Costa Rica Tourism brought the essence of the diverse Central American country to Toronto-area agents last night, highlighting the many travel and tourism opportunities offered across this destination.
The event provided agents with a snapshot of Costa Rica’s different regions and examples of the country’s ‘Pura Vida!’ (‘pure life’) mindset, as well as the opportunity to connect with several Costa Rican travel industry representatives, including delegates from the Grupo Marta hospitality organization, Tango Mar Hotel, Sky Adventures, El Mangroove Hotel, Casa Conde Hotel and Suites and the Expotur 2015/Costa Rica Travel Mart.
Joshua Reyes of Costa Rica Tourism told PAX that it’s the diversity of both experiences and environments that entice travellers to visit the country, whether they are seeking out one of Costa Rica’s myriad adventure opportunities like ziplining, kayaking or observing – and sometimes interacting with - local wildlife (including monkeys, bats, sea turtles and whales), or travelling to the country’s Pacific northwest coast for an all-inclusive escape, such as those offered along the beaches of Papagayo. While travellers can partake in many of these activities no matter where they are in Costa Rica, Reyes said that the experience can differ greatly from region to region.
“There’s a lot of things to do in Costa Rica for such a small country,” said Reyes. “We have a lot of activities that span the country or region in which you’re travelling to and you’re going to find while it’s the same activity, it’s a different experience – that’s the magic of Costa Rica. There’s different environments, sights, animals and climates.”
While the country’s all-inclusive resort destinations are popular with travellers, Reyes said that the many Canadian tourists who venture to Costa Rica each year are open to exploring the country beyond the beaches, where travellers will find smaller family-run accommodations, usually consisting of between 20 to 100 rooms.
“Canadian tourists are not just looking for an all-inclusive resort,” he said. “They love to go inside the country and combine the hotel with moving around the country – they like to be involved in activities with local people.
“We get a lot of snowbirds beginning in December – and let’s be frank, minus 30 in winter can’t compare to plus 30 in Costa Rica!” Reyes joked.
Costa Rica facts
- Two of Costa Rica’s four international airports – Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia – receive the majority of air travellers entering the country. Only five hours by air from Canada, direct flights to Costa Rica are provided by Air Canada, Air Transat and Sunwing.
- Examples of more than five per cent of the world’s total plant and animal life can be found in Costa Rica, which covers only 0.03 per cent of the Earth’s surface, providing ample opportunities for wildlife tourism. This includes more than 800 species of birds.
- While Canadian travellers must have a valid passport within six months of their trip to Costa Rica, a visa is not required to enter the country.
PHOTO: (From left) Christian D’Onas Araya, Sales and Marketing Manager, Grupo Marta; Hilde Cloet, General Manager, Tango Mar Hotel and Resort; Alexandra Espinoza, Sales and Marketing Manager, Sky Adventures; Ana Elena Vargas, Tour and Travel Manager, El Mangroove Hotel; Fernando Fuchs, Casa Conde Hotel and Suites; Joshua Reyes, Conferences and Tourist Information, Costa Rica Tourism; Karen Downs Foster, Assistant to the Executive Director, Acoprot – Expotur 2015/Costa Rica Travel Mart.