Central America is a popular region for American tourists thanks to its proximity, ease of access, and breathtaking natural beauty.
And of all the Central American countries, Costa Rica is really having a moment right now.
According to the nation’s General Directorate of Migration 2023 was a record-breaking year for Costa Rican tourism. Almost 2.5 million travelers visited, which is 16.7% more than in 2022 and 2.2% more than the previously record-breaking year of 2019.
Here are 5 reasons why this beautiful Central American destination is breaking all tourism records right now:
Increased North American Visitors
More than 1.75 million of the visitors to Costa Rica last year were traveling from North America.
Costa Rica has always been popular with North American travelers, but a huge reason for this influx is simply because the country is easier to get to now than it has ever been before.
Many major American airlines added additional routes and increased flight frequency to Costa Rica. For example it is now possible to fly nonstop to Costa Rica from Cleveland, Austin, and St Louis amongst other spots.
Flight times are also relatively short to Costa Rica depending on where in the U.S. you are based.
From Miami nonstop flights take just 2 hours 45 minutes. From Atlanta they take 3 hours 54 minutes. This means that it is possible to visit Costa Rica for a long weekend or a short vacation.
Outstanding Natural Beauty
Perhaps the biggest and most obvious reason for the popularity of Costa Rica is its outstanding natural beauty.
Costa Rica works hard to protect its environment. While many other countries are reducing their National Parks, the parks in Costa Rica continue to keep growing in size.
For this reason, the country is a Mecca for nature lovers, bird watchers, and animal enthusiasts.
Around 98 percent of Costa Rica’s energy has come from renewable sources since 2014 which is a testament to the nation’s commitment to sustainable tourism and is another reason nature lovers are so attracted to Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is also home to incredible white sand beaches fringed with tropical rainforests. The country has a Caribbean coastline, and Puerto Limon and Puerto Viejo both boast rugged and pristine beaches and jungles.
It is a great place to relax, unwind, and connect with nature.
Attracting Adventure Lovers
Costa Rica is the perfect destination for adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies hoping to try something new and push their boundaries. Adventure tourism is a huge source of visitors in Costa Rica.
Visit Monteverde’s Canopy Tour to fly across the longest zipline in Latin America or hike up active volcanoes in La Fortuna.
If you’re more interested in water-based adventures, then you won’t be disappointed.
Costa Rica is popular with both snorkelers and scuba divers as well as surfers. The best breaks for experienced surfers are in Santa Teresa while beginners should head to Playa Hermosa for gentler and more manageable waves.
Popular With Digital Nomads
Some of the American travelers visiting Costa Rica aren’t just visiting for a quick vacation. Costa Rica is a great place for slow travel and is a popular destination for digital nomads.
If you want to spend more than 90 days in Costa Rica, then Costa Rica's relatively new digital nomad visa makes this easy and straightforward.
Costa Rica isn’t the cheapest destination for digital nomads, but the cost of living is affordable and, paired with its natural wonders, makes the country all the more appealing.
The people of Costa Rica are warm and welcoming and there is also a thriving ex-pat community in the country so you’ll never be short of company or things to keep you busy.
Other elements that make Costa Rica popular with digital nomads include its good connectivity and fast internet speeds.
A Safe Destination
Costa Rica is a safe destination for U.S. travelers. It has been given a Level 2: Exercise increased caution rating by the U.S. Department of State.
All countries are given a rating between level 1 and level 4 with level 1 meaning visitors should exercise normal precautions and level 4 meeting U.S. citizens are advised not to travel.
Travelers to Costa Rica are advised to exercise caution due to crime. Petty crime is the predominant threat to tourists in Costa Rica and the main crime you need to consider. But it’s worth noting that violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault, also occurs in Costa Rica.
When traveling to Costa Rica, you should be aware of your surroundings and avoid displaying signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
But overall, Costa Rica is a safe destination and one that you should feel comfortable traveling to.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.