Costa Rica Travel News – Jim Damalas, the founder and general manager of GreenTique Hotels, is an American expatriate who had a successful career as a producer of television commercials for many Fortune 500 companies. Today working as a hotel partner with Perillo Tours, he is committed to bringing people to Costa Rica. TravelPulse asked him why he thinks Americans should come to Costa Rica. He rattled off 10 reasons.
Hygiene. Costa Ricans have a higher standard of cleanliness than Americans. They bathe twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, and they brush their teeth after every meal. It’s a pleasant cultural difference to experience, but it also translates into a reduction of risk in the areas related to hygiene issues. You can eat and drink without worrying that you may get sick, a big plus for travelers.
Hospitality. Hospitality is in the Costa Rican DNA. It’s something they are raised with. They grow up with it. I don’t have to put any effort into training my staff in customer service. It’s just the way Costa Ricans are. They have a natural hospitality that is part of a philosophy of living they refer to with the general term “Pura Vida,” which translates to “Pure Life,” but it has a special meaning in Costa Rica that you gradually absorb and learn to understand as you spend time here.
Accessibility. Costa Rica is never more than a five-hour flight from the U.S. It ranges from three to five hours’ flight time from anywhere in the continental United States.
Manageable Size. You can drive across the country in six hours. Any time of year somewhere it’s summer and somewhere it’s winter.
Diversity of Weather. Costa Rica has a tremendous variety of weather and climate. In a country the size of West Virginia we have five climate zones and many microclimates within them. Every day you can enjoy many different climate zones.
Diversity of Environments. Costa Rica has more diversity of landscapes and environments than Disneyland, but while the different lands at Disneyland are artificial constructions, Costa Ricans’ varying microclimates are naturally occurring.
Biological Diversity. Costa Rica has a great abundance and variety of wildlife. There is more biodiversity in Costa Rica than in all of the U.S.
Sunshine and Constancy. We get 12 hours of light every day year round. Because we are in the tropics, we always get 12 hours of daylight. Here we’re about 11 degrees from the equator. In the rainy season it rains a lot, pretty much every day. But it comes and then passes and the sun comes out again. It’s not the long, depressing cloudy periods you see in some northern climates. When it’s cloudy or foggy in the cloudforest, it’s a gentle covering, not oppressive.
No Language Barriers. English is the second most widely spoken language. It’s easy for Americans to get around because so many people speak English.
Boutique Hotels. A majority of the hotel and resort properties in Costa Rica are boutique hotels and most are family owned and personally operated.
By DAVID COGSWELL, www.travelpulse.com