Yet again, Costa Rica is a shining light in a moment that the world is looking for optimism and success stories. After months of relative darkness and drastic isolation measures, countries, communities, hospitals, and people that have shown strength, success and shared messages of hope and recovery are welcoming and embraced! Discover how Costa Rica prepares for recovery! Slowly but definitely surely and true to the Costa Rican essence of “Pura Vida”.
As we explained in our last blog about “5 Reasons why Costa Rica should be your first travel destination post-COVID19”, it was written based on the measures that Costa Rica took and continues to take to flatten the curve. Well, good news! The measures have proven to be effective and as I write, the recovery rate exceeds active cases and the curve is flattening. For Costa Ricans, the walk on this road to recovery has a bit of a “hop skip and a jump” to it as it is fantastic news!
Costa Rica is making a come-back!
It is no surprise for anyone that the tourism sector has been affected tremendously by the COVID-19 virus. Costa Rica depends on tourism and with the borders closing as one of the protective measures, this important employer and generator of income and economic resources for the country came to a complete standstill. Creativity and reinvention have been just a couple of the ways, many companies have remained active and productive.
As Costa Rica paves the route to recovery, the speed at which the walk begins is directly related to the number of new cases and the recovery rates. Thanks to the success at which the Costa Rican authorities have managed this pandemic, today, the country is in optimal conditions to begin the walk. With single digit new cases and more patients recovered than still with the virus, it is time to move forward and this is great news for tourism.
So, how does this look for tourism?
As of today, and fresh off the press, the government has begun to lift previous restrictions on activities and businesses that are connected to the tourism sector. This is fantastic news for the sector and for the Costa Rican vacation enthusiasts. It would be of no surprise that with such a beautiful country, the locals love to visit the beaches, volcanoes, and the mountains, especially when everything is so close by!
These road to recovery measures also means that when the borders are re-opened, the tourism industry will have had some precious time to reactivate and regroup in preparation for it´s treasured international guests. The learning curve with the new hygiene and safety procedures will have been trialed and tested which is reassuring for even the most intrepid traveler. Furthermore, the Costa Rican´s are very savvy and will pick up on any weak link very quickly!
While the borders will remain closed until the 15th of June as per the latest indications by the Costa Rican authorities, the tourism industry and the country begin the road to Post-COVID-19 in stages over the next two and half months. From the 16th May through to the beginning of August 2020, Costa Rica has mapped out the route it will take to move forward. Fantastic News!
Let´s see how it looks for tourism and the eager travelers!
The Costa Rican Protected Areas System covers 25% of the territory and the numerous national parks, nature reserve, refuges protected several types of forests and the precious flora and fauna that call them home. This system is a country treasure and most of the travelers to Costa Rica will visit at least one of them during their stay.
Right off the bat, Costa Rica will be opening several key National Parks to the public including Arenal Volcano, Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Irazu Volcano, Poas Volcano and Cahuita. While visitation is limited of course, the opportunity to get out into nature again, feel it and experience it is a fabulous way to start this exciting road to recovery.
It is fitting that the recovery in Costa Rica begins with nature!
Does the recovery include hotels?
Yes, it does! Many Costa Rican hotels are boutique style hotels with a small number of rooms. Most of them are eco-focused too which means they offer unique experiences immersed in and with a profound respect for nature. You will find these smaller, eco-friendly hotels all around this beautiful country. Hacienda Caño Negro is a perfect example of how we are part of the nature community.
In the first stage of the recovery process, Costa Rica has decided to open up hotels with less than 20 rooms to provide up to 50% occupancy rates which is exciting as many of these hotels are close to the National Parks that will be opening up too! Best combination.
Several the Enchanting Hotels collection of exclusive eco-luxury hotels fall into this category. While each property will decide on when they will re-open for business, please keep your eyes open as the dream of waking up in the vibrant rainforest at Nicuesa Lodge in the Osa Peninsula region or to the serenity of the Tortuguero Canals at Manatus Costa Rica or to the aroma of fresh coffee on your terrace overlooking the Central Valley from your mountain top Poas Volcano Lodge isn´t too far away!
When June comes along, larger hotels will be able to re-open as well as Museums and even more national parks. Restaurants will have extended opening hours including weekends so not only will you be able to do some cultural sightseeing; great food is also part of your adventure. Studio Hotel on the western edge of San Jose is a fantastic option while staying in the Central Valley to insert some impressive history and art into your trip to Costa Rica.
The mountain top hotels of El Establo at our precious Cloud Rainforest Monteverde and Hacienda Guachipelin on the slopes of the “very wide awake” Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste offer more rooms and a lot of adventure so come prepared for the time of your lives. Just as vibrant is the Tilajari Hotel near the “adventure capital of the world” or Arenal. Memorable!
And the beaches….
Beaches will begin to open after being temporarily out of bounds while Costa Rica started to flatten the curve. Costa Rican beaches are beautiful and immensely popular, so it has been a challenge for many to stay away. But, the good news is that from mid-May, beaches will begin to gradually open up which means Bosque del Mar at Playa Hermosa, Cristal Ballena on the South Pacific, Nammbu Bungalows in Guanacaste and Le Cameleón on the Caribbean will be the perfect beach getaway when you come to visit!
For the moment, the beach is for the early risers and no doubt the surfers, but as we move through June and July, these times will extend further through the day and onto the weekends too!
The Costa Rican success story regarding its management of COVID-19 yet again puts this little country in the limelight. It has repeatedly been highlighted as a destination to consider once this is all over and it is safe to put your travel wings on again by the big names including Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, Forbes, Canadian Traveler and even Good Morning America. So, if the experts have given their seal of approval, how about you? It will be unforgettable!