Between Nicaragua and Panama Like a necklace on a chain of Central American countries, Costa Rica has long been the most popular destination in the region for travelers from the USA. But if you notice that your Instagram feed is increasingly filled with friends geo-tagging Costa Rica and coming home with tales of its tropical climate, endless coastlines, extraordinary encounters with wildlife, and epic adventures, you’re not alone. With its abundant biodiversity, vast protected areas and focus on education as a tool to prevent damage, it is not only a leader in ecotourism but an industry leader. This is why it has become the perfect antidote to pandemic boredom.
1. She is doing her part for the planet
Costa Rica works hard to protect its environment: not the least of which is why many bird watchers, adventure seekers, and whale watchers visit in the first place. In 2019, the country launched plans to decarbonize its economy (with tourism alone accounting for 13.5 percent of GDP) by 2050. In 2021, the size of the protected marine reserve in Cocos Island National Park grew 27 times. And in 2022, the suburb of Koridabat granted citizenship to bees, trees and plants. About 98 percent of Costa Rica’s energy has come from renewable sources since 2014, and its holistic approach to environmental protection has attracted tourists who want to make a positive impact as well as a positive experience.
2. We crave a sense of adventure
Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean taking the longest zip line in Latin America (although you can, on the Aventura Canopy Tour in Monteverde). After the pandemic, our comfort areas have shrunk to the size of our living rooms – so that can only involve talking to a stranger or practicing your Spanish. With many dirt trails and some challenging terrain, even driving can feel like an adventure here, but there’s also a great selection of scenery that offers opportunities to hike to the active volcanoes of La Fortuna (we recommend the 1968 Arenal Trail), surfing and the best breaks in Country in Santa Teresa (beginners should head to Playa Hermosa) and snorkeling on the Caribbean coast (join diving for a great underwater experience).
3. You can get stuck with the locals
It is increasingly clear how much we can learn from indigenous cultures and societies living in harmony with the land, and travel itineraries reflect this growing curiosity. From the artisanal workshops at Cielo Lodge, where you can learn to make a traditional Boruca mask, to the kitchen of Sikwa Restaurant, which draws its ingredients from Bribri farmers, there are plenty of ways to connect with local communities. Montana Tours offers an immersive day out in Malico Village, where you can watch dance performances and learn about medicinal plants, while Olas Verdes’s Pack for a Purpose program invites guests to bring in much-needed school supplies.
4. It’s made for longer and slower trips
The easiest way to travel in 2022 is the longer, slower, and smarter way. In the post-Covid era, people are prioritizing authentic experiences over instant gratification: From beach cleanups with the local community in Puerto Viejo to volunteering at a permaculture farm in Puntarenas, the many experiences in Costa Rica allow you to help preserve nature, connect with nature, and meet The locals raised their community. The restrictions on our movement during the pandemic have also inspired ‘revenge travel’, where we want to make the most of our annual leave and the ability to work remotely. Schedule your flight so you can cut back on flights – British Airways operates direct flights between November and May – and make the most of public transport when you arrive.
5. Remote work is the new normal
Have you ever wanted to run your business from the beach? Last year, Costa Rica launched a new digital traveler visa that allows remote workers, business owners and self-employed people to spend more time in the country than a standard tourist visa. The longer a traveler stays in one place, the better his spending is distributed throughout the community. Inns and hybrid hotels like Selena, which has six locations in Costa Rica, offer networking nights, co-working spaces, and social events for digital nomads. Meanwhile, there are a few new spaces geared toward remote workers who want a residential community, such as Yoko Village in Santa Teresa – to be launched next year – that aim to help create a balance between productivity and luxury.
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