Costa Rica is a country that keeps breaking records: passing the two million visitor mark in 2010 (hitting 2.3 million in 2012) in Latin America; sheltering 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity on only .05 percent of the planet’s surface; protecting 26 percent of its territory in 28 national parks (and bio-reserves) that are home to 860 species of birds, more than 1,000 species of orchids, 100 species of frogs, and 150 species of bats; and offering world-class ecotourism, adventure travel, beaches on two coasts, and unfailing hospitality—all in Tico-style.
Of course, success is apparent in more than just the numbers. Often called the “Switzerland of Central America,” Costa Rica has a long democratic tradition, one of the highest literacy rates in the Americas, and a booming tourist trade that has given rise to a variety of seaside hideaways, mountain-inn getaways, sybaritic rainforest lodges, international hotels brands and everything in between. And indeed, first-time and repeat visitors come to understand the country’s most recognized phrase, “Pura Vida,” which loosely translates to “full of life,” for few countries anywhere have been as successful as Costa Rica in preserving its heritage of natural wonders.
Without a doubt, Costa Rica’s appeal rests on its great outdoors—cloud forests, volcanoes, wildlife sanctuaries, and turtles nesting on Caribbean shores and Pacific coast beaches of every hue. Against such a backdrop, it’s easy to understand why Costa Rica inspires a bevy of creative touring possibilities and products: from multi-sport packages for the active traveler to coffee touring and visits to local communities for culture buffs; from birdwatching and orchid-garden touring to surfing lessons and language studies for students of all ages. Of all the special interest possibilities and markets, in Costa Rica two share top billing—honeymoons and family travel.
In this Costa Rica Travel Planner, we’ve outlined the top reasons this country is tailor-made for your clients, from its ecotourism prowess to its multiple nature- and ocean-based activities, as well as getaways that include spa, city and land-loving pursuits.
With the Costa Rica Specialist Program – Part 1, you’ll get in-depth information on the amazing infrastructure growth and the expanded vacation options your clients can enjoy in this Central American paradise. In the Costa Rica Specialist Program – Part 2, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism program, in which hotels and suppliers are certified by the Costa Rica Tourism Board. Benefits include a listing of you and your company as a Costa Rica Specialist on recommend.travel’s Costa Rica Specialist Finder (includes telephone, address and direct emailing functionality); three continuing education credits from The Travel Institute or two certification credits toward the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies; and a personalized full-color, printable certificate.