network and 99% clean renewable energy percentage mirrored Coldplay’s well-documented environmental activism.
It was reported that lead singer Chris Martin arrived a whopping full two-weeks before the concert dates, giving himself plenty of time to immerse himself in Costa Rica’s many allures, and that has been the case before with other world-class stars who take the opportunity to sneak for a quick beach getaway or mountain adventure. Some, like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Enrique Iglesias (who have both played multiple times in the country) even go a step further, and end up buying property for their tropical hideaway after a long tour.
If you’re a passionate music lover who also has a penchant for tropical lifestyle, you might want to follow the steps of the artists and begin planning your concert escapade around a nice, relaxing vacation.