Río Cuarto launches canton brand, seeking to become the country’s newest tourism destination


  • The initiative aims to encourage Costa Ricans and visitors to discover the riches of the region: rivers, waterfalls and lakes along with flora and fauna and the hospitality of its inhabitants.
  • “This is a historic day for the municipality of Río Cuarto. We have been working tirelessly to promote the name of Río Cuarto around the country and the world,” said the mayor, José Miguel Jiménez.
  • The virtual inauguration ceremony, which was attended by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Tourism, featured the first rendition of the anthem of the canton, the youngest in Costa Rica.

Thursday, May 20, 2021 - The new canton brand “Río Cuarto, todo por descubrir” (Río Cuarto, everything to discover) was launched on Thursday in a ceremony held in the town’s community center, which was virtually attended by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, and the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura Sancho.

Held at the same time as the celebration of the fourth anniversary of the creation of Costa Rica’s youngest canton, the launch ceremony featured promotional videos that showcased the canton’s tourist attractions and the values of its inhabitants. These videos, along with the canton brand, are part of an effort by Río Cuarto to establish itself as a destination for Costa Ricans and visitors to the country from abroad.

“For the municipality and Río Cuarto, the launch of the canton brand is a historic event,” said José Miguel Jiménez, the canton’s mayor. “We have been working with high hopes, always striving for excellence in order to promote the name of Río Cuarto around the country and the world. We hope that people know where we are and come to see the wonders we have to offer, our beautiful waterfalls, lakes, flora and fauna. In Río Cuarto, there is everything to discover.”

President Alvarado congratulated Río Cuarto for their anniversary, noting that the launch of the canton brand is a cause for celebration.

“When you explore the paths of Costa Rica, you find regions of incredible scenic richness that make you wonder why no one ever told you that they were there,” remarked Alvarado. “It is because we know the incredible beauty and potential that Río Cuarto has to offer that we want to promote Río Cuarto, we want the country’s youngest canton to welcome more tourists who will explore its tourist attractions, meet its people and come back as often as they wish.”

In a video, Minister Segura noted that Río Cuarto’s rivers, waterfalls and lakes, among other attractions, made it one of the many options that our country offers to domestic and foreign tourists. “The Costa Rican Tourism Board congratulates the residents of Río Cuarto for the launch of their canton brand, a demonstration of the essence of Costa Rica. To those who have not yet gotten to know the region, we invite you to make a visit while following public health protocols.”

Prior to the launch of the canton brand “Río Cuarto, everything to discover”, the Executive President of the Rural Development Institute (Inder), Harys Regidor, and the General Manager of COOPELESCA, Omar Miranda, signed an agreement that would provide Internet access to nearly 5,200 inhabitants of the region.

Community anthem. The enthusiasm surrounding the canton’s anniversary also saw the composition and first rendition of the canton’s anthem by the tenor Gustavo Acosta Rojas in Thursday’s ceremony.

Following a contest held by the local government, the entry entitled Himno a Río Cuarto (Anthem of Río Cuarto) by local musician Erick Mora Marín, age 32, was selected. The song pays tribute to the canton’s three districts and its lyrics emphasize the importance of water.

In October 2020, Mora Marín was inspired to create the anthem during a visit to various attractions in the canton. An additional note of interest is that the musician’s wife, Lady Chávez, added some of the lines at the end to reinforce the sense of belonging of the inhabitants of Río Cuarto.

How did the Río Cuarto canton brand come to be? Río Cuarto is the 82nd canton of the country, and was formed in 2017 when it officially split from the canton of Grecia.

Currently, the canton is seeking to encourage visits from Costa Rican and international travelers, calling on them to explore the sights of the region, which include rivers, lakes and waterfalls such as Poza La Flor, Casa de Las Lapas, Río Cuarto Lake, Bosque Alegre Wildlife Refuge, Lagunas del Hule, Paraíso de Manantiales, Pozo Azul Waterfall and the Río Toro Canyon.

The community is inviting tourists to discover its attractions as well as the warmth, spirit of service and generosity of its inhabitants, while fully respecting the public health protocols in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 at all times.

From the beginning of his mandate in May 2020, Mayor José Miguel Jimenez proposed the creation of the Río Cuarto canton brand as a strategy to raise the profile of the region for tourists from Costa Rica and abroad.

These efforts included interviews with local pioneers, community leaders, development associations, business leaders, religious organizations and leading citizens from the canton. The responses from participants were used to select the key recurring terms to build a concept of Río Cuarto’s idiosyncrasy.

Río Cuarto is seeking to be perceived as an environmentally conscious region that offers enjoyment and relaxation, an ideal destination for family or group travel. The Mayor emphasized that the canton is committed to protecting the environment and offers excellent potential for investment in areas such as tourism, industry and services.

As part of the launch of the canton brand, the Río Cuarto official social media pages and website were also put online. Those interested can find more information on the canton’s Facebook profile and the website of the Municipality of Río Cuarto: www.muniriocuarto.go.cr

Did you know that you can go glamping in the southern Caribbean in a geodesic dome based on NASA designs?


  • Faith Glamping Dome Costa Rica offers futuristic geodesic domes placed in the middle of the forest, just a few meters from the beach in Playa Grande, Manzanillo.
  • Eco-glamping stays are available in destinations including the southern Caribbean, Golfito, Providencia de Dota in the Los Santos region.

Amidst the dense forests of the southern Caribbean and just a few steps from the beach, a unique glamping experience awaits in a futuristic complex comprised of six geodesic domes. These visually stunning domes are created by the same group that makes habitation domes for Mars projects. A geodesic dome is a self-supporting structure that does not need columns or foundations and is highly resistant to inclement weather.

As the name suggests, “glamping” refers to camping with a glamorous touch, comfort in the middle of nature. The total immersion allows visitors to recharge during the new normal while observing public health protocols.

“The complex is made up of six domes, four of which are named for the elements: Water, Air, Fire and Earth, explains Andrea Sánchez, entrepreneur and owner of Faith Glamping Dome Costa Rica in Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo in Limón Province. “In the center, the largest dome is an homage to love, while the dome of harmony is in the highest point. This unparalleled experience offers visitors an immersion in the nature and a chance to connect with themselves and dive into the crystalline water of the Caribbean Sea.”

The project, Sánchez explained, is based on partnerships that support women in the Manzanillo community and provides a positive impact on nearby businesses and restaurants. The food served on site and the personal care products are provided by local businesses, as are the cleaning products used in the domes.

Futuristic domes in a forest by the sea

Creating the domes is a dream come true for Sánchez, who wanted to be an astronaut when she was a child and even wrote letters to Franklin Chang. At the age of 40, she visited NASA headquarters in Houston, Texas, which provided her with the inspiration for her project.

On her visit, she learned about geodesic domes, a technology used by NASA in the development of habitats to bring human life to mars. Following this first step, she was able to meet the company who provided the space agency with its geodesic dome. After that, her dream took off and has been going strong for the last four years.

The location of the project allows domestic and international tourists to visit the Gandoca-Manzanillo Conservation Area and to access the beaches of Playa Grande and Manzanillo, just a few minutes’ walk from the domes. The experience can be combined with yoga classes, meditation, relaxation therapies with forest sounds, a cacao tour, and other activities.

The project recently received a Tourism Declaration from the Costa Rican Tourism Board as a rural eco-glamping lodge. It has also obtained the Safe Travels seal of approval for its compliance with public health protocols.

“Glamping is considered to be a promising new alternative among customers who are interested in a personal experience of nature and low environmental impact,” says Gustavo Alvarado, Director of Tourism Management at the ICT. “In addition, it has a positive impact on the communities in which it is located, contributing to the preservation of built cultural heritage, as well as traditional values and living human heritage.”

According to ICT data, glamping projects with a Tourism Declaration can currently be found in destinations including the southern Caribbean, Golfito, Providencia de Dota in the Los Santos region.

For more information about Faith Glamping Dome Costa Rica, call 8723-0101 or 2750-0696 or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/faithglampingdomecr

Nine can’t-miss attractions you have to see in Santa Cruz and Nicoya


Did you know... That the crafts of Guaitil are made with iguana sand? That the church of San Blas is one of the country’s oldest? That Barra Honda has caverns that are 60 million years old? That you can enjoy a drink made from purple corn?

Santa Cruz and Nicoya, in Guanacaste, are places where traditions, history, rural life, faith and culture come together with exuberant natural surroundings, pristine beaches, adventure activities and the essence of Costa Rica.

We’ve collected a list of nine activities or places that you can’t miss when you visit the region during Holy Week or at any time of year.

  1. Enjoy freshly made corn tortillas.
  2. Visit the Catholic church of San Blas de Nicoya.
  3. Attend a traditional bullriding event.
  4. Enjoy the sea and the sunsets.
  5. Go birdwatching in Palo Verde National Park.
  6. Experience rural tourism.
  7. Take the crafts of Guaitil and San Vicente home with you.
  8. Participate in a marimba dance.
  9. Watch the arrival of sea turtles in Ostional and Las Baulas.

You can also pay a visit to the Diriá and Barra Honda National Parks.

Here are just a few of the surprises that await in the region: 

  • Ceramic crafts of Guaitil: Did you know that the age-old technique of iguana sand ceramics is still being practiced in Nicoya?

The region’s traditional techniques include Chorotega ceramics, practiced in Guaitil de Santa Cruz and San Vicente de Nicoya by the Chorotega indigenous people. The figures are made from pure clay using traditional techniques passed down through the generations.

Johnny Sánchez, a local artisan, told us that we can learn about how different pieces were through the generations at the Ecomuseo in San Vicente de Guaitil, Guanacaste, with pieces such as the comal, used for cooking tortillas, or an amphora made to hold chicha.

Sánchez, an artisan in the community of San Vicente, told us in detail about how the ceramics are made by pulverizing blocks of clay and mixing them with iguana sand – the sand where iguanas lay their eggs. Finally, the clay stomped on to gain its consistency. Later, the artisans shape the piece with their hands, starting from a ball and shaping it from within. They grow the form using rolls of clay, coloring it by hands as their ancestors did. Don Johnny also told us that the traditional designs that the artisans make are related to significant figures: the gecko sympolizes luck, the butterfly beauty, and the turtle fertility.

  • Parish of San Blas: Did you know that the Parish of San Blas de Nicoya is the first church in the country?

According to Mario Rojas, a historian of Nicoya, this place is one of the four oldest churches in Costa Rica, and still holds religious ceremonies. The church is located inside the town’s plaza rather than in front of it, as is the more recent tradition. On this site, the Spaniards found a small hill where the indigenous people made sacrifices, and so placed a cross on the site, where the church now stands inside the plaza.

The Virgin of Guadalupe was brought here by Franciscan missionaries to introduce the Chorotega natives to Christianity. Little by little, they substituted the Chorotega Sun Festival with the Feast of the Virgin celebrated by the town’s Brotherhood of Guadalupe.

  • Barra Honda National Park: Did you know that Barra Honda is one of the oldest sites in Costa Rica, with a system of caverns made from a reef that emerged from the sea 60 million years ago?

Barra Honda is the largest known cave system in the country. The geology of Cerro Barra Honda, a mountain 300 meters tall, shows that it was once a system of reefs that emerged from the sea due to a upswell in the tectonic plates some 60 million years ago.

These reef formations were shaped by blue and green algae that formed calcium deposits, as well as sponges, sea urchins and foramnifera, tiny marine protozoans with a calcareous shell. It is one of the many rounded limestone hills located in the province of Guanacaste.

The ICT recommends visiting the area with an authorized guide so that you can make the best of your visit to this awe-inspiring park. Remember to be a responsible tourist and follow public health advice: wash and sanitize your hands regularly, maintain a distance of 1.8 meters between households, use a mask, do not remove shells, plants or flowers from the area, and do not feed the animals.

  • The regional cuisine: Did you know that Nicoya is home to a creole cuisine with age-old recipes fresh from the oven?

 In Pozo de Agua, Guanacaste, we experienced rural tourism in a community that has come together to welcome tourists and offer them the delights of the region’s traditional cooking alongside a variety of dishes for all tastes.

The cuisine of the community combines the regional culture with rural traditions and the expertise of generations past. The mix of customs and age-old traditions give Nicoyan cooking an identity all its own.

Diners and tourists searching for new flavors will have the chance to savor delectable dishes prepared over a wood fire or in a clay oven: rice and yellow corn, chicken with annatto, corn biscuits, freshly made tortillas and atol pujagua, a drink made with purple corn. The cooks even showed us how they prepare the clay oven they use to prepare the food. Enjoy this Holy Week surrounded by natural beauty, culture and delicious cuisine! For more information, call 8984-9694. 

Learn more about Santa Cruz, Nicoya and Tamarindo in this guide with surprising places to see, learn and enjoy as you travel within your bubble. Find out about tours, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, information and a list of tourist guides at the following link: https://www.vamosaturistear.com/guiasturisticasculturales/

Manuel Antonio to open Mondays beginning April 1

  • The objective is to extend the weekend schedule in order to promote the reactivation of the local economy, which has been affected by the pandemic.
  • The park will close on Tuesdays for maintenance work by the authorities of the Protected Wildlife Area.
  • Tourists will be able to purchase tickets online through the SINAC Purchase and Reservation System beginning March 12.
  • Authorities call for visitors to the National Park to behave responsibly and follow protocols.

San José. Beginning on April 1, Manuel Antonio National Park will be open on Mondays. The new schedule seeks to boost visits to the park and promote the reactivation of the local economy, which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This announcement was made by the authorities of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), who invited local and international tourists to visit the country’s Protected Wildlife Areas. The measure comes following the passage of Law 9875, which transfers official holidays to the previous or following Monday in order to allow people to spend one more day in their destination.

“This is one more effort by the Government of the Republic that seeks to support economic reactivation in the coastal regions and promote responsible visits to the country’s National Parks and Protected Wildlife Areas,” explained the Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza Murillo.

The Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, indicated that national parks are essential to tourism in the country. “Quepos is a top destination, and by opening Mondays, Manuel Antonio National Park – the country’s most visited – adds value by allowing visitors to extend their weekend stays, supporting the economic reactivation of the tourism sector.”

Maintenance work by employees of Manuel Antonio National Park will continue on Tuesdays, when the park will remain closed.

The Director of SINAC, Rafael Gutiérrez, also announced that the organization’s Purchase and Reservation System would allow tourists to book their tickets to the park as of March 12. “We have an ongoing commitment to society and the role of wildlife areas in supporting the local and national economy,” said Mr. Gutiérrez.

Luis Sánchez, Regional Director of the Central Pacific Conservation area, noted that the modified hours of operation of Manuel Antonio National Park are “justified from an environmental and social point of view; the park will be open on Mondays and closed Tuesdays beginning on April 1”.

Tickets to Manuel Antonio. When you purchase your ticket on www.sinac.go.cr or https://parques.coopealianza.fi.cr/, make sure that you have stored the ticket’s QR code on your phone, as this is required for you to enter the Protected Wildlife Area.

In addition, you will be able to purchase your tickets on the Purchase and Reservations System from SINAC at the following address: http://www.sinac.go.cr/ES/resvlinea/Paginas/default.aspx. Tickets are available for visits to Manuel Antonio National Park on or after April 8.

For visits prior to April 8, tickets can be purchased on the website of Coopealianza R.L.

When visiting the park, please follow all instructions from the National Park authorities. If you have any questions, please ask the park rangers. Remember to follow health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for a safe stay.


Did you know that you can see 30 species of birds in a one-hour tour of Bahía Ballena with a specialized tour guide?


Bahía Ballena in Uvita might conjure up images of dolphins and whales (since ballena is the Spanish word for whale). Even so, the area offers a wealth of fauna to discover outside the whalewatching season.

What better way to enjoy the region’s unique attractions than with a certified tour guide who can show you the surroundings and explain what you’re seeing and the wonders that can be discovered? Their knowledge, professionalism and charisma give them everything they need to make your experience unforgettable.

Fernando Guerrero, a tour guide with 15 years of experience in the Osa Peninsula and over 10 years as a park ranger, explains that birdwatching is a significant tourist activity in this area. Guerrero notes that the region’s most iconic species is the fiery-billed aracari, known locally as the cusinga, though trogons, tanagers and many other species also call the area home. According to Guerrero, some 30-35 species can be seen in a 60-90 minute period when observing carefully and quietly.

The ICT recommends that you find a certified, knowledgeable tour guide to enjoy the wonderful variety of birds at any time of year and discover the natural marvels that our country has to offer. A tour operator with a Tourism Declaration will be able to provide high-quality service.

“Costa Rica, without a doubt, holds secret wonders around every corner,” notes Alberto López, General Manager of the ICT. “Although any trip through the country offers unforgettable experiences, a tour guide’s presence, experience, knowledge and keen senses provide their clients with positive memories and an up-close view of the species present in a given area.”

If you are interested in hiring a certified local guide, contact the Association of Guides of Bahía Ballena at 8827 8705.

When traveling, please follow the protocols and instructions of the Ministry of Health and stay within your bubble. Read more: https://www.facebook.com/PN.MarinoBallena


TripAdvisor ranks Arenal Volcano National Park among the best in the world


  • Arenal Volcano National Park was ranked the sixth-best national park in the world and first in Latin America in the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards.

Thursday, February 4, 2021-Arenal Volcano National Park was selected as the sixth-best national park in the world, according to the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards 2021 from the well-known travel website TripAdvisor. The ranking, released Thursday, was generated by travelers from around the world.

With a nearly perfect cone, the imposing volcano and the conservation area in which it is situated made the top spot on the list of national parks in Latin America. Globally, it was only surpassed by Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Jim Corbertt National Park in India, the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, USA and Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The ranking includes a total of 25 national parks from around the world, representing countries including New Zealand, Chile, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Vietnam, Iceland, Australia, Sri Lanka, Croatia, Canada and Brazil.

“For Costa Rica, it is an honor that Arenal Volcano National Park has been ranked as the sixth-best national park according to the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards 2021,” said Carolina Trejos, Marketing Director at the ICT. “This recognition is sure to contribute to our position as a sustainable, eco-friendly destination and a sanctuary for visitors to reconnect with themselves. In the new normal in which we are living, we will continue to promote and position our country along these lines.”

The colossus of La Fortuna

"We were pleased to learn that Arenal Volcano National Park was included in the list of top ten national parks according to visits and recommendations from tourists who post on the platform across the world. This encouraging news fills us with hope and relief as we learn that our country remains at the top of the rankings based on traveler recommendations,” enthused Tadeo Morales, Vice President of the Arenal Chamber of Tourism and Commerce.

Morales added that he was positively surprised that the park ranked higher than iconic national parks such as the Grand Canyon, among other famous global conservation areas.

Though Arenal Volcano remains the most iconic natural attraction of La Fortuna de San Carlos, the local Chamber of Tourism is also focusing its efforts on renewing the local tourism facilities for local and international tourists.

The access roads to the region are all paved, and visitors can enjoy package deals at excellent prices with a wealth of accommodations to choose from. Activities on offer include hot springs, adventure activities, cable cars and hiking. The ecological park located near the town offers visitors the ability to observe the remnants of the lava streams in natural surroundings.

“We look forward to being rediscovered as tourists look for alternative options in this new normal that allow them to enjoy recreational activities without accumulations of people and under strict compliance with health protocols,” added Tadeo Morales.

According to the most recent ICT data on international tourists who visit Costa Rica by air, 35% said that they visited volcanoes, while 38% selected outdoor activities to observe flora and fauna.

The full list of the 25 best national parks in the world according to the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards is available via the following link:


For more information about La Fortuna de San Carlos and its tourist attractions, see www.vamosaturistear.com or the Facebook profile of the Arenal Chamber of Tourism and Commerce at https://www.facebook.com/arenalctc


Cahuita: First Accessible National Park


On August 16, Cahuita National Park and Playa Blanca became the first national park to be fully accessible for persons with disabilities through the “Cahuita Accessible” project.

The boardwalk is 180 meters long and 1.2 meters wide and is wheelchair accessible and built with reused plastic lids, which is a material not accepted by all recycling authorities and which pollutes rivers and oceans.

ICT supported the project by acting as a collection center and promoting the campaign to collect the material. The collections were held on March 8, June 28 and August 14, with a total of 16 tons of plastic lids collected.

The project was possible thanks to a public-private partnership between Cahuita National Park, the Asociación Pro Parques and the community, represented by its Local Council.


Costa Rica's commitment to safety is a top priority

  • Local authorities have taken actions to control the consumption of specific brands of tainted lower grade alcohol.

Safety is Costa Rica’s top priority. Associated with the consumption of tainted alcohol the Government of Costa Rica has issued a national alert and confiscated 30,000 bottles of alcohol from six brands:  Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka, and Aguardiente Molotov. 
Local authorities strongly ask its citizens and visitors use caution and follow these guidelines:

  • Not to market, consume, or acquire these brands until the national health alert is lifted.

Please see below a link to the Costa Rican Ministry of Health Warning. 
Costa Rican Ministry of Health Warning
While no tourists have been affected by adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica, the safety of our tourists is of the utmost importance. The authorities continue to monitor the situation to understand and remain transparent about the investigation and procedures that follow.

The adulterated alcohol in question is of a lower grade and an investigation continues.

The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is aware of the reports and have issued the following safety alert:

Safety Alert –U.S. Embassy San Jose
July 23, 2019
 Location:  San Jose, Costa Rica 
Event:   The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica is aware of the reports regarding recent deaths in Costa Rica associated with the consumption of tainted alcohol.  At this time, we are not aware of any U.S. citizen illness or death due to consuming adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica.  The deaths have reportedly occurred throughout the country including seven cases in San Jose, four cases in Cartago, one case in Heredia, three cases in the Limón area and two cases in Guanacaste.  Out of an abundance of caution, the Government of Costa Rica has issued a national alert and confiscated 30,000 bottles of alcohol from six brands:  Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka, and Aguardiente Molotov.  Please see below a link to the Costa Rican Ministry of Health Warning.
Costa Rican Ministry of Health Warning
Actions to Take:  The Embassy strongly recommends all persons avoid consuming alcohol from these brands.  The Government of Costa Rica is investigating the situation and the Embassy remains in contact Costa Rica authorities regarding the ongoing investigation.

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) reaffirms the confidence in the seriousness with which the tourism sector assumes its responsibility to care for domestic and foreign tourists.

Limón quay upgrades seek to win over cruise ship passengers


  • “We want to take their breath away from the first glance”, said JAPDEVA Executive President, speaking of the ₡120 million investment in the Hernán Garrón Salazar port terminal.
  • The exterior of the waiting rooms, viewpoint, area for artisans, patios and service area that 193,000 cruise ship passengers pass through annually will be improved using an innovative design.
  • The beautification proposal was made jointly with artisan representatives, community leaders, chambers of commerce, small business leaders, tour operators and shipping agents, as well as ICT and JAPDEVA.
  • It is the first step in serving cruise ship passengers arriving on the Costa Rican Caribbean coast while progress is made on a new specialized terminal.

Cruise ship visitors arriving in Limón will soon enjoy a new experience when they debark at the Hernán Garrón Salazar port terminal, which welcomes the 193,000 cruise ship passengers who come to the Costa Rican Caribbean each year.

“We want to take their breath away right from the first glance, so that they will go on to fall in love with the flavor, natural surroundings, music, culture and beauty of the cantons of this Caribbean province”, enthused Andrea Centeno, the Executive President of the Port Administration and Economic Development Board of the Atlantic Coast (JAPDEVA).

On Wednesday, an agreement was signed between Centeno and the Minister of Tourism, Maria Amalia Revelo, that set the ICT contribution to the immediate aesthetic and functional port upgrades at ₡120 million.

The activity was held in the ICT’s headquarters and was attended by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, the Vice President and head of the Mesa Caribe, Marvin Rodríguez, along with a group of representatives of organizations from Limón.

“Limón is capable of winning over tourists with its nature and its incredible people. Our objective is to promote stays in the province, which will not only reactivate the local and national economy, but also position the province as a destination that can compete with other destinations, offering quality and a tourist experience steeped in Limón’s culture and tradition”, said President Alvarado.

To overcome this challenge, it was with great energy and commitment that artisans, tour operators, chambers of commerce, small business leaders, transportation workers, local authorities, community leaders and shipping agents, alongside ICT and JAPDEVA, participated in a brainstorming and creativity workshop sponsored by Gensler.

The international architecture and design firm used a participatory workshop to identify an initial approach to the design and tourist experience that would be based on communicating Limón identity and ensuring that the first impression would encourage tourists to go out and get to know the Costa Rican Caribbean.

The upgrade will include an improvement to the exterior of the boarding rooms, the viewpoint, the artisans’ area, the cruise ship quay’s patio area and the service area for passengers and crew.

Carmen Rodríguez Vílchez, an artisan who specializes in jewelry for cruise ship passengers and who has sold her creations in the port for 26 years, highlighted the importance of the investment. “This is a way of giving better service to the passengers who will stay in the region and consume local services, meaning that many of us can increase our sales and bring the benefits to our families”.

Boosting the Caribbean

“The tourism activity brought by cruise ships is one of the main sources of foreign exchange generation for the country. ICT and JAPDEVA are well aware of this fact, which is why they have chosen to make a joint effort to seek the integrated development of the Hernán Garrón Salazar port terminal’s infrastructure”, noted Revelo.

She added that the main goal is to “increase the quality of the services in line with international standards, with a differentiating factor that highlights the culture and activities of the people of Limón while optimizing the experience of thousands of passengers”.

93 cruise ships arrived at Limón’s port during the 2018-2019 season, for a total of 193,733 passengers of different nationalities – with the US representing the largest share. This generated economic benefits for the province and the country.

The JAPDEVA head mentioned “this joint effort allows us to increase the value added that we provide to cruise ship passengers, which translates into a greater positive impact for the community, artisans who operate on the quay, tour operators, transportation workers, small business owners and shipping agents who have linkages to this activity. Furthermore, it is a first step while progress is made towards a new, specialized terminal”.

These efforts are part of the hard work JAPDEVA is doing alongside MIDEPLAN in commissioning feasibility studies for the new marina and cruise ship terminal. The national campaign “Come to Limón” is also part of these efforts, with the ICT seeking to promote tourism to the area alongside the Limón chambers of commerce and tourism, JAPDEVA and the Mesa Caribe



ICT receives distinction at World Travel Awards 2019


  • The prize was awarded in the Leading Tourist Board 2019 category for the Mexico and Central America region.
  • World Travel Awards is an English organization that recognizes, rewards and celebrates excellence in all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) received an award in the category of Leading Tourist Board for Mexico and Central America in the recent 2019 Latin America World Travel Awards, held in Bolivia.

ICT received the award from among a group of nominees that included tourism offices and institutes from Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador.

“We are proud to receive this award for the Costa Rican Tourism Board, which is a tangible demonstration of the teamwork carried out by each and every one of our team members in accomplishing our objectives and fulfilling our responsibilities as the leading tourism body”, said Maria Amalia Revelo, Minister of Tourism.

Revelo added that public-private synergies had contributed to the strengthening of the tourism sector in the economy, and the positioning of the destination. “We have made important efforts to maintain sustainability as a cross-cutting focus of our actions, which has permitted development that takes the preservation of natural resources into account and generates wellbeing and social progress for communities. Our success as a team has been the permanent struggle to improve tourism products and to diversity the destination offer with multiple alternatives for visitors”, the Minister continued.

The ICT strategy to attract tourists is multifaceted, with multiple marketing efforts carried out to position Costa Rica as a year-round destination that is capable of offering unique experiences throughout the country to the more than 3 million tourists who visit us annually.

The awards also recognized Costa Rica as the “Leading Destination of Central America and Mexico”, which is attributed, among other aspects, to our abundant cloud forests and wealth of biodiversity. In addition, the Costa Rica Convention Center (CCCR) was awarded first place in the category of “Leading Meetings and Conference Center” for the Mexico and Central America region, which ICT has received as a positive development that validated the efforts invested as part of the marketing strategy for the niche of event, congress and incentive travel organization.

The World Travel Awards have been announced annually for over 26 years, aiming to recognize the best regions and companies dedicated to travel and tourism around the world. The competition is held in various regions. Thanks to its major reach, the Central America and Mexico category has become an industry favorite.

The world champions will be announced at the Grand Finale in Muscat, Oman, in November 2019. For more information about the nominees and winners of the World Travel Awards, please see their website www.worldtravelawards.com


Última Modificación: 29/11/2023.
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo