Costa Rica: the most popular tourist destination in Central America | Way of life

It seems like everyone these days is going on adventures in one tropical climate or another, but more often than not it seems their destinations are Costa Rica. Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, the country is Central America’s most popular tourist destination.

There are many reasons for Costa Rica’s popularity, but one of the most important is the abundant biodiversity, vast protected areas, and emphasis on education as a tool for preventing harm. In a world that has become exponentially more aware of the possible damage travel can cause to the countries they visit, Costa Rica is not just a pioneer in ecotourism, but an industry leader.

But their national protection of the environment does not stop there. In 2019, the government drew up a plan to decarbonise the economy by 2050, taking tourism into account. Last year, the size of the protected marine reserve of Coco National Park increased 27 times. The resulting reputation has not only attracted those looking for a beautiful tropical backdrop for some Instagram photos, but those who travel while being environmentally conscious.

That being said, the reasons to visit Costa Rica don’t end with the environment. There is so much to do !

For nature adventurers, Costa Rica is home to the longest zip line in South America, as well as various active volcanoes to hike. The list never ends, a day there can be filled with anything from surfing, to scuba diving, to just enjoying the ambiance of the great outdoors. God knows we need it after two years stuck inside.

Another thing that sets Costa Rica apart is how the natives are integrated into the economy, especially tourism. Too often, with these tropical ‘paradises’, native residents are treated under the rug as unsightly and out of place in the new culture of tourism on their land. But Costa Rica does not make this mistake. They offer craft workshops and their villages are open to benign visitors to observe and be incorporated into their a little culture. There is a lot to learn from the natives themselves as well as from Costa Rica to facilitate an environment where they can be so involved.

The icing on the cake of an already perfect destination for a leisurely trip to Central America is how much they recognize new developments in the global white-collar workforce. The impact of COVID-19 on our lives is endless, but one thing it did was set a new precedent for work. People can perform to a satisfactory degree from everywhere, and COVID forced us to learn that. It has changed travel in the sense that work is no longer something you leave behind but part of the journey. And that shouldn’t be a bad thing!

In 2021, Costa Rica launched a “digital nomad visa,” a specialized visa for those working remotely and digitally that lasts longer than regular visas. The country as a whole has started creating more places that specialize in facilitating remote work, from more advanced hotel amenities to entire mini-villages/communities dedicated solely to remote workers who want to hole up in a residential community that balances productivity and well-being.

So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to minimize flights – British Airways flies direct between November and May – and make the most of public transport when you arrive. Costa Rica is waiting for you!

For more information, see Timeout.

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