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Published on Friday, July 9, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Taking into account the sanitary guidelines to avoid getting infected by covid-19 (such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and hand washing) here are some ideas on how to spend the weekend:




Outdoor activities

Check out the GO-RI-GO-GO Mountain Bike Tour at Parque Viva, in La Guacima Canton, Alajuela Province. The tour takes place on Saturday and Sunday. Each biker must bring their mountain bike and safety devices. Ticket cost about $4 can be purchased online by visiting the park’s website.

The Rainforest Adventure Tours at Sky Adventures Parks, are located in Monte Verde, Puntarenas Province, Arenal in Alajuela, Vandará and Conchal in Guanacaste Province. Among the tour options are hot springs, zip lines, water slides, horseback riding. Book a tour by calling 2479-4100

On Sunday, the group of cyclists ChepeCletas will carry out a bike tour around the parks in downtown San José. The tour starts at 9:30 a.m. The tour price is about $10. Reserve a spot by calling 8849-8316.

The Simón Bolívar Zoo in downtown San José opens at 9 a.m. this weekend. The place is home to more than 70 species of animals and a large number of tropical plants. Tickets are about $7 on sale at the zoo box office.

The Santa Ana Conservation Center, located in the city of the same name in San José Province, will open this weekend at 9 a.m. The place has animal farms, trails and tropical gardens. The entry is about $7 and can be purchased at the zoo's box office.

The Lankester Botanical Gardens, a set of gardens located in Dulce Nombre Canton, Cartago Provice,  is open to the public  from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The entry price is about $10 at the place box office. Reserve a spot by calling the number 2511 7949.



Dance

The National Dance Academy is offering dancing courses in contemporary dance, ballet, flamenco and jazz. The training rate is between $20 and $40 per person. Reserve a spot by calling the number 8418-2433.




 
Live Music

The Guanacaste Concert Band will perform a folk music concert this Friday, July 9 at 8 a.m. at the Farmer's Fair fruit market in Liberia Canton. On Sunday, July 11, the band will give their concert at the Guanacaste Amphitheater at 5 p.m. Entry to both concerts are free.

On Friday, the band
Stone Dive presents a tribute concert to Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters and Soundgarden. The show starts at 6 p.m. at Mundoloco Pub in San Pedro District. The entry price is about $10. Reserve by calling 6316-3139.

Also on Friday the band The BeaGirls will present a tribute concert to The Beatles at 6:30 p.m., at Jazz Café in Escazu. Entry is about $10. Reserve a table by calling 8682-1786.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Musart band will give a tribute concert to Coldplay. Starting at 6 p.m. at Jazz Café in Escazu. Entry is about $12. Make reservations by calling 8682-1786.



Museum

The National Museum, located in downtown San José, will continue with the exhibition “Blanco, Azul y Rojo” on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of independence. The museum hours on Friday and Saturday are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, the hours change from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $11 and must be reserved ahead of time by calling 2211-5700.




Theaters

The National Dance Company presents "La Ruta del Bambu" (the bamboo path in the English language). The show will be presented at the Ministry of Culture Theater in downtown San José at 5:45 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the show begins at 5 p.m. The entry price is about $10 at the theater box office.

The Eugene O'Neill Theater presents the concert "Entre Cuerdas" by Costa Rica's New Orchestra on Friday at 6 p.m. On Sunday, the theater will present a tribute concert to the Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla by the group Berg Ensemble at 4 p.m. Entry is about $10. Make reservations by calling 8455-6666 or 2207 7561.

The Espressivo Theater, located in the Momentum Shopping Center in Curridabat, presents the special show for kids "Manos a la Obra!" (Let's do it ! in the English language). The show is presented by the theater groups Maromero and La Polea. The showtime is on Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets cost about $7 and can be purchased on the theater's box office.




Movies

International Film Festival. With a program of independent films from 34 countries in 18 different languages, the ninth edition of the Costa Rica International Film Festival will be held this weekend.

This year, the tickets are free. This weekend, people can enjoy watching films in person rather than at home. A total of 20 movie theaters will be screening the selected films all across the country. Some of the more popular ones are: Magaly Cinema, Art Museum Cinema, San Ramon Cinema Center, San Carlos Cinema Center, Jaco Beach Cinema Center, Citi Cinema in Grecia, Citi Cinema in Limón, Citi Cinema in Paso Canoas, Multicines in Liberia among others. Visit the festival's website to acquire tickets to watch the film and reserve a seat.

Local movie theaters.  This weekend Black Widow was released starring by Scarlett Johansson, the film is about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War. 

More films on theaters are  F9: The Fast Saga,  Cruella, Conjuring,  A Quiet Place, Magic Arch and Peter Rabbit. Most of the movie theaters are requesting the ticket to be purchased online, such
as CCM Cinemas, Cinepolis and CineMark

Don't forget to review the ban-on-driving- rule for this weekend.

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What in-person activities will be held in your community? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com




















The first cruise to arrive would be on the Windstar line on September 2 to Golfito in Puntarenas Province, with approximately 150 passengers on board.
 - Windstar line photo -











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Published Thursday, July 8, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The tourist-filled vessel will port in Costa Rica once again beginning September with the following nine lines: Windstar, Lindblad, Sea Cloud, Seabourn Quest, Celebrity Millenium, Carnival Pride, Crown Princess, Diamond Princess and Seven Seas Mariner.

Of these, five will arrive through the Caribbean Sea to ports in Limón Province. The other four ships will arrive through the Pacific Ocean to ports in Puntarenas Province, according to the Tourism Institute.

"The first cruise to arrive would be on the Windstar line on September 2 to Golfito ( in Puntarenas Province) with approximately 150 passengers on board," said Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism.

With the reopening of operations, the country gradually recovers the income generated by this industry, which was estimated at approximately $33 million annually, according to data before the pandemic. The cruise tourist spent an average of $137. 

To allow the arrival of cruise ships, the crew must be vaccinated against covid-19 and feed 95% of the passengers.

Passengers planning to explore Costa Rica and debark, must fill out the Health Pass webform 72 hours before their arrival, according to the Institute.

Before the pandemic, more than 230,000 tourists arrived in the country in a cruise. This was one of the first industries that had to suspend operations in March 2020 due to covid-19 infections for more than a year.

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Expats with residence status allows them to live in Costa Rica without having to leave the country every 90 days or request a new tourist visa
that could be rejected by authorities.  - Photo for illustration purposes only -










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Published Wednesday, July 7, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The new Law 9996, created to attract foreign investors, rentiers and pensioners came into effect after being signed by President Carlos Alvarado.

The law modifies the previous conditions established since 2009 in Law 8764 for Immigration and Foreigners. The changes offer more advantages to foreigners who wish to obtain residency under the categories of Investors, Rentiers or Pensioners. The updated law allows for less demanding requirements to reactivate the post-pandemic economy.

Expats with residence status allows them to live in Costa Rica without having to leave the country every 90 days or request a new tourist visa that could be rejected by authorities.

In the Retiree category (Pensionado), people applying for residency must be receiving a monthly pension of more than $1,000. That lifetime pension must be issued by an authorized authority.

The pensionado must visit Costa Rica at least once a year. They can claim a spouse and any dependents under the age of 25. But, they cannot work in the country as an employee, nor can they own a company and receive returns or profit.

Rentiers (Rentista) must have by a period of no less than two years of a stable and permanent monthly rental income of at least $2,500 received from abroad. The person must visit Costa Rica at least once a year. The person can claim a spouse and any dependents under the age of 25. But, they cannot work as an employee, nor can they own a company and receive payouts or profits.

To be qualified as an Investor (Inversionista) type resident, one must have a minimum investment of $150,000 in a property or a company. The investor must visit Costa Rica at least once a year. They can claim a spouse and any dependents under the age of 25. An investor is allowed to work in their company in the country as an employee or owner, meaning they can receive dividends from the company.

In addition, the law allows other series of advantages such as:

* Duty-free and all import taxes for a single time, for the importation of household items.

* Tax exemption to import (up to two land, air and/or sea shipping) vehicles, for personal or family use. In case of loss of the vehicle due to theft, destruction by fire, flood, collision or accident during the term of the benefits, the person can import another vehicle tax free.

* Exempt from income tax the money declared as income to become a creditor to the benefits of this law.

* Exoneration of 20% of tax of properties that are purchased to obtain the residency.

* Exemption of import taxes on equipment or materials to be used in their companies. This applies in the case of an investor resident.

To enjoy these advantages, foreigners have a period of five years to apply for residence in any of the previous categories. And they will have an additional period of 10 years to continue receiving these advantages from the beginning of the residence application.

According to the authorities, the advantages approved to attract investors mean a reduction of 25% of the investment that people had made before. The residency category also applies to a person's spouse or dependents.

In the last 10 years, the country's income produced by foreign investors represents approximately 7.8% of GDP. During the pandemic, this investment has been reduced to 3.5%, according to the authorities.

"What this law achieves is to create the conditions for retiree people to come to the country, bring their investments and we can generate employment," President Alvarado said. "It is one more step in the direction of recovery."


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The goal is to have an estimate of the number of crocodiles in these rivers and to start monitoring the passage of animals and also prevent possible attacks on people.
  - Photo for illustration purposes only -









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Published Wednesday, July 7, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff



As a result of the recent displacement of crocodiles from their habitats to tourist sites due to conditions generated by the pandemic and interactions with people, specialists of the Tempisque Conservation Area began a study to better control these reptile populations in the northern zone of the Pacific Coast.

According to the organization, a study began a few months ago to estimate the population of crocodiles that inhabit the rivers that flow into the coast. The goal is to have an estimate of the number of crocodiles in these rivers and to start monitoring the passage of animals and also prevent possible attacks on people.

The goal is for “park rangers to know the diversity and status of wild crocodile populations to make decisions about their status and protection, carry out species samples that allow estimating their populations, and implement a management strategy to achieve coexistence with crocodiles and reduce attacks," Rafael Gutiérrez, executive director of the National System of Wild Conservation Areas said.

As part of the study, the first monitoring was carried out in the rivers Ora and Bongo in Puntarenas Province, and the monitoring work will continue until covering the areas near the border with Nicaragua.

It is expected that after the studies are done the authorities will release information on the location and management of these reptiles to reduce the risks of attacks.



Encounters between crocodiles and humans are common in Costa Rica. In April, there was report of a family finding a large reptile in their home bathroom.

The case happened in the Puerto Viejo town in Sarapiquí Canton, Heredia Province when a family had to call the police and the firefighters to get the reptile out of their house.

The crocodile was safely captured and relocated to its natural habitat in a nearby area, police said.

Also in April, the police of the Santa Cruz Canton delegation, in Guanacaste Province, found a crocodile inside a police house that was abandoned.

Park rangers from the Tempisque Conservation area and police officers captured the 3.15 meter-long reptile.

"Although the crocodile was safely returned to its natural habitat, there is concern about the risk that an animal like this was inside an abandoned place, where children or someone else could have entered in this place," the authorities of the National System of Conservation Areas said.

The country is home to the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). A large species that in adulthood can measure between 3 and 4 meters in length.

In case of an encounter with a crocodile, specialists recommend to keep your distance in order to avoid attacks. The animals can run at a maximum speed of just 10 miles per hour but humans can easily reach speeds of about 15 miles per hour.

They also recommend to:

* Never feed crocodiles.

* Never get close to take a photo.

* If you see the reptile in the water, get out as quickly as you can.

* Never enter spaces where it is known as crocodile habitat.

* Call 911 if you see a crocodile near your town.

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Coast Guards from the Limón Beach station trained 15 new lifeguards to watch over beach goers of the southern Caribbean Coast.
 - Limón Coast Guard photo -











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Published Tuesday, July 6, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Coast Guards from the Limón Beach station trained 15 new lifeguards to watch over beach goers of the southern Caribbean Coast.

According to the Ministry of Security, four teams of new lifeguards will maintain patrol operations at the lifeguard posts in Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo.

The new lifeguard training video released by the Ministry of Security can be seen on AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.

The training was carried out in coordination with associations of people from the Talamanca communities with the advice of specialists from the National Coast Guard Academy, Cinthya Alvarado, Director of the Limón Coast Guard Station said.

The new lifeguard teams will help in the prevention of water accidents and the rescue of visitors on those Caribbean beaches.

According to the authorities, 16 more lifeguards are currently taking the training. Most of them are young people from the communities of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo, many of them also work in the tourism sector.

People interested in establishing a lifeguard team in their coastal communities can obtain more information on the training by calling the National Coast Guard Service line 2226-3228.

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America’s birthday is this Sunday. Expats looking to celebrate America's birthday in Costa Rica have options.
- Photo for illustration purposes only -










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Published Friday, July 2, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


America’s birthday is this Sunday. The celebration of independence from England is one of the most anticipated days of the year when expats meet again with friends residing in Costa Rica. Due to the pandemic, this is the second year there will be no U.S.-sanctioned speeches, parties, concerts, picnics, hotdogs or beer to commemorate Independence Day in Costa Rica as it has been celebrated in the past.

The U.S. Embassy and Consular Section will be closed on Monday to mark the 245 anniversary of the independence of the United States of America. The diplomatic headquarters will reopen on Tuesday, resuming normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, it is expected for the U.S. Embassy to give a message on Sunday via their social media to their fellow expats residing in the country and to all Costa Rican friends.

There is still no information on the arrival of the next U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. On Tuesday, June 16, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Cynthia Ann Telles, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, as Ambassador to Costa Rica.

Also, the American Colony Committee confirmed that this year the highly expected fireworks party at Avenida Escazú will not take place for a second year in a row.

Now, for the good news. Expats looking to celebrate America's birthday in Costa Rica have options.




On Saturday and Sunday the Los Sueños Marina, in Herradura Beach, Puntarenas Province, is hosting a party. There are options of lunch or dinner from an American menu. Two of their restaurants, Dolce Vita and Lanterna, will offer popular American dishes such as BBQ ribs, pulled pork, street corn and potato salad. The meals range in pricing from $15 to $30. The night will end with a fan-favorite spectacle of fireworks. Make reservations by calling 2630-4050.





On Sunday, in Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste Province, the party is at Margaritaville Beach Resort. The shindig starts with a Happy Hour From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The evening will continue with BBQ food, a live concert with Charly López and end with a fireworks show. Price per person is $28. Make reservations by calling 2654-4444.





On Sunday, at another popular beach along the Pacific Coast is the Marina Pez Vela, in Quepos Beach, where the party starts at 1 p.m. An American menu will be offered at Runaway Grill or Double Hook Sports Bar. The show includes DJ, live music and fireworks. Make reservations by calling 2774-9000.





And for those city dwellers, on Sunday the Tap House Restaurant will offer the "All-American Special" including cheeseburgers, chili cheese dogs, and lager beer. The restaurant is located at Avenida Escazu Commercial Center, San José Province. Reserve your table by calling 2100-8447.

Remember the sanitary guidelines to avoid contagion of covid-19, such as keeping 6-feet social distance, mandatory use of a mask outside of restaurants, among other guidelines. Following health guidelines will remain important in keeping us, our families and our community as safe as possible.

Happy birthday America!

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The last batch of 1,305 pre-Columbian pieces from the Brooklyn Museum in the U.S. arrived in the country today.
- National Museum photo -










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Published Wednesday, June 30, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The last batch of 1,305 pre-Columbian pieces from the Brooklyn Museum in the U.S. arrived in the country today.

Those pieces, belonging to controversial U.S. businessman Minor Cooper Keith's private collection, were finally returned to the country after he took them to the United States in the 19th century.


 
Keith, who died in 1929, was president and founder of the United Fruit Company and whose railroad, commercial agriculture, and cargo liner enterprises had a major impact on the national economies of the Central American countries. Leading to political and internal crisis in the region.

The pieces were sent to the United States by Keith, the man who built the Atlantic railroad and had vast banana holdings on the Caribbean coast. The pieces are presumed to have come from land purchased by Keith.

The pieces arriving today will be on display for a couple of hours at the National Museum gallery in Pavas Canton, San José Province, for the press. After this, the collection will be sent for inspection and cataloging to the main Museum storage.

In 2012, the Insurance Institute paid $59,000 to bring back to Costa Rica an assortment of approximately 16,000 archaeological pieces that wound up in the Brooklyn Museum which is returning the pieces voluntarily.

Extensive collections of pre-Columbian handcrafts can be seen at the National Museum, Banco Central Museum and Jade Museum.

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Matina Canton in Limón Province launches their campaign to attract tourists: "In the heart of the Caribbean is a treasure to be discovered."
- Matina Municipality photo -









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Published Monday, June 28, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Matina Canton in Limón Province launches their campaign to attract tourists: "In the heart of the Caribbean is a treasure to be discovered."

The first video promo of Matina can be seen on AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.

According to the Matina Canton municipality, the campaign seeks to place them on the map of tourist destinations in the country, although it is a little-known place, they are rich in natural, cultural and historical attractions.

The launch of the advertising campaign is carried out as part of their celebration commemorating their 52nd anniversary since they were founded. Their goal is to boost tourism, attract investors, promote exports and reinforce the identity and sense of belonging of their citizens.

"The brand represents the essence and the heart of the Matina people, their customs, traditions and hopes,” Wálter Céspedes, Matina mayor said. "A promo video, precisely, is showing the nature, culture, gastronomy, history, identity and the tourist potential that the canton owns. We want this to be a turning point, a new beginning to achieve development and improve the quality of life of the inhabitants."

According to Céspedes, among the attractions of Matina is it is home for the Cabécar indigenous peoples who represent the origins of Costa Ricans. It is important for the world to know that, he said. "We are a land of smiling and friendly, vigorous, hard-working, honest and passionate people."

Matina Canton is located between the Pacuare River to the north and the Toro River to the south with an area of 772.64 square kilometers. It lies between the Madre de Dios River on the northwest side, the Toro River on the east and ranges on the south with the Talamanca mountain range.

The canton has natural assets such as Tortuguero canals that border its coastal area, it is one of the best destinations to see the arribada or arrival of the Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) and tropical birds such as the Agamí heron (Agamia agami).

In the upper area of ​​the region is the Barbilla National Park, where wild animals such as jaguars, monkeys, reptiles can be seen.

Among the most common tourist activities are wild animal watching, mountain biking, hiking, and visiting the Cabécar territory.

In addition to commercials and advertisements as part of the strategy, authorities are designing an infrastructure road improvement plan to make Matina more accessible.

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Published Friday, June 25, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Taking into account the sanitary guidelines to avoid getting infected by covid-19 ( such as wearing a mask, stay 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and wash your hands often) here are some ideas on how to spend the weekend:

Outdoor activities



Recreational activities for people with physical disabilities will be held in the Auditorium and green areas of Parque Libertad, located in Desamparados, San José Province. The weekend program includes Bonsai tree planting techniques, workshops, games, theater and yoga. Information and entry prices can be reached by calling 8376-9848 or 2276-9400 or emailing at ajimenez@parquelalibertad.org

The GO-RI-GO-GO Mountain Bike Tour in Parque Viva, in La Guacima, Alajuela Province take place on Saturdays. Each biker must bring their mountain bike and safety devices. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting the park’s website.

The Sea Turtle Watching Tour held by the Ostional Beach Local Guides Association, is in Guanacaste Province. The day tours are mostly planned during the weekend. Book a tour by calling 2682-0428 or 6252 7412 or 8447-0703.

The Rainforest Adventure Tours at Sky Adventures Parks, are located in Monte Verde, Puntarenas Province, Arenal in Alajuela, Vandará and Conchal in Guanacaste Province. Among the tour options are hot springs, zip lines, water slides, horseback riding. Book by calling 2479-4100 or emailing at info@skyadventures.travel

The Tortuga Island Tour held by Bay Island Cruises includes meals and drinks, as well as shuttle service from Puntarenas or San José. Book by calling 2258-⁠⁠⁠3536 or 8378 3590.

Dance



The National Dance Academy is developing dancing courses in contemporary dance, ballet, flamenco and jazz. The lesson rate is between $20 and $40 per person. Reserve a spot by calling the number 2295-6071 or emailing at admtnd@teatromelico.go.cr

Live Music



The Fiesta Pride will take place at HomSix Gastro Bar located in downtown Heredia. On Friday the Piettra Duo will perform. On Saturday there will be a dance show with Drag Nikole. On Sunday a concert with the Iridis Choir. The ticket rate is about $5. Make reservations by calling 6443-0540.

The National Philharmonic Orchestra presents a tribute concert to Metallica at the Melico Salazar Theater in downtown San José. On Saturday there will be two shows, one at 2 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. On Sunday, there will be one show at 3 p.m. Tickets price are between $40 and $70 per person and can be purchased on the orchestra's website.

Theater



The Eugene O'Neill Theater, located in Barrio Dent, San José, is presenting the play “Sfumato '' with performances from Friday to Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The ticket price is about $10 and must be purchased with the Sinpe system. Call the theater line 2207 7561 for inquiries about purchasing tickets.

Museums



The Jade Museum, located in downtown San José, continues to feature their exhibition "Bats" which is dedicated to their role in maintaining a balance in ecosystems. The museum is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ticket price is about $11 and can be purchased online on the museum's website.

The National Museum, located in downtown San José, will continue with the exhibition “Blanco, Azul y Rojo” on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of independence. The museum hours on Friday and Saturday are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Sunday it will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $11 and must be reserved ahead of time by calling 2211-5700.

Movies



Blockbuster film buffs have a wide variety of genres to choose from this week, such as horror, drama, action, funny for kids, and even musicals.

The movie schedule for this weekend include the following films:

» F9: The Fast Saga- is the sequel to The Fate of the Furious (2017), the ninth main installment, and the tenth full-length film released overall in the Fast & Furious franchise.

» Cruella- is a live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.

» Conjuring- is about a family that investigates a murder that may be linked to demonic possession.

» A Quiet Place- focuses on a family that is forced to venture into the unknown, and realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.

» Black Water- is about five friends who explore a remote cave system in Northern Australia and find themselves threatened by a hungry crocodile.

» Magic Arch- is about a young dolphin discovering a magic arch that makes wishes come true.

» Peter Rabbit- features a rabbit whose name is Peter and his family move to the big city, where he meets shady characters and ends up creating chaos for the whole family.

» Ooops! Noah Is Gone- is about the end of the world for the animals so they decide to build an ark to save all animals.

» In the Heights- is a film version of the Broadway musical.

Most of movie theaters are requesting the ticket to be purchased online, such
as CCM Cinemas, Cinepolis and CineMark.

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What have you heard about outdoor activities in your community? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


















A sister park, known as a twin town relationship, is a form of legal or social agreement between two geographically and politically
distinct localities for the purpose of promoting cultural and commercial ties.
 - Illustrative photo -









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Published Thursday, June 24, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Representatives of the United States National Park System and the Ministry of the Environment signed an agreement to twin the U.S. Golden Gate National Park and the San Lucas Island National Park.

A sister park, known as a twin town relationship, is a form of legal or social agreement between two geographically and politically distinct localities for the purpose of promoting cultural and commercial ties.

Isla San Lucas is located in the Gulf of Nicoya on the Pacific Coast. It was the place where a former prison was established from 1873 to 1991. The island and the waters that surround it contain a wide variety of wildlife.

On August 10, 2020, it was designated as the 30th National Park of Costa Rica. A video showing the natural beauties of the island was released by the National System of Conservation Areas and can be seen on AM Costa Rica's YouTube channel.

Alcatraz Island is located in San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. The island was used as a prison from 1859 to 1963. Alcatraz also contains many natural features and a colony of seabirds. In 1972, Alcatraz became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

With this agreement, which was signed by Laura Joss, the Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, both places commit to working together to promote cooperation and support for the mutual benefit of the parks.

The goal is to improve the experiences and capacities of the personnel who work in these sites, through projects and other cooperation initiatives, the exchange of technical and professional knowledge, information, data, technology, training, among others.

The cooperation agreement is for five years and may be extended for a period of five more years by mutual parks authorities' decision.

Since the 1970s, the U.S. National Park Service and the Ministry of the Environment have cooperated in the conservation, preservation and management of National Parks and other protected natural and cultural heritage sites for conservation, recreation and public education purposes. This cooperation agreement was renewed in 2012.

Due to the national health emergency caused by the pandemic, San Lucas Island had to be closed to the public. On the day of its reopening, in December 2020, more than 2,000 tourists visited the island.

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Popular legends say the island was a pirate favorite during the time of colonization of the American continent. It is said that hundreds of expeditions
have searched for buried treasure there, leading many to believe that the stories of vast pirate treasures are true.
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Published Thursday, June 24, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


This month marks the 43rd anniversary of the declaration of Cocos Island as a National Park, which was signed in 1978 by former President Rodrigo Carazo Odio.

The island is located 532 km from Puntarenas Province. After being declared a national park, the island was also declared a World Heritage Site, Wetland of World Importance and Historic Architectural Heritage of Costa Rica.

The only people allowed to live on Cocos Island are park rangers. Access by civilians is very limited; tourists and ship crew members are allowed ashore only with permission of island rangers. Visitors are not permitted to camp, stay overnight or collect any flora, fauna or minerals from the island.

Popular legends say the island was a pirate favorite during the time of colonization of the American continent. It is said that hundreds of expeditions have searched for buried treasure there, leading many to believe that the stories of vast pirate treasures are true.

According to the Ministry of the Environment, a series of measures are currently being carried out to strengthen the island's Protection Program to ensure marine and terrestrial biodiversity on the island.

The island is famous for its populations of hammerhead sharks, rays, dolphins and other large marine species, but it is continuously embattled with threats such as illegal fishing, climate change, and ocean pollution that could put the island's biodiversity at risk.

Authorities protect the area with continued patrolling to control fishing in nearby waters and control illegal hunting on the island. Taking into account the presence of exotic terrestrial species and the development of tourist activities on Cocos Island, the authorities seek to increase protection and patrols.

Because the site was declared a national park, the extraction of marine and land resources is forbidden. However, due to the increase in the fishing industry and the distance between the Pacific Coast and the island, illegal fishing continues to be one of the main threats.

In order to protect the marine biodiversity that surrounds the island, in 2011 the sea zone called Seamount Marine Management Area was created. However, "to date, it has not been possible to get the resources and staff for an adequate management of conservation," Gina Cuza, regional director of Cocos Island said.

The National System of Conservation Areas released a video showing the wonderful biodiversity of Cocos Island. A segment of that film can be seen on AM Costa Rica's YouTube channel.

In Costa Rica, commercial activities such as shark finning, importing of fins and transporting, transferring and carrying of fins within a boat have been forbidden since 2012.

Anyone caught transporting, importing, transferring and carrying shark fins on the boat will lose their fishing license. This goes to the person in charge or owner of the boat, foreign or national, with respect for due process, who for the first time or with recurrence unloads, according to the Marine Species Protection decree.

Authorities encourage citizens to report any suspicion of illegal fishing to the emergency line 1192.



In May, a team of 15 scientists led by MigraMar, a foundation headquartered in California, U.S., made an expedition to protect the migration route of marine species between the islands of Cocos and Galápagos.

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The courses are part of the first Accessible Tourism E-Learning program with exclusive content focused on accessible tourism
and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. - World Tourism Organization photo -










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Published Wednesday, June 23, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network, an association focused on promoting improvements in the tourism service for disabled visitors, launches online courses for tour operators on how they can make their services more accessible for people with disabilities.

The courses are part of the first Accessible Tourism E-Learning program with exclusive content focused on accessible tourism and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

The goal of the training is for tourism operators to "learn from scratch, with all the bases to define what is accessible tourism, customer service, infrastructure development, among others," Stephanie Sheehy, Executive Director of the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network said.

According to the Tourism Institute, the courses will be given with the support of the Argentine company E-Learning Noun Eventos and the Distance State University of Costa Rica.

Among the topics that will be developed in the course are:

» Accessible tourism in outdoor activities.

» Accessible tourism in urban areas.

» Accessible tourism in natural environments such as national parks, trails or waterfalls.

» Accessible tourism on beaches.

Registration for the courses will begin on Sept. 13. According to the organizers, it will be made up of three modules developed in three months each, in virtual lessons available 24 /7.

Companies and entrepreneurs in the tourism sector interested in receiving the training can reserve their space on the website of Noun Eventos company site.



This past year, 22,672 independent entrepreneurs and business owners from the tourism sector have received Virtual Training on Health Security and Tourism Learning.

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A new staff of inspectors will be implementing people's compliance with the covid-19 health guidelines in the Juan Santamaría International Airport.
- Aeris photo -











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Published Monday, June 21, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


A new staff of inspectors will be implementing people's compliance with the covid-19 health guidelines, according to Aeris, the company in charge of managing the Juan Santamaría International Airport, SJO, located in Alajuela Province.

Sanitary protocols, such as social distancing of 6-feet between the seats, taking temperatures of travelers at the entrance, use of a mask, among others will be monitored by the inspectors.

They "are additional workers who will review that passengers and also the airport workers respect the sanitary guidelines established," Aeris said.

“We have been working together with the Health authorities to make the airport a space that allows passengers to have a safe trip, however, with the gradual recovery of (passenger) traffic, we see the need to reinforce, in the public, respect for each of the guidelines that govern within the air terminal," Juan Belliard, Director of Operations said. “The priority in travel is to preserve the health and well-being of passengers."

The team of inspectors is made up of 13 workers who will be monitoring the airport areas such as the international arrivals and departure halls for passengers.

The inspectors will carry official identification to be easily recognized among the public. Airlines are also informed of their work to coordinate order and respect for sanitary measures.

"After the first days of the application of the measure, we noticed good results,” Belliard said.

“Mainly because some passengers were ignoring the measures in printed warnings, guides and loudspeakers."

According to Belliard, these are not times to relax, "we must all bear in mind the urgent need to take care of ourselves, our families and co-workers. Only by being responsible can we lower the level of contagion and consequently contribute to economic progress."

In the event that the inspector confronts someone who does not want to respect an order to comply with the sanitary measures, the case will be transferred to the Airport Police officer.

In addition to following the sanitary guidelines, tourists must complete with the current requirements to enter Costa Rica:

• Fill out the "Health Pass" webform.

• Tourists must have a valid passport and proof of intent to exit Costa Rica within 90 days.

• Provide proof of a valid Traveler's Insurance, not expiring during the time of stay in the country. This can be purchased in the country of departure or Costa Rica.

Tourists must show proof by requesting a certificate issued in English or Spanish from their insurance provider that guarantees coverage for medical expenses in cases of covid-19 infection while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000. And minimum coverage of $2,000 for accommodation expenses extended, in case of being infected with covid-19.

The valid insurance document must also be uploaded onto the same online Health Pass.

Tourists already vaccinated are not exempt them from this requirement. Every tourist traveling to Costa Rica, regardless if they are fully vaccinated or not, must acquire an insurance policy as described.

Tourists should double-check the entry requirements by contacting their local Costa Rican embassy or consular representation before planning a trip to Costa Rica.

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The payment of the carbon footprint is voluntary, so no traveler is forced to make this payment if he/she does not wish to.
 - Illustrative photo -













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Published Monday, June 21, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Intending to set an example of sustainability for the tourism sector, several organizations urge tourists to pay the cost of the carbon footprint which was generated during their trip to the country.

This charge was announced by the National Forest Financing Fund, the Ministry of the Environment and the Tourism Institute, as part of the cooperation agreements with some hotels.

The agreement allows tourists to be informed of the amount of their carbon footprint and cancel the cost per ton of CO2, based on estimates made through a CO2-footprint calculator.

This calculator, which was created by the Fund, establishes the emissions caused by the transport used by the tourists, according to the Ministry of Environment.

For example, the cost of the carbon footprint caused by a round-trip by plane from Miami to San José will be about $6, the ministry said.

The payment is made by buying the so-called compensation units. These units cover the cost of the carbon footprint left by tourists. Hotels are in charge of providing information on how much is the cost of a tourist's carbon footprint.

However, the payment of the carbon footprint is voluntary, so no traveler is forced to make this payment if he/she does not wish to.

"We are pleased that the hotel sector is taking a leading role in the climate agenda, together we build a better country and a better planet," Andrea Meza, Minister of the Environment said.

According to Mesa, an increase in the payment of carbon footprints is expected because it is estimated that the tourism sector will soon reactivate after the pandemic.

The money raised with the carbon footprint payment will be received by the Fund to finance deforestation programs in Costa Rica.

This plan to charge tourists for their carbon footprint is part of the government and private sector strategy to advance the goals of the 2050 National Decarbonization Plan, the ministry said.


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Taking into account the covid-19 restrictions, here are some ideas on how to spend Father's Day outside.
 - Illustrative photo -





























Published Friday, June 18, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Father's Day is coming up on Sunday. Though one does not need a specific date to celebrate the special man who is a parent, friend and guide, both children and dads look forward to enjoying activities together.

Taking into account the covid-19 sanitary protocols (such as maintaining a reduced number of people, social distancing of 6 feet between the seats, taking the temperature at the entrance of the cinema, mandatory use of a mask, among others), here are some ideas on how to spend Father's Day outside. These options are inexpensive, fun, and entertaining, so give them a go!



International Film Festival
With a program of independent films from 34 countries in 18 different languages, the ninth edition of the Costa Rica International Film Festival will be held this weekend.

This year, the tickets are free and will take place in two parts. The first part of the film screenings will be in theaters beginning today. The second part of the film festival will take place beginning July 2.

This weekend, people can enjoy watching films in person rather than at home. A total of 20 movie theaters will be screening the selected films all across the country. Some of the more popular ones are: Magaly Cinema, Art Museum Cinema, San Ramon Cinema Center, San Carlos Cinema Center, Jaco Beach Cinema Center, Citi Cinema in Grecia, Citi Cinema in Limón, Citi Cinema in Paso Canoas, Multicines in Liberia among others.

Visit the festival's website to acquire tickets to watch the film and seat numbers.




Movies
Most movie theaters are open this weekend. Blockbuster film buffs have a wide variety of genres to choose from, such as horror, drama, funny for kids, and even musicals.

The movie schedule for this weekend include films such as:

» “Cruella,” is a live-action prequel feature film following a young Cruella de Vil.

» “Conjuring,” is a family investigates a murder that may be linked to demonic possession.

» “A Quiet Place” is when a family is forced to venture into the unknown, and realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.

» “Black Water,” is about five friends who explore a remote cave system in Northern Australia and find themselves threatened by a hungry crocodile.

» “Magic Arch” is about a young dolphin discovering a magic arch that makes wishes come true.

» “Peter Rabbit” features a rabbit whose name is Peter and his family move to the big city, where he meets shady characters and ends up creating chaos for the whole family.

» “Ooops! Noah Is Gone” is about the end of the world for the animals so they decide to build an ark to save all animals.

» “In the Heights” is a film version of the Broadway musical.

Most of these movie theaters are requesting the ticket to be purchased online, such as CCM Cinemas, Cinepolis and CineMark.




Theater
The Frente Plaza Theater and the Crisol theater company will present the play "Desire.1." This interpretation is a free version of the worldwide famous play "A Streetcar Named Desire" written by Tennessee Williams.

Three plays will be performed as follows: Saturday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. On Sunday the play starts at 6 p.m. The theater is located in downtown San José. Tickets can be purchased at the theater or by calling 8791-2883.





Museums
The Jade Museum, located in downtown San José, features their exhibition "Bats" which is dedicated to the importance of these animals for maintaining a balance in ecosystems. The museum is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets price is about $11 and can be purchased online on the museum's website.

The National Museum, located in downtown San José, presents the exhibition “Blanco, Azul y Rojo” on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of independence. The museum hours on Friday and Saturday are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Sunday it will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets cost $11 and must be reserved ahead of time by calling 2211-5700.



Live music
Today, the rock music band Stone Dive will present a tribute concert to Pearl Jam and Chris Cornell. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Mundoloco Pub located in San Pedro District, San José. The ticket price is about $6 at the Pub.

On Saturday the singer Balerom will give an acoustic music concert at 3 p.m. in CantaRana Restaurants Boulevard, located in Cartago Province. Due to sanitary measures, only 50% of the capacity of the place can enter. It is recommended to arrive a little earlier to save your table.

On Sunday Balerom will give a second acoustic show starting at 3 p.m. at Ferdy’s Sports Grill located in Belén, Santa Ana. Table reservations can be made by calling 6016-6457.

--------------------
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This past year, 22,672 independent entrepreneurs and business owners from the tourism sector have received virtual training on health security and tourism learning.
- Illustrative photo -



















Published Thursday, June 17, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


This past year, 22,672 independent entrepreneurs and business owners from the tourism sector have received virtual training on health security and tourism learning, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute

Starting May 2020, the Institute provides to tourism industry professionals free career courses on topics such as sanitary guideline measures, improving productive activities, tourist activities, hotel reception, first aid, English language learning, bird watch tourism, educational tourism, whale watching, marketing and rural tourism, among others.

"The goal of the platform is to offer information, training actions for the tourism sector, providing tools that enable tourism professionals to reactivate their business," said Ruth Alfaro,  Institute representative.

According to data collected by the institute, 95% of the people who received the training said that their goals were achieved. Another 97% said that the topics helped them improve their knowledge in the industry. Also, 97.5% applied the learned techniques to their companies.  And 97% would recommend these activities to other people.

Entrepreneurs in the tourism sector interested to receive the training can find the previous lessons on the Institute YouTube channel

Information about the new training is available on the Institute's calendar site.

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In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Act of Independence of Costa Rica signature, the Institute of Electricity (ICE) developed a mobile museum
to display the evolution of electricity and telecommunications in the country. - ICE photo -


















Published Tuesday, June 8, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

 

As part of the 200th anniversary of the Act of Independence of Costa Rica celebration, the Institute of Electricity (ICE) developed a mobile museum to display the evolution of electricity and telecommunications in the country.

The museum was set up inside a bus that will travel through 68 communities in 65 cantons of all the provinces for the rest of this year. Inside the bus visitors will find audiovisuals, banners, antique equipment and objects that were used to generate electricity, as part of the institute’s collection.

The museum will be parked near parks and municipalities. The entry is free. Visitors should follow the guidelines ordered by the Ministry of Health to avoid contagion of covid-19. The maximum capacity inside the bus is five people per shift, with a 15-minute tour. The bus will be open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.



The first exhibition took place on Monday at the institute's facilities in Sabana, San José Province, where President Carlos Alvarado participated. "The ICE has played a decisive role in democratizing electricity and telecommunications as key to decarbonization and closing the digital gap by bringing connectivity to the entire population," Alvarado said.

Today the mobile museum visits the community of Bribrí, in Talamanca, Limón Province. It will be located in front of the local municipality.

During this month, the museum bus will travel to the communities of Limón, Matina, Siquirres, Guácimo and Pococí, in the Caribbean Coast.

Then, the museum will tour the communities in Guanacaste and the southern zone of the country. The specific location of each site will be announced on a weekly basis via the Institute’s social media.



Costa Rica celebrate this year 200th anniversary of the Act of Independence. This is one of the patrimonial treasures of the country, underwent a restoration process for a year and a half.

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Spanish airlines Iberia, Ávoris-Evelop  and U.S. Southwest Airlines resumed flights to Costa Rica.
- Iberia photo -



























Published Tuesday, June 8, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Spanish airlines Iberia, Ávoris-Evelop! and U.S. Southwest Airlines resumed flights to Costa Rica.

As of June 30, the Spanish airline Iberia resumes daily flights to Costa Rica, from Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas International Airport (MAD) to the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela Province according to the Tourism Institute.

"Costa Rica keeps its position as one of the most preferred destinations by the Spanish visitors," Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism said.



Also, the European travel agency Iberojet announced the incorporation of two weekly trips to Costa Rica in its itinerary starting July 13. The company manages the flights of the Ávoris-Evelop! airline scheduled on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Madrid to Alajuela.

According to the institute, Spain is one of the most important countries generating European tourists to Costa Rica. This year 6,730 international arrivals have entered from that country.

Despite the Spanish government announcing that tourists are allowed to enter the country, they must present a certificate of complete vaccination against covid-19 as a basic requirement.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and Cooperation of Spain, tourists must be inoculated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or by the World Health Organization.
 
While in Costa Rica, the health authorities are not requesting a certificate of vaccination against the virus. Nor are they asking for a diagnostic test with a negative result of the virus.

The current requirements to enter Costa Rica, ordered by authorities are:


• Fill out the "Health Pass" webform.

• Tourists must have a valid passport and proof of intent to exit Costa Rica within 90 days.

• Provide proof of a valid Traveler's Insurance, not expiring during the time of stay in the country. This can be purchased in the country of departure or Costa Rica.

Tourists must show proof by requesting a certificate issued in English or Spanish from their insurance provider that guarantees coverage for medical expenses in cases of covid-19 infection while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000. And minimum coverage of $2,000 for accommodation expenses extended, in case of being infected with covid-19.

The valid insurance document must also be uploaded onto the same online Health Pass.

If the tourist has already been vaccinated, this does not exempt them from this requirement. Every tourist traveling to Costa Rica, regardless if they are fully vaccinated or not, must acquire an insurance policy as described.

Tourists should double-check the entry requirements by contacting their local Costa Rican embassy or consular representation before planning a trip to Costa Rica.



Southwest is the third airline to resume flights to Costa Rica this week.

After more than a year of not offering flights to Costa Rica, on Sunday the first Southwest Airlines' flight arrived at the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Guanacaste Province (LIR) from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Now that Southwest has resumed flights, all the airlines offering flights from the United States to Costa Rica, before the pandemic, are fully resumed, said the Institute.

They have also added a weekly flight from the Baltimore Washington International Marshall Airport (BWI ) to SJO.

According to the Institute, travelers from the United States are about 70% of the total tourists who arrive in the country by air.

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The government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed the renewal of an agreement with the Costa Rican Chamber of Health to promote private health services abroad.
- Illustrative photo-































Published Thursday, June 3, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, signed the renewal of an agreement with the Costa Rican Chamber of Health to promote private health services abroad.

According to the ministry, the goal of the agreement, called Memorandum of Understanding, is to expedite mutual technical assistance, promote private health services abroad, and attract investment to increase activity and improve the health services offered in Costa Rica.

The Costa Rican Chamber of Health is made up of companies and health professionals. It was created to ensure that international patients visiting Costa Rica receive consistent, high-quality medical and dental services. "The Chamber seeks to consolidate and promote Costa Rica as a leader in Medical Tourism, healthcare and wellness travel," they said in their statement.

The private health sector represented by the Chamber is a fundamental pillar for the generation of new investments in research and development, and good quality of employment, the Ministry said in its statement.



Health is the new resource of our country, as the pandemic confinement is released and the possibilities of travel are reactivated, according to the ministry.

The Minister Rodolfo Solano- Quirós added: "there will be more opportunities for trips and experiences focused on improving and recovering physical, mental and spiritual health.”

The agreement allows promoting various strategies to position Costa Rica as a global hub for health, education, medical services and research to attract investments in this sector to the country.

One of the strategies that have been developed is known as "Estamos Con Vos", which means We are by your side, in English. With this campaign, medical services (on physical and mental health issues) were provided to Costa Ricans living abroad.

According to the ministry, Costa Rica has more than 50 years in the development of medical sciences, research and private companies that make the country an important partner at the international level.

-----------------------------
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The goal of the campaign is to develop sea turtle nesting zones protections as well as the park's ecosystems.
- Illustrative photo -



















Published Thursday, June 3, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Osa Conservation Area in a joint effort with the National Conservation System is developing the campaign to protect the nests of sea turtles in the Marino Ballena National Park in Puntarenas Province.

The goal of the campaign is to develop sea turtle nesting zones protections as well as the park's ecosystems.

The species of turtle that nests mainly in this zone of the country is the Lora (Golfita Lepidochelys Olivácea) which is characterized by being a small reptile of 65 centimeters and weighing between 35 and 45 kilograms. The carapace is almost round, dark green. This reptile is in danger of extinction, according to authorities.

The campaign began this year for the conservation of beaches used by turtles for nesting, which has been increasing since it has already banned visitors from camping inside the park.



The goal is to promote citizen participation, inform about the problem and importance of protecting sea turtles and their habitats and also fight against the illegal collection of eggs," Rafael Gutiérrez, director of the National System of Conservation Areas said.

As part of the campaign, a hatchery was built in the Ballena District, where sea turtles are kept. The nursery is managed by park rangers and volunteers from Reserva Playa Tortuga and Coral Restoration.

People interested in helping with the turtle protection campaign may find more information by calling the staff of Reserva Playa Tortuga line (506) 2786-5200 or Coral Restoration line (506) 8817-3120.

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To protect tourists and improve their experience of visiting the Pacific Coast, tourist entrepreneurs from Puntarenas Canton launched a safety campaign.
- Puntarenas Tourism Promotion Board  photo -





















Published Wednesday, June 2, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


To protect tourists and improve their experience of visiting the Pacific Coast, tourist entrepreneurs from Puntarenas Canton launched a safety campaign.

The motto "El Puerto Te Cuida," which means in English the port protects you, referring to the canton as the main port of the country, was developed by the Puntarenas Tourism Promotion Board and the National Tourist Safety Commission.

According to the organizers, the campaign will train tourism entrepreneurs to implement protection measures for tourists and improve the quality of their companies' services.



"Through training and workshops that will be given by experts, entrepreneurs will implement risk prevention measures," the authorities said.

The training will be focused on solving and avoiding criminal activities which may damage the image and reputation of the Canton.

“For tourism activity to continue with a peaceful recovery, it is essential to maintain a safe environment and pleasant stay for our visitors who come to enjoy the various services, culture, nature and gastronomy of Puntarenas. We are implementing preventive measures for the well-being of national and foreign tourists,” Juan Ramón-Rivera, president of the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports said.

Tourist safety is an element that adds great value to the development of communities, the authorities added.

This security program will allow managing and reducing risk factors that can be identified and resolved promptly, Rivera said.

Training for tourism service companies on safety issues will be developed for the rest of the year. Among the topics of the workshops are general tourism information, creating business networks, providing high-quality services, increasing security measures among others.

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The Costa Rica booth at the Tourism Institute at the Spain International Tourism Fair, Fitur, was recognized as the best presentation in the Sustainable Tourism category.
- Tourism Institute photo -



















Published Tuesday, May 25, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Costa Rica booth at the Tourism Institute at the Spain International Tourism Fair, Fitur, was recognized as the best presentation in the Sustainable Tourism category.

The 200-square-meter stand was made of recycled material from previous fair booths. Plus, it used QR codes to provide tourism information instead of printed information. This sustainable idea saves on paper and electrical energy. They also maintained sanitary protocols, according to the institute.
"This award undoubtedly reflects the values ​​of our country, based on sustainability and high commitment to the principles of decarbonization and respect for the environment, culture, sustainable gastronomy and application of health guidelines against covid-19," Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism said.

During the fair, the institute presented a video for promoting the Esencial Costa Rica brand highlighting the country’s biodiversity. The short film can be seen on AM Costa Rica's YouTube channel.

After 14 months of the pandemic, Fitur is the first tourism fair with in-person presentations. Representatives from 16 Costa Rican tourism companies are promoting their services to attract Spanish tourists.

Fitur is classified as one of the most important business events of the tourism industry with the presence of 165 countries from the five continents, according to the institute.

This is the first tourism fair in which Costa Rican companies are participating in person since the pandemic began over a year ago. The country’s latest presentations were at the WTM tourism fair in London in November 2020 and the ITB tourism fair in Germany, in March. Both were virtual.



The companies that sent representatives to Spain to participate in the fair are: Best of Costa Rica Tour Operator, Hotel Radisson San José, Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Reserva Conchal, Costa Rica Marriot Hacienda Belén, Il Viaggio Travel, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, Travel Excellence, Swiss travel, ANC Group, Cast Central America, Hotel Parador Resort & Spa, Hotel San Bada, Hotel Fiesta Resort, Costa Rica Top Tours, Cactus Tour DMC Central America and Costa Rica Sun Tours.

"This fair helps Costa Rica be present in the minds of potential Spanish and European tourists," Segura said.

He traveled to Madrid to participate in person at the fair where, in addition to attending meetings, he has been giving interviews to the press, the institute said.

In the past, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands were the main countries generating tourists to Costa Rica from Europe.

According to data from the institute, before the pandemic, more than 500,000 Europeans visited the country in one year. During the first four months of this year, from January to April, about 50,000 European tourists arrived in the country by air.

Tourism authorities did not provide yet information on the budget used by the institute to participate in the fair.

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This is based on the quality of life, ease to settle in, and cost of living, according to the surveys.
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -




































Published Friday, May 21, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica was recognized among the top destinations to live and work abroad in 2021. This is based on the quality of life, ease to settle in, and cost of living, according to the surveys published in the two business magazines, Forbes and Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg reviews in their InterNations Expat Insider 2021 Survey, Costa Rica ranks  as the third top spot to live and work after Taiwan and Mexico.

“Some 85% of respondents said it was easy to settle down in Mexico, while 91% of expats described Costa Rica’s population as “generally friendly.” Four in five expats in Mexico said they were satisfied with their financial situations, and 84% of expats in Costa Rica said their disposable household income was “enough or more than enough” to cover all their expenses,” according to Bloomberg’s article, “These Are the Places Ranked Best for Expats in 2021.”

According to Forbes's study InsureMyTrip, Costa Rica is the seventh-best place to live for digital nomads, behind Norway, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, Iceland and Greece.

The study released in the article “The Best Destinations for Digital Nomads: A New Survey” analyzed seven key categories: “internet access and speed, apartment rental costs, language difficulty, openness to digital nomads, cost and access to a work visa and length of the remote working visa.”



In March, Costa Rica was selected, for being at the forefront of sustainability, among the five best tourist destinations of 2021 in the "Best of Green 2021: Sustainable Travel" awards.

TripSavvy and Treehugger organized the competition through their digital media, the Ministry of Tourism said.

The New York-based Treehugger, with more than 120 million readers each year, is recognized as the world’s largest information site dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.

The other New York-based, TripSavvy, is recognized as one of the top-10 travel information sites in the world as measured by comScore, a leading internet measurement company. Each year, TripSavvy editors award the best restaurants, hotels, and attractions around the world.

“With Costa Rica's remarkable dedication to sustainability, we were not surprised at Treehugger and TripSavvy to see the country among our selection of winners for the destination category," Melissa Breyer, Treehugger's managing editor said. "We especially like that Costa Rica encourages visitors to offset their carbon emissions by traveling there.”

The quality of Costa Rican tourism was also awarded by a second jury in the "Best Experiences" category, in which the Safari surf school established in Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula, was recognized in 1999.

“Costa Rica has become a model for sustainable practices in the region and around the world and we are encouraged to see that the country has been rewarded for its great work,” Breyer said.

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Companies that have registered reductions in their income will be able to reduce their employee's working hours and reduce operating costs.
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -

















Published Thursday, May 20, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


With 31 votes for and 8 against, the deputies of Congress approved bill No. 22,405, which authorizes tourism business owners to reduce the working hours of their employees, due to the National Declaration of Health Emergency for the pandemic.

Employers can reduce the working hours of their employees without this implying that the labor law was broken.

According to the Tourism Institute, this law has the goal of protecting employees in the tourism sector. This is because companies that have registered reductions in their income, will be able to reduce their employee's working hours and reduce operating costs.

The goal of the law is to prevent business owners from firing employees because they are unable to continue paying their wages.



The law allows the reduction of working hours that may be extended for four equal periods of three months each, which could be equivalent to 9 months.

"We welcome the commitment of the deputies to turn this relevant bill into a Law, which will provide relief to all tourism employers," Alberto López, General Manager of the institute said.

According to López, the law will allow many workers in the tourism sector to have access to a part-time workday instead of being fired or not being hired.

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After 14 months of the pandemic, Spain is the first country in the world to hold the International Tourism Fair, Fitur, with in-person presentations.
- Tourism Institute photo -



























Published Thursday, May 20, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
 
After 14 months of the pandemic, Spain is the first country in the world to hold the International Tourism Fair, Fitur, with in-person presentations.

According to the Tourism Institute, representatives of 16 Costa Rican companies from the tourism sector are promoting their services in the fair to attract Spanish tourists.

The fair is taking place from May 19 to 23 in Madrid, where pavilions are dedicated to each of the represented countries.

Fitur is classified as one of the most important business events of the tourism industry with the presence of 165 countries from the five continents, according to the institute.



This is the first tourism fair in which Costa Rican companies are participating in person since the pandemic began over a year ago. The country’s latest presentations were at the WTM tourism fair in London in November 2020 and the ITB tourism fair in Germany, in March. Both were virtual.

At the fair, the institute showcased a booth where representatives of tourist companies will be looking to make alliances and attract Spanish tourists.

At the Costa Rica booth, company representatives continue to apply sanitary guidelines such as practicing social distancing, hand washing, mandatory use of facemask, among others.

The companies that sent representatives to Spain to participate in the fair are: Best of Costa Rica Tour Operator, 
Hotel Radisson San José,  Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Reserva Conchal,  Costa Rica Marriot Hacienda Belén,  Il Viaggio Travel, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, Travel Excellence, Swiss travel, ANC Group, Cast Central America, Hotel Parador Resort & Spa, Hotel San Bada, Hotel Fiesta Resort, Costa Rica Top Tours, Cactus Tour DMC Central America and Costa Rica Sun Tours.

"This fair helps Costa Rica be present in the minds of potential Spanish and European tourists," Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism said.

Minister Segura traveled to Madrid to participate in person at the fair where, in addition to attending meetings, he will be giving interviews to the press, the institute said.

Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands are the main countries that generate tourists to Costa Rica from Europe.
 
According to data from the institute, before the pandemic, more than 500,000 Europeans visited the country in one year.

During the first four months of this year, from January to April, about 50,000 European tourists arrived in the country by air.

Tourism authorities will provide, in the coming days, information on the budget used by the institute to participate in the fair.

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Both chambers say that they have asked businessmen to be more severe in complying with the sanitary guidelines in their businesses and request their clients follow the rules.
- A.M. Costa Rica illustrative photo -




































Published Monday, May 17, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The National Medical Union requested the Ministry of Health to implement a series of measures to try to contain the increase in cases of patients infected with covid-19.
 
Among these measures, requiring the PCR test for all international travelers who enter the country.

In response, both tourism chambers, the Tourism (Canatur) and the Hotels (CCH) expressed their opposition to demanding the testing requirement again.

“We recognize the difficult health circumstances that the country is going through, it is also true that we have proven to be a responsible sector, we applied health guidelines on our services and there is also plenty of evidence that we are the sector most affected by the economic crisis of the pandemic. For this reason, we reiterate our strong opposition to establishing this requirement again,”  Rubén Acón, President of Canatur said.

According to both chambers, a covid-19 diagnostic test with a negative result is not a guarantee that the person is virus-free. "There are studies that show that the risk of contagion of coronavirus on a flight is much less than 0.1%," they added in their statement.

The Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, considered it unnecessary to request the PCR test to guarantee a traveler is free of covid-19.

In November 2020, Gina Tambini, representative of PAHO in Colombia, said that "in international travel, demanding a negative test for covid-19 is not a guarantee of safety."

According to Tambini, an international traveler with a negative test result using tests obtained 2 to 5 days before the departure, which is the period that some countries currently request, may have the SARS-CoV-2 infection, but present viral loads below the detection limit of the test. Similarly, the infection may be reduced before the date of departure or during international travel. An additional problem is that it is possible to obtain a positive result when the person has already presented covid-19 and no longer has the potential to infect others, which makes the requirement of the test an unfair obstacle to travel to these people.

According to the chambers, the countries that practice the 72 hours before the trip entry requirement implies that at the time of taking the sample, the person may have a viral load below the limit of detection of the virus. This means the person can catch the infection before the departure date after doing the diagnostic test.

"Ruling national and foreign tourists to coronavirus detection tests for their entry into the country would only imply an additional cost, a disincentive to international travel," Javier Pacheco, president of CCH said. "Measures such as that one proposed are inopportune since they do not ensure a reduction in infections, which should be the true goal and also it would considerably affect the recovery of tourism."



Both chambers say that they have asked businessmen to be more severe in complying with the sanitary guidelines in their businesses and request their clients follow the rules.

The Ministry of Health reported on Friday a total of 57,291 active covid-19 cases in the country. Of the total 282,741 cases detected since 2020, a recorded 3,547 deaths are listed as covid-19 related, approximately 1.3% death rate.

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It is the largest convention center in the country with the capacity to host 4,500 people all at once.
- Costa Rica Convention Center photo -


























Published Friday, May 14, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
 
The Costa Rica Convention Center obtained three recognitions in the Eventex 2021 Awards, announced the Institute of Tourism.

The awards obtained are: the gold award received in the category of People's Choice for the second consecutive year, which is given to the place with the most votes from the public.

In addition, two bronze awards, one in the categories of Best Convention Center in the World and Most Versatile Venue.

The Eventex Awards, founded in 2009, has 561 registrations from event venues from 37 countries. The awards, also known as The Global Event Awards, are a set for recognizing the achievements in the world of events.

"Getting an Eventex Award is a great honor for the Costa Rica Convention Center," Ovanes Ovanessian, co-founder of Eventex Awards said. "Each award is based entirely on merit and recognizes the fantastic creativity, flexibility and drive of the company to innovate."

The awards aim to celebrate creativity, innovation and efficiency in the industry. Every year, the competition highlights the best agencies, events and technology in the world of events, the institute said.

“These recognitions are the manifestation of the great vision the Institute and the private sector had in the diversification of tourism products. It places Costa Rica as one of the most important emerging destinations in the Meetings Industry at a global level, which it has represented more than 20% of tourism worldwide and that attracts a tourist who spends up to 5 times more than the traditional tourist,” Álvaro Rojas, General Manager of the Center said.



According to the institute, the Convention Center has received more than 18 recognitions and awards since its inauguration in April 2018.

It is the largest convention center in the country with the capacity to host 4,500 people all at once.

The laces, which is located eight kilometers west of Juan Santamaría International Airport, was developed on 15,600 square meters, budgeted at $35 million for an exhibition area, lobbies, convention halls, parking lots and spaces for outdoor exhibitions.

International meetings and convention tourism represents 22% of the industry and generates around $11 billion a year, according to the World Tourism Association.

However, due to the sanitary guidelines ordered by the Ministry of Health to try to control the expansion of the covid-19 in the country, the Center limited the number of events and public access.  The next event to be held in the place is scheduled in June.


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March was the busiest month for tourist arrivals to Costa Rica since the gradual reopening of borders
- Institute of Tourism photo -























Published Friday, May 7, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


With 89,263 international arrivals, March was the busiest month for tourist arrivals to Costa Rica since the gradual reopening of borders that began last August, according to the Tourism Institute.

This is the first time that tourist arrivals from all ports of entry have reached this level since March 2020, when the covid-19 health crisis began and borders were closed for nearly five months.

According to information provided by the General Directorate of Immigration, and analyzed by the Institute, 66,505 international arrivals were from North America, which is approximately 74.5%. Of this 62,370 tourists came from the United States, 2,706 from Mexico and 1,429 from Canada.

There were 14,183 tourists from Europe, 3,382 from Central America, 3,881 from South America and 284 from the Caribbean, the Institute reported.

“These numbers are very uplifting given the global situation and the difficulties that the tourism sector is facing in its recovery,” Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism said. “In order to keep these numbers where they are and ensure that they grow, it is vitally important that we commit to following public health guidelines.”



According to the Institute statistics, in January 2021, 62,200 tourists arrived from all ports of entry. While in February the number was 55,252 visitors. In the year’s first quarter, from January to March, there were a total of 206,715 arrivals.

Most of the arrivals were from the air with 88,391 of the total recorded in March.

The Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela Province, received 62,017 international arrivals, while Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Guanacaste Province, reported 26,374 tourists. These figures were the highest since March 2020 in both airports, the Institute reported.

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The researches are based in Guanacaste, which is the habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
- Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring photo -



















Published Friday, May 7, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring organization, dedicated to monitoring wildlife in Costa Rica with the use of motion sensor camera technology, recorded 5,242 videos of wild animals in their natural environment.

The recordings were made in four protected areas in the Tempisque Conservation Area, located in  Nicoya Peninsula. The research project is developed by the organization with the support of the National System of Conservation Areas.

One of the videos published by Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring is available on their Facebook page. The video is a compilation of animals in their natural habitat captured from the hidden cameras.

“We record the incredible fauna of Costa Rica using motion-sensor cameras in order to create beautiful, high-quality HD videos to showcase these amazing animals in their natural habitat,” the organization said in its statement.

The researches are based in Guanacaste, which is the habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. "However, the vast majority of these animals go unseen because they have perfected being undetected in the wild," they said.



The main video shows animals such as: white-faced monkeys, pumas, white-tailed deers, white-nosed coatis, ocelots, plain chachalacas, collared peccaries, gray-necked wood-rail, tayras, spotted pacas, tropical rat snakes, black spiny-tailed iguanas, agouties, tamanduas, bare-throated tiger herons, coyotes, among many more.

Guanacaste Wildlife Monitoring was founded by Vincent Losasso, a Biologist, who first began experimenting with motion sensor cameras in the woods by his parents house in rural Pennsylvania, in the U.S.

After moving to Costa Rica in 2012, he began working at a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and release center in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

As co-founder of the organization is Lindsay Losasso, who has been working with environmental education projects in rural, coastal communities in Guanacaste through her work at local schools and non-governmental organizations.

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It is urgent to protect the route between Cocos and Galápagos because outside these protected areas endangered species are very vulnerable to industrial and illegal fishing.
- Cocos Island National Park photo -


































Published Thursday, May 6, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A team of 15 scientists led by MigraMar, a foundation headquartered in California, U.S., began their expedition to protect the migration route of marine species between the islands of Cocos, located in the maritime zone of the Pacific Ocean of Costa Rica and Galápagos, located in the maritime zone of the Pacific Ocean of Ecuador.

"The investigation from this expedition will provide further important scientific evidence on migration between Marine Protected Areas by marine species such as whale sharks, hammerhead sharks and other sharks, stingrays, whales and other marine mammals, and fish such as billfish and tuna," Alex Hearn, leader of the expedition said.

The Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, which is the maritime zone between the two islands, is guarded by the governments of Costa Rica and Ecuador. The expedition will follow the migratory route made by marine species between both islands, which were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

According to the park rangers of Cocos Island, it is urgent to protect the route between Cocos and Galápagos because outside these protected areas endangered species are very vulnerable to industrial and illegal fishing.

Specialists estimate that 100 million sharks die in the world each year as a result of fishing or accidental deaths caused by humans. The ocean between Galápagos and Cocos is a popular location for industrial fishing fleets, including those engaged in shark finning, which is the act of removing fins from sharks and discarding the rest of the shark back into the ocean.

"The mission of the team is to gather more scientific evidence to urge authorities to take decisive action on the level of protection necessary to save one of the most important and impressive marine migration highways on the planet and the world-famous essential places that connect," they said in their statement.

Onboard the 134-foot Fins Attached Foundation scientific vessel named M/Y Sharkwater, the expedition set sail on May 3 from Quepos Beach, in Puntarenas Province, heading for Cocos Island, and then sailing to the island of San Cristóbal, which is located in the Galápagos Islands, in Ecuador, where they will arrive on May 12.

The expedition will return to Quepos Beach on May 23. The round-turn trip is estimated to last 20 days and cover 1,500 nautical miles.




MigraMar scientists explained that the expedition will stop at six defined locations where the marking (to be detected by satellite and sound) of fish and marine mammals will take place.

They will also conduct an underwater video study, counting biodiversity through sightings and taking DNA samples.

The designated locations for these research activities are the Fila del Coco, Coco Occidental and Gemelas seamounts in Cocos Island, as well as the Medina and Paramount seamounts and Darwin Island in theGalápagos.
According to scientists, planning for this expedition began almost two years ago by the MigraMar and Fins Attached foundations, which are co-sponsoring the expedition.

Among other organizations that financed the expedition are the Cocos Marine Conservation Area, Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Galapagos Science Center, Ocean Blue Tree, Only One, Sea Legacy, Shark Conservation Fund and Turtle Island Restoration Network.

In Costa Rica, commercial activities such as shark finning, importing of fins and transporting, transferring and carrying of fins within a boat are forbidden since 2012.

The fishing license will be canceled to the person in charge or owner of the boat, foreign or national, with respect for due process, who for the first time or with recurrence unloads, transport, import, transfer and carry shark fins inside the boat, according to the Marine Species Protection decree.

Authorities encourage citizens to report any suspicious illegal fishing to line 1192.

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According to the report, Costa Rica is a country covered with jungles and volcanoes that is home to unique biodiversity in the world that
has made it the ideal destination to enjoy nature. - National Geographic Travel Magazine photo -

































Published Tuesday, May 4, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

In the National Geographic Travel Magazine, Spain edition, the article "Costa Rica paradise of biodiversity” was published by the traveler reporter Rafael Pérez.

According to the Institute of Tourism, the article that was published in the May edition includes images and information about the country.

Pérez visited the country in September 2020. He was sponsored by the institute, as part of their plan to promote the country. The institute also hired the advertising agency Blueroom in Spain to support  the campaign.
Among the places Pérez visited were the Gold Museum, Monteverde, the Arenal Volcano, Rincón de la Vieja and Irazú National Parks, Liberia, Sarapiquí River, Caribbean Coast, the beaches of: Cahuita, Cocles, Chiquita, Punta Uva, the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and Corcovado.

In addition to the article, four digital ads to promote tourism to the Caribbean and the North Zone of Costa Rica were published on the website of the National Geographic Travel magazine, the institute said.

Regarding this article, Ireth Rodríguez, in charge of the advertising campaign, feels pleased by the extensive publication of this prestigious magazine. "The final result was surprising, amazing images and the narrative that invites potential tourists from Spain to immerse themselves in nature and the vast biodiversity of our country," she said.

It is expected that in the next few days the institute will publish the budget used to cover this advertising campaign.




According to the report, Costa Rica is a country covered with jungles and volcanoes that is home to unique biodiversity in the world that has made it the ideal destination to enjoy nature.

"The backbone of this Central American country is made up of volcanoes and hills that exceed 3,000 meters in altitude, wrapped in dense jungle and crossed by rivers that flow into the ocean," the author said in his article. "The route that discovers Costa Rican wonders first enters the fragile cloud forest and the rare tropical dry forest, runs through wild sandy areas where turtles spawn, reaches dreamy beaches, ascends volcanoes that are very alive and goes to meet of some of the more than 900 species of birds that can be seen in the country, such as the mythical quetzal."

For Pérez, Costa Rica is a world reference in nature conservation due to the high number of reserves, the connection between them and the commitment of the country's citizens and government.

"The essential parks depend on the number of days you have to travel through the country, but you should include at least one representative of each ecosystem: in the center, Monteverde and the Arenal volcano or the Rincón de la Vieja volcano and Guanacaste; in the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero and the Cahuita corals, in the surroundings of San José, the Irazú Volcano and Braulio Carrillo park, and on the southern Pacific coast, the magnificent Corcovado," Pérez said.

A segment of the article can be read on the National Geographic magazine website.

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The country has developed a tourism model designed to protect and safeguard the natural environment and guarantee progress in communities.
- World Travel Market photo -
































Published Monday, May 3, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica was recognized as "Best Destination for Responsible Tourism" at The World Travel Market awards which took place virtually from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The World Travel Market (WTM) is an England-based travel agency founded in 1980 to carry out the first World Travel Market in London.
 
According to the Tourism Institute, the award is a recognition of the sustainable tourism model they have developed for more than 20 years, with the support of private companies, and also "for developing a different tourism approach, including the preservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage, " they added.

This is the first time it was awarded the category of "Responsible Tourism in Latin America" and joins other similar awards that the World Travel Market makes in London, India and, Africa.

“It is undoubtedly a great honor and pride for Costa Rica to receive this award and to be listed as the best responsible destination especially during the most historically challenging context for the world's tourism industry," said Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism.

According to Segura, the country has developed a tourism model designed to protect and safeguard the natural environment and guarantee progress in communities.

"The Institute's Tourism Sustainability Certificate is a pioneering initiative in Latin America and has shown to push the entire industry for a better and more positive impact for the social and environmental development of the country," said Gustavo Pinto, representative of WTMarket.



The WTM awards were divided into four main categories:

• The best destination for responsible tourism.
• The best in poverty reduction and inclusion.
• The best contribution to the preservation of wildlife.
• The best attraction of cultural heritage.

According to the organizers, there were 53 projects registered from Latin America of which 13 finalists were chosen for these categories.

The Costa Rican award in the category of "Best Responsible Destination" is given to destinations that use tourism to promote local development making each visit a pleasant experience for the traveler, added the institute.

WTM moved their Latin American tourism fair from April to August, to be held at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo due to the pandemic.

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The series entitled "A Look Inside," was recorded in five tourist destinations and is the first series in IMAX format produced in Costa Rica.
- Wonder More photo -

Government sponsors movie series to boost tourism






























Published Tuesday, April 27, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Government, through its Tourism Institute, sponsored the Costa Rican travel agency Wonder More to produce a series of videos that will be presented in theaters in March.

According to the institute, the series entitled "A Look Inside," was recorded in five tourist destinations and is the first series in IMAX format produced in Costa Rica.

The five episodes represent five human needs in five different tourist destinations, such as Monteverde countryside, South Caribbean Coast, Chirripó Mountain, Dulce Gulf and Nosara Beach.

"Each episode is 10-15 minutes long and explores a human emotion, an ecosystem and a community," the institute added in its statement.

"We want all those who'll enjoy this film to identify themselves with a different perspective of tourism, from a more human perspective, to finally motivate Costa Ricans to do tourism and take control of their country, helping with gradual tourism reactivation, but without forgetting strict compliance with sanitary guidelines, " said Carolina Trejos, Marketing Director of the Institute.



The film series was produced by and starred married couple Sebastián Castro Sasso and Christine Raine.

"The recording would not have been possible without the generosity of the tourism entrepreneurs who opened the doors for us throughout the country," they said.

The series will be released in the first week of May in Costa Rican IMAX theaters.

In addition, the series will be presented at international festivals such as the London Mountain Film Festival 2021 and the Toronto International Women's Film Festival 2021 in Canada.

In addition to the Institute, the film was sponsored by Pozuelo and BAC Credomatic private companies.

It is expected that in the next few days, the institute will reveal the cost of the project.

A segment from chapter 5, filmed in Nosara Beach, can be viewed on the travel agency's Facebook page.

This month, the institute announced the sponsoring of a series of short videos to be displayed on the Planeta Calleja television program to attract Spanish tourists.



The show, focused on tourism, is hosted and produced by Jesús Calleja who travels around the world, reporting to a large audience in Spain and other countries, according to the institute.
 
This is Calleja's second trip to the country. Two years ago, he visited Costa Rica with Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, a Spanish fashion designer.

The coordination of Calleja's visit to the country to film the video was done by the press and PR staff in Europe, said Ireth Rodríguez, of the Advertising Department of the Institute.

The advertising campaign is focused on promoting Costa Rica as a natural sanctuary, biosecure, with a tourism sector that applies sanitary guidelines, to allow travelers to reconnect with the essentials and enjoy unique experiences, Rodríguez added.
 
Calleja visited the country to record the video from April 5 - 12. Spanish actor Antonio Resines explored Costa Rica alongside Calleja.
 
Together, they visited several tourist destinations such as Tortuguero, Pacuare River, a coffee plantation in Turrialba, Irazú Volcano, among other places. Throughout the tour, they experienced Costa Rican gastronomy and culture, the institute said in its statement.
 
“Costa Rica is so interesting, so beautiful and with so many things to do that we will certainly return, it is a country that has everything we are looking for: nature, a great message of sustainability, biodiversity, the way to manage the country according to its resources and is a clear example of how the rest of the world should do it, " Calleja said at the end of his trip. "People who are thinking about where to go on vacation, without a doubt should have Costa Rica in the list."
 
However, the expected video has not been released yet, even though Callejas's show's new season was already announced on channel 4 in Spain. The date of the broadcast has not yet been set.
 
A portion of the video of Calleja's visit was published on his Instagram account.


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The so-called Tourist-Corridor La Cruz, which includes  Santa Elena Peninsula, Salinas Bay and the cantons of El Jobo, Puerto Soley, Cuajiniquil and La Cruz.
- Institute of Tourism photo -


Costa Rican and Nicaraguan authorities seek
to increase tourism in Guanacaste






























Published Monday, April 26, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff



Hoping to increase tourism in Guanacaste Province, ministries from Costa Rica and Nicaragua met in the Municipality of La Cruz.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, the meeting was attended by Anasha Campbell, Minister of Tourism of Nicaragua, Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism in Costa Rica and authorities representing public institutions in Costa Rica.





They are working on development of plans to increase visitation  in the so-called Tourist-Corridor La Cruz, which includes  Santa Elena Peninsula, Salinas Bay and the cantons of El Jobo, Puerto Soley, Cuajiniquil and La Cruz.

La Cruz canton is on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, so it is a place where investment in the tourism sector could be increased, allowing travel between the border areas of both countries and generating more jobs, said the ministry in its statement.

According to Campbell, the plan seeks to allow a higher flow of tourists in both countries' borders to improve economic development in the area.

The Tourism-Corridor plan was created in 2019 to attract tourists with activities such as visits to petroglyph areas, rural tourism, kite surfing, bird watching, whales, dolphins, diving , snorkeling, fish, the Bolaños Wildlife Refuge Island and other attractions.

“Being a border community and as Costa Rica receives a large number of European travelers, tourists seek opportunities for border tours and here there is a  tourist corridor where the attractions of the Costa Rican northern Pacific Coast  meet the attractions of the Nicaragua southern Pacific Coast, ” said Minister Segura.

This is the second plan announced this month to promote tourism in specific zones of the country.




Recently,  the ministry announced the platform "We are Caribbean" whose objective is to promote downtown Limón, in the Limón Province,  as an authentic tourism destination.

Puerto Limón has enormous cultural wealth for the tourism industry. "For example, in a one-hour walk around Parque Vargas and the Cultural Tourism Center, we saw 19 buildings that are of Costa Rican historical cultural heritage,” said Minister Segura.
 
According to the ministry, various actors and institutions have joined forces to promote Puerto Limón city.
 
One of the projects is Heritage Puerto Limón with the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, which consists of a project for recognizing Caribbean Architecture. That includes plans for labeling and signaling of the 18 heritage buildings with technical sheets and QR codes that will provide access to available digital content such as videos, photographs, official files, free content download and more with the support of the Cultural Heritage Center and the National Library.
 
According to the authorities, independent entrepreneurs should register their business, such as in the Ministry of Finance, Institute of Tourism, Social Security, among other government institutions, to allow them access to funds, loans and support from state institutions.

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Following proper health guidelines to avoid the spread of covid-19, the main museums of downtown San José offer a variety of exhibitions
and tours, including activities for children this weekend.  - National Museum photo -


Variety of activities in city museums this weekend
















Published Friday, April 23, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Following proper health guidelines to avoid the spread of covid-19, the main museums of downtown San José offer a variety of exhibitions and tours, including activities for children this weekend.



The Children's Museum, located on 9 Avenue, celebrates its 27th anniversary.

The celebration will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In the daily schedule, there will be fun activities such as the presentation of the Storytelling Fest, tours with fictional characters, craft workshops, a photo-booth, among many others.

After 6 p.m., visitors will enjoy the highly anticipated "Night at the Museum" celebration, inspired by the 2006 fantasy-comedy film starring Ben Stiller.

Children and their families will be able to walk around the museum at night where there will be a show with animatronics such as "Life of Bugs" among others. The celebration will close with bright fireworks.

Tickets cost about $10 and include a guided tour, snacks, gifts and souvenirs.

Due to the pandemic, the number of people allowed is limited, so visitors must purchase tickets on the museum web  boleteria.museocr.org




The Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, located in the National Center of Culture, 3rd Avenue - 15th Street, next to the National Library, opens two new exhibitions this weekend.

The first display is "Art and Science Facing the Climate Future", developed with the support of the U.S. International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

In this exhibition, eight Costa Rican artists, who were selected at the beginning of the year through a public call to develop residencies with research centers on climate change issues, will present their work.

The second exhibition is "Data Ergo Sum Reloaded" by the Spanish artist Ana Marcos. It is a display taking artificial intelligence as the protagonist.

This exhibition proposal arose through the collaboration of the Cultural Center of Spain and the Museum Center La Neomudéjar in Madrid, Spain.

Data Ergo is about the experience of power and its control over people through personal big data. The possibilities of artificial intelligence and its universe provide an interactive art installation that makes visible the observational capacity of electronic devices.

The display, through the eye of the visitor, shows the world hidden behind mirrors, which takes the visitor to the story of "Alice in Wonderland" by the writer Lewis Carroll.

Exhibitions are open Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Entrance price for nationals and residents, $3 and tourists, $4. Free entry for children under 5 and adults over 65.



The National Museum, located between Central and Second Avenue (in front of the Plaza de la Democracia square), will be celebrating International Book Day on Friday.

There will be a book give away between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Visitors will find books about useful and interesting topics hidden in the gardens. Also known as Book Crossing, the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others.

Among the books to find are: "Trees and shrubs of importance for the birds of the Central Valley", "Flowers of Passion of Costa Rica", "Plants for Artisanal Use". And, for the little ones, coloring books and fantasy tales among many others.

You can take home all the books you want. Both the books and the entrance to the museum are free for the event.


------------------------------
Do you recommend visiting museums during the pandemic? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com














The cruise line will transit the Panama Canal up to the western coasts of Central America, making stops in Golfito and Quepos, Puntarenas Province.
- Seabourn photo -


U.S. cruise line resumes excursions to Costa Rica











Published Tuesday, April 20, 2021


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services


The Seabourn, a cruise line headquartered in Seattle, Washington, announces voyages to Costa Rica scheduled during fall, winter and spring 2022-2023.

The entire Seabourn fleet will be on the move to destinations accessible only to smaller ships. The Seabourn Quest will transit the Panama Canal up to the western coasts of Central America, making stops in Golfito and Quepos, Puntarenas Province.
The cruise will explore the Panama Canal, sailing four 14-day Panama Canal Quest voyages between Miami and Fuerte Amador (Panama City) during November and December 2022, and makes its way to Costa Rica and other ports in Central America until it reaches the Mexico Coast.

Guests can take advantage of promotions to receive additional savings, including the line's popular "Early Bonus Savings" offering guests who book select 2022-2023 sailings and pay in full by June 30, 2021, an additional 10 percent savings off the base cruise fare. Early Bonus Savings can also be combined with other promotions, such as Seabourn Club Savings, which provides an extra 5 percent savings to Seabourn Club Members on select voyages.


 
According to the cruise line, more voyages are set to resume for the same season to the Caribbean, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Indian Oceans.
 
"Our guests have asked us to release Seabourn itineraries earlier and earlier to plan future travel. We are excited to have our 2022 and 2023 cruise offerings for guests to book and experience 'the Seabourn Difference' from the Caribbean to the Panama Canal and Australia to Asia," Josh Leibowitz, president of Seabourn said. "Every year brings new routes and destinations for our guests to experience the exclusive travel opportunities that we offer."

Itineraries are open for sale, and additional information on specific destinations is available on Seabourn's website.

--------------------------

How will resuming cruise line excursions to Costa Rica help increase the economy for local tour operators?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com
















The advertising campaign is focused on promoting Costa Rica as a natural sanctuary, biosecure, with a tourism sector that applies sanitary guidelines,
to allow travelers to reconnect with the essentials and enjoy unique experiences.   - Planeta Calleja photo -


Costa Rica promoted as a tourist destination on TV show in Spain






























Published Thursday, April 15, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Tourism Institute seeks to attract Spanish tourists by promoting the country on the Planeta Calleja television program.



The show, focused on tourism, is hosted and produced by Jesús Calleja who travels around the world, reporting to a high audience in Spain and other countries, according to the institute. 

This is Calleja's second trip to the country. Two years ago, he visited Costa Rica for the first time with Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, a Spanish fashion designer.



Ireth Rodríguez, of the Advertising Department of the Institute, stated that the coordination of Calleja's visit to the country to film the video was done by the press and PR staff in Europe, as they were in charge of contacting the communications in that continent.

The advertising campaign is focused on promoting Costa Rica as a natural sanctuary, biosecure, with a tourism sector that applies sanitary guidelines, to allow travelers to reconnect with the essentials and enjoy unique experiences, Rodriguez said.

Calleja visited the country to record the video from April 5- 12. Spanish actor Antonio Resines explored Costa Rica alon Calleja.

Together they visited several tourist destinations such as Tortuguero, Pacuare River, a coffee plantation in Turrialba, Irazú Volcano, among other places.

Throughout the tour, they experienced Costa Rican gastronomy and culture, the institute said in its statement.

“Costa Rica is so interesting, so beautiful and with so many things to do that we will certainly return, it is a country that has everything we are looking for: nature, a great message of sustainability, biodiversity, the way to manage the country according to its resources and is a clear example of how the rest of the world should do it," Calleja said at the end of his trip. "People who are thinking about where to go on vacation, without a doubt should have Costa Rica in the list."

However, the expected video has not been released yet, even though Callejas's show's new season was already announced on channel 4 in Spain. The date of the broadcast has not yet been set.

Part of the video material of Calleja's visit was published on his Instagram account.





This is the second advertising campaign developed through celebrities in social media, that the institute announced this month.

Last week, the institute released their new campaign strategy to attract tourists from the United States and Canada. They are getting videos and photos published by so-called influencers.

One of the most recent influencers hired was Rob Strok, who according to YouTube has 105,000 subscribers on his channel.

The institute sponsored a trip for Strok and his production staff for five days in January. "This was his first departure outside the United States, after 2020, marked by restrictions caused by the pandemic," the institute said in its statement.

Strok's trips included some Pacific Coast beaches, canopy tours in Monteverde, Central Market in San José, Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo, among other tourist places in the country.

With the recorded material during the trips, an 8-minute video was made to promote tourism to Costa Rica that was posted on Strok's social media.

The video is titled "Best Place to Travel 2021, Costa Rica" where views are invited to visit the country. The campaign has registered more than 12,000 views since its publication on April 1.

"Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries we have visited, with endless jungles, a remarkable kindness people," Strok said in his video "Costa Rica left us all impressed."

According to the institute, the U.S. influencer also mentioned strict compliance with sanitary guidelines in his arrival at the Juan Santamaría International Airport and throughout his stay.

Strok’s video is available via his YouTube channel. He has additional footage of his trip available on his Instagram account.

According to the institute, the same type of campaign is currently being carried out with April Davidson, another U.S. influencer and specialist in adventure activities. Her photos are posted on her Instagram account.

According to Carolina Trejos, Marketing Director of the institute, part of their international advertising strategy is to bring on influencers specialized in tourism and travel, but "above all related to the values ​​of the Essential Country brand and the current campaign “Only the Essentials," she said.

“In this program of influencers, attractive profiles that have the most impact within the North American market (the United States and Canada) are selected and studied, then they are officially contacted and invited, depending on their availability, to live the experience of the destination, and sharing it from their point of view," Trejos said.

The influencer's videos to promote the country are also developed by the marketing agency based in Missouri, MMGY Global.

The institute has not provided information on the cost of their influencer advertising campaign.


--------------------------

What other influencers should the institute hire to attract more tourists? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


















One of the projects is Heritage Puerto Limón with the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, which consists of a project for recognizing Caribbean Architecture.
 - A.M. Costa Rica archive photo -


Costa Rica plans to promote Puerto Limón city as tourism destination






























Published Monday, April 12, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Puerto Limón has enormous cultural wealth for the tourism industry. "For example, in a one-hour walk around Parque Vargas and the Cultural Tourism Center, we saw 19 buildings that are of Costa Rican historical cultural heritage,” said Minister of Tourism Gustavo Segura.

The first step to making Puerto Limón in Limón Province a visible tourist destination is to meet with local tourism businessmen and entrepreneurs at the Tourism Center Cultural of Limón.
 
The ministry is implementing the platform so-called "We are Caribbean" whose objective is to promote Limón as an authentic tourism destination among visitors who value the cultural richness of Costa Rica, educated people who seek expressions of culture, biodiversity and gastronomy.

“Limón has natural beauties, the people are beautiful, but we always visit the South Caribbean and North Caribbean without visiting the center of Limón, which is the spring of art, culture, gastronomy and we cannot lose it because much of the idiosyncrasy of the Costa Rican is explained in the history that Puerto Limón contains," Segura said.



According to the ministry, various actors and institutions have joined forces to promote Puerto Limón city.

One of the projects is Heritage Puerto Limón with the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, which consists of a project for recognizing Caribbean Architecture. That includes plans for labeling and signaling of the 18 heritage buildings with technical sheets and QR codes that will provide access to available digital content such as videos, photographs, official files, free content download and more with the support of the Cultural Heritage Center and the National Library.

According to the authorities, independent entrepreneurs should register their business, such as in the Ministry of Finance, Institute of Tourism, Social Security, among other government institutions, to allow them access to funds, loans and support from state institutions.

This is the second recent plan of the government to promote tourism in specific zones of the country. In March, the ministry began encouraging travel to the country’s rural areas during Holy Week.





Among the sites promoted are Turrialba Canton in Cartago Province, Monteverde Canton in Puntarenas Province, Tamarindo Beach in Guanacaste Province, Golfito Port in the southern zone of Puntarenas Province, Los Santos Canton in the southern zone of San José Province and Sarapiqui Canton in Heredia Province.

The tourist guides created by the institute intend to provide information to visitors about the place's history, gastronomy, recommendations, access routes and a list of cultural activities that will take place in these destinations.

"With these guides, it is more attractive to explore and rediscover the natural charms, historical details and cultural presentations, in addition to all the activities available for tourists in these beautiful regions," Segura said.

Tour Guides campaigning "Vamos a Turistear" or let's go touring in the English Language, were recognized on the Institute of Tourism site.


--------------------------

What other rural zones should be promoted by the government to boost tourism? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

















The Tourism Institute is developing a strategy to attract tourists from the United States and Canada, through videos and photos published by their so-called influencers.
 - Tourism Institute photo -


Costa Rica promotes tourism by hiring U.S. influencers


















Published Friday, April 9, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Tourism Institute is developing a strategy to attract tourists from the United States and Canada, through videos and photos published by their so-called influencers.

One of the most recent influencers hired was Rob Strok, who according to YouTube has 105,000 subscribers on his channel.

The institute sponsored a trip for Strok and his production staff for five days in January. "This was his first departure outside the United States, after 2020, marked by restrictions caused by the pandemic," the institute said in its statement.

The institute financed Strok's trips to the Pacific Coast beaches, canopy tours in Monteverde, visits to the Central Market in San José, tours to Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo, among other tourist places in the country.

With the recorded material during the trips, an eight-minute video was made to promote tourism to Costa Rica that was posted on Strok's YouTube channel.

The video is titled "Best Place to Travel 2021, Costa Rica" where views are invited to visit the country. The campaign has registered more than 12,000 views since its publication on April 1.

"Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries we have visited, with endless jungles, a remarkable kindness people," Strok said in his video "Costa Rica left us all impressed."

According to the institute, the U.S. influencer also mentioned strict compliance with sanitary guidelines in his arrival at the Juan Santamaría International Airport and throughout his stay.

Strok’s video is available via his YouTube channel. He has additional footage of his trip in Costa Rica available on his Instagram account.

According to the institute, the same type of campaign is currently being carried out with April Davidson, another U.S. influencer and specialist in adventure activities. Her photos are posted on her Instagram account.



According to Carolina Trejos, Marketing Director of the institute, part of their international advertising strategy is to bring on influencers specialized in tourism and travel, but "above all related to the values ​​of the Essential Country brand and the current campaign Only the Essentials," she said.

“In this program of influencers, attractive profiles that have the most impact within the North American market (the United States and Canada) are selected and studied, then they are officially contacted and invited, depending on their availability, to live the experience of the destination, and sharing it from their point of view," Trejos said.

The influencer's videos to promote the country are also developed by the marketing agency based in Missouri, MMGY Global. It is expected the institute will provide information on the cost of the advertising campaign, including the compensation per influencer.

--------------------------

Who other influencers should the institute hire to attract more tourists from North America?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


















Only tourists who do not require a visa may enter via land.
- Costa Rican Embassy in Germany photo -


Land borders reopening for certain tourists, warns government






























Published Monday, April 5, 2021


By A.M. Costa Rica staff


Starting today, some tourists are allowed to enter the country through land border crossing points.

According to the government, only tourists who do not require a visa may enter via land. Those are included in the category of Group 1 and 2, following the general guidelines for entry and stay visas for non-residents.

The Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington D.C. states that tourists who do not require a visa “will depend on your nationality, purpose of visit, country of residence and duration of stay. Visa requirements are based on international agreements or treaties.”

Citizens of the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia or the United Kingdom do not require a Costa Rica entry visa.

Tourists allowed to enter have a maximum stay of 90 days and fulfill the following requirements:

• A current valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of one day from the day to enter Costa Rica.

• A return ticket to exit Costa Rica (either to return to your country or to go to another country).

The health requirements of tourists who are allowed to enter by land are the same established for tourists who enter by sea or air, such as:

• Fill out the "Health Pass" webform. This must be completed 48 hours before the trip.

• Provide proof of a valid Traveler's Insurance, not expiring during the time of stay in the country. This can be purchased in the country of departure or Costa Rica.

• Tourists must show proof by requesting a certificate issued in English or Spanish from their insurance provider that guarantees coverage for medical expenses in cases of covid-19 infection while in Costa Rica, for at least $50,000. And minimum coverage of $2,000 for accommodation expenses extended, in case of being infected with covid-19.

The valid insurance document must also be uploaded onto the same online Health Pass.

However, the country is not requesting proof of a negative covid-19 test.

The Ministry of Health validates the Health Pass form, while the Tourism Institute approves the medical insurance. Both procedures must be done by tourists who enter by air and sea.

After getting the enter authorization, tourists will obtain a QR code, which will be verified by the immigration authorities at the border post.

As part of this gradual opening of terrestrial borders, authorities dismiss the sanitary order to comply with quarantine upon arrival in the country.

Tourists should double-check the entry requirements by contacting their local Costa Rican embassy or consular representation before planning a trip to Costa Rica.

More detailed information about the non-visa benefit by nationality is available online on the Consulate page.

The General Directorate of Immigration also publishes the requirements to enter Costa Rica on its website, in Spanish language.



As part of the first phase of reopening land borders, there is no authorization of passage for people traveling to the United States, whether they come from South America or from other continents, the government said in its statement.

This is the so-called controlled mixed migratory flow, which enters from Panama. For this reason, this group of people will not be able to continue their trip to North America and must stay in migrant shelters.

The government does allow the entry of Nicaraguans who have a work agreement in Panama and must enter through the southern border to reach their destination.

A special  immigration police operation called “Sanitary Bubbles” transfers immigrants from the Northern border to the Southern border.

Tourists requiring a visa  to enter Costa Rica belong to the so-called Group 3 and 4. They must wait until the Costa Rican consulates in their countries reopen the visa emission procedures.

Costa Rica closed all its borders on March 18, 2020, due to the National Health Emergency Decree to prevent the spread of covid-19. The maritime and air borders were reopened in August 2020.

In May, authorities of the National Emergency Commission announced close monitoring of the contagion rate of covid-19, so a possible spike in infections could cause an eventual order to the closure of borders in the future.

--------------------------

How will selective border crossings impact the economy in Costa Rica?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com









One of the projects is Heritage Puerto Limón with the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, which consists of a project for recognizing Caribbean Architecture.
 - A.M. Costa Rica archive photo -


Costa Rica plans to promote Puerto Limón city as tourism destination






























Published Monday, April 12, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


Puerto Limón has enormous cultural wealth for the tourism industry. "For example, in a one-hour walk around Parque Vargas and the Cultural Tourism Center, we saw 19 buildings that are of Costa Rican historical cultural heritage,” said Minister of Tourism Gustavo Segura.

The first step to making Puerto Limón in Limón Province a visible tourist destination is to meet with local tourism businessmen and entrepreneurs at the Tourism Center Cultural of Limón.
 
The ministry is implementing the platform so-called "We are Caribbean" whose objective is to promote Limón as an authentic tourism destination among visitors who value the cultural richness of Costa Rica, educated people who seek expressions of culture, biodiversity and gastronomy.

“Limón has natural beauties, the people are beautiful, but we always visit the South Caribbean and North Caribbean without visiting the center of Limón, which is the spring of art, culture, gastronomy and we cannot lose it because much of the idiosyncrasy of the Costa Rican is explained in the history that Puerto Limón contains," Segura said.



According to the ministry, various actors and institutions have joined forces to promote Puerto Limón city.

One of the projects is Heritage Puerto Limón with the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, which consists of a project for recognizing Caribbean Architecture. That includes plans for labeling and signaling of the 18 heritage buildings with technical sheets and QR codes that will provide access to available digital content such as videos, photographs, official files, free content download and more with the support of the Cultural Heritage Center and the National Library.

According to the authorities, independent entrepreneurs should register their business, such as in the Ministry of Finance, Institute of Tourism, Social Security, among other government institutions, to allow them access to funds, loans and support from state institutions.

This is the second recent plan of the government to promote tourism in specific zones of the country. In March, the ministry began encouraging travel to the country’s rural areas during Holy Week.





Among the sites promoted are Turrialba Canton in Cartago Province, Monteverde Canton in Puntarenas Province, Tamarindo Beach in Guanacaste Province, Golfito Port in the southern zone of Puntarenas Province, Los Santos Canton in the southern zone of San José Province and Sarapiqui Canton in Heredia Province.

The tourist guides created by the institute intend to provide information to visitors about the place's history, gastronomy, recommendations, access routes and a list of cultural activities that will take place in these destinations.

"With these guides, it is more attractive to explore and rediscover the natural charms, historical details and cultural presentations, in addition to all the activities available for tourists in these beautiful regions," Segura said.

Tour Guides campaigning "Vamos a Turistear" or let's go touring in the English Language, were recognized on the Institute of Tourism site.


--------------------------

What other rural zones should be promoted by the government to boost tourism? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com








- Do It Foundation photo -

The rapid rise of the digital nomad and Costa Rica’s
competitive opportunity to win the hearts
of an emerging market





















Published Friday, April 9, 2021

By Tony Darrick Baker

There’s a booming new trend in 2021, and that's in the rise of the Digital Nomad. If you’re not familiar with the concept, digital nomads are defined as people who have chosen to embrace a location-independent, technology-enabled lifestyle that allows them to travel and work remotely, anywhere in the world.

Geographic arbitrage was once almost exclusively for retirees looking to enhance their quality of life and make the most of their retirement pensions and savings by moving to a preferred climate with a lower cost of living. Today, a whole new demographic of travelers can make the most of their income and build their career while living a life that most people only experience in retirement or while on a vacation.



The popularity of working from home has been thrust upon the world due to the covid-19 pandemic. Millions of people are escaping the confines of their office cubicles and exploring the world. A study conducted by MBO Partners shows that in 2020, the number of U.S. traditional salary office employees working as digital nomads grew 96 percent, from 3.2 million to 6.3 million. This is a huge increase in this type of digital nomad. Until 2020 the majority of remote workers were freelance contractors, independent consultants, and solo entrepreneurs.

The covid-19 pandemic has forced companies to adopt remote working lifestyles or face shutting down completely. The “work-from-home” requirement enacted by many corporations in 2020 has quickly transformed into “work-from-anywhere” policies and opportunities for tech-savvy travelers.

The MBO Partners study revealed that the amount of U.S. digital nomads has grown by 49% to more than 10.9 million people since 2019. This growth trend is expected to double again in the next year.

Many digital nomads will travel for years, regularly moving across a variety of countries. Others are nomadic for shorter periods, simply taking “workcations” lasting from a few weeks to several months a year. Boutique Hotels and short-term home renters struggling with pandemic travel restrictions love digital nomads. This new community of tourists typically stay weeks and months at a time at the same location, all the while influencing family, friends, and co-workers that follow them on social media. Digital nomads are often low-maintenance guests that have a simple daily routine of work, rest, and play.



Remote workers require reliable high-speed Internet service, a quiet work environment for video and audio conferencing, a safe place for their laptop or tablet, refrigerated food and beverage storage, weekly laundry facilities or services, and convenient access to restaurants, shopping, and their preferred natural environment to relax in after work.

According to the MBO Partners study, Digital nomads work in a wide variety of fields, including information technology (12%), education and training (11%), consulting, coaching, and research (11 %), sales, marketing, and PR (9%), and creative services (8 %) with other fields represented equally. The unifying theme of these professions is that they can be performed remotely using digital tools and the Internet.

Countries are already beginning to take notice of the huge increase in the demand of digital nomads to relocate to tourist destinations. This is extremely important to local economies struggling as tourism is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels for another 3 years.

Indonesia is rolling out a new 5-year visa to help attract digital nomads to their country. “Long-term visas have become a prerequisite for the world’s digital nomads to consider Bali their second home,” Indonesia’s Tourism Minister Sandiaga Uno said.

Likewise, throughout the Caribbean, countries are developing or enhancing their campaigns to attract digital nomads. With more than a third of its GDP coming from tourism, Barbados faced a crushing economic disaster as the covid-19 pandemic brought the entire travel industry to a complete standstill. Rather than sit back and wait out a pandemic that seems to linger on, Barbados launched an aggressive viral campaign to offer a 12-month “Welcome Stamp” to aspiring digital nomads. The results were astounding. Barbados doubled their original goal with more than 2,000 applicants within the first few months.

The success of this campaign has caused a variety of other countries to quickly follow suit. The Cayman Islands now offers a 2-year visa and the Bahamas offers up to a 3-year visa. Montserrat, Anguilla, Curacao, Antigua, Barbuda, Bermuda, Dominica all have begun to offer renewable visas ranging from 12 to 18 months. All around the world countries are beginning to see the value and growth of the digital nomad traveler community. Thailand now offers a 4-year renewable visa. Croatia, Estonia, Dubai, Albania, Iceland, and Georgia all welcome remote workers without the persistent 30 to 90-day border runs.

Costa Rica is also working to attract Digital Nomads. The “Law to Attract Workers and Remote Service Providers of an International Nature” is promoted by the deputy of the National Liberation Party (PLN), Carlos Ricardo Benavides.

“Even in Japan, they mention us as a country that is preparing to receive digital nomads. The world is in competition for this tourism and Costa Rica has a great opportunity that it must take advantage of and reactivate its economy,” the deputy said.

Costa Rica has a history of reluctantly allowing perpetual tourists, as long as these travelers don’t exceed the 90-day tourist visa. Thousands of digital nomads have spent a large part of the last few years going back and forth between Costa Rica and their home country, and others simply hop over to a neighboring country for an afternoon or other travel destination to stay compliant with Costa Rican law.

If the new digital nomad-friendly law is enacted in Costa Rica, digital nomads will be able to avoid the expense of time and money to perform quarterly border runs. The law creates a new category of Estancia Visa. Digital nomads will have their driving privileges extended for the duration of their visa, be able to open bank savings accounts, and receive tax exemptions on electronic equipment required for their work.

The attraction to become a digital nomad is high for tech-savvy travelers. It’s a different mindset than you would find with retirees. People are not always ready to invest their life savings into buying a property or a business to get residency. They may not be ready to commit to staying in one part of a country, or even the same part of the world for more than a year or two at a time. However, this law will make it easier for digital nomads to live and work, and likewise competitively increases the attraction of digital nomads to Costa Rica.

“Costa Rica is an ideal location for digital nomads,” said John Scheman, founder of Grupo Do It, a company involved in tourism and focused on developing properties in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. “Costa Rica’s central location makes it easy to work in a time-zone similar to peers and clients in the US. and Canada. Likewise, digital nomads can fly directly into Guanacaste from Los Angeles, New York, Denver, Dallas, Houston, and Miami in 3 to 5 hours at a fraction of the cost of flying to a remote island, and then be on the beach or in the mountains well before sunset.”

The reasons that people have for living this new geographic-freedom lifestyle vary. Many digital nomads may have launched a new chapter in their lives and they’re still waiting for the details to work out legally, financially, or otherwise before they commit to one place indefinitely.

With the digital nomad community, if someone has the opportunity to work and make an income remotely while bringing cash and resources into a new local economy, then it’s no wonder that so many countries are seeing this as an entirely new and lucrative opportunity.

Many of these digital nomad perpetual tourists may eventually become residents, or at the very least, encourage others to become tourists by showing all of their family, friends, and loved ones what is possible in a digital nomad-friendly country. Costa Rica now has the opportunity to capture this new and quickly emerging market by offering the best opportunity for digital nomads in the region for years to come, and quickly start the process of bringing Costa Rica’s prosperity back to pre-pandemic levels of growth








The Tourism Institute is developing a strategy to attract tourists from the United States and Canada, through videos and photos published by their so-called influencers.    - Tourism Institute photo -

Costa Rica promotes tourism by hiring U.S. influencers

















Published Friday, April 9, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff


The Tourism Institute is developing a strategy to attract tourists from the United States and Canada, through videos and photos published by their so-called influencers.

One of the most recent influencers hired was Rob Strok, who according to YouTube has 105,000 subscribers on his channel.

The institute sponsored a trip for Strok and his production staff for five days in January. "This was his first departure outside the United States, after 2020, marked by restrictions caused by the pandemic," the institute said in its statement.

The institute financed Strok's trips to the Pacific Coast beaches, canopy tours in Monteverde, visits to the Central Market in San José, tours to Los Bajos del Toro Amarillo, among other tourist places in the country.

With the recorded material during the trips, an eight-minute video was made to promote tourism to Costa Rica that was posted on Strok's YouTube channel.

The video is titled "Best Place to Travel 2021, Costa Rica" where views are invited to visit the country. The campaign has registered more than 12,000 views since its publication on April 1.

"Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful countries we have visited, with endless jungles, a remarkable kindness people," Strok said in his video "Costa Rica left us all impressed."

According to the institute, the U.S. influencer also mentioned strict compliance with sanitary guidelines in his arrival at the Juan Santamaría International Airport and throughout his stay.

Strok’s video is available via his YouTube channel. He has additional footage of his trip in Costa Rica available on his Instagram account.

According to the institute, the same type of campaign is currently being carried out with April Davidson, another U.S. influencer and specialist in adventure activities. Her photos are posted on her Instagram account.



According to Carolina Trejos, Marketing Director of the institute, part of their international advertising strategy is to bring on influencers specialized in tourism and travel, but "above all related to the values ​​of the Essential Country brand and the current campaign Only the Essentials," she said.

“In this program of influencers, attractive profiles that have the most impact within the North American market (the United States and Canada) are selected and studied, then they are officially contacted and invited, depending on their availability, to live the experience of the destination, and sharing it from their point of view," Trejos said.

The influencer's videos to promote the country are also developed by the marketing agency based in Missouri, MMGY Global. It is expected the institute will provide information on the cost of the advertising campaign, including the compensation per influencer.

--------------------------

Who other influencers should the institute hire to attract more tourists from North America?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com