A recent report published by American Express’s travel division identified a number of top destinations for 2018, including Costa Rica. The report was based on a survey of thousands of travelers and serves as an excellent indication of future trends in the travel industry.
One of the premiere destinations identified in the American Express report was Costa Rica. Located in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica is world-renowned for having the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the world. Benefiting from both a Caribbean and Pacific coastline, Costa Rica is home to more than 900 bird species, 1,200 species of butterflies, and 250 species of mammals, including four species of monkeys.
Costa Rica’s unique position as a bridge between South and Central America has blessed the country with a wide range of plant and animal life. Indeed, it is estimated that 4% of all species on the planet can be found in Costa Rica. The country is also known for its incredibly diverse landscape that includes cloud forests, volcanoes, beaches, mountain highlands, and tropical jungles.
Costa Rica can be reached in six hours or less from most major cities in North America, making the country very accessible. Spanish is the national language, but Ticos (as the locals are known) are renowned for their friendliness and warmth towards visitors. An astonishing 2.6 million tourists visit Costa Rica each year, the vast majority of which participate in eco-tourism related activities such as surfing, horseback riding, bird watching, and whitewater rafting.
Costa Rica is also unusual in that it completely disbanded its military in 1948. Since that time, the government has focused its efforts on building infrastructure and protecting the environment, a move that has paid off as tourism now accounts for approximately 6% of the country’s GDP. A combination of beautiful landscapes, a rich plethora of plants and animals, and a peaceful and stable government have made Costa Rica one of the preferred tourist destinations in the world. According to the American Express report, Costa Rica’s top position is likely to remain unchallenged.
Visitors to Costa Rica looking to surf in the country should contact the Manuel Antonio Surf School and Camp (MASS). Based in the surfing village of Dominical just a short distance from the Manuel Antonio National Park, MASS uses expert local coaches to teach surfing to both beginners and seasoned surfers. MASS also offers a wide range of complimentary activities so that visitors can enjoy a truly authentic Costa Rican vacation.