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Travel recommendations: Costa Rica is destination of the year for 2024

by Staff

Travel + Leisure has named Costa Rica the 2024 “Destination of the Year,” the ninth location to receive the travel magazine’s accolade.

In an introduction to Costa Rica on Travel + Leisure’s website, writer Ronny Rojas listed the country’s captivating nature, rich history and vibrant culinary scene as some of the reasons for the choice. Here are some other things to know about Costa Rica.

What you can’t miss in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is so named because of its miles of beautiful coastline along both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It’s a hot spot for biodiversity despite its relatively small size, with nearly 6% of the world’s species contained within its borders, per the Costa Rican embassy.

Costa Rica prioritizes its natural beauty, with a quarter of its land preserved in national parks, per Travel + Leisure. The country has also become a leader in ecotourism and sustainable tourism in recent years. According to a press release from Travel + Leisure, Costa Rica pioneered the eco lodge, a type of accommodation designed to avoid impact on its environment.

The waters along the country’s coasts are great for activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming, but it’s especially well-known among surfers for its incredible range of waves, per Surf Atlas.

If you’d rather explore inland, Costa Rica has a plethora of activities, including hiking, sightseeing and zip lining. It also has an incredible culture and history, which you can explore at one of its many museums.

Lastly, you can’t forget the food — Costa Rica boasts an incredible blend of Afro-Caribbean and Latin American cuisine, and one Travel + Leisure writer said the meals she had there “nourished (her) soul.”

What is the best month to go to Costa Rica?

Because of its tropical climate, Costa Rica is beautiful and fairly mild all year long, although most regions do have a dry and a wet season, according to the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

Some months are better to visit depending on what you’d like to do while you’re there. For instance, if you’re traveling to Costa Rica to surf, the best times to visit are May and September, according to Surf Today.

If you’d prefer to visit during the dry season, when it’s sunnier and less humid, Travel + Leisure recommends going to Costa Rica between December and April. However, that’s also the time that the country experiences the biggest influx in visitors, so if you’d like to avoid the crowds and don’t mind some rain, try going to Costa Rica between May and November.

The Travel + Leisure Destination of the Year cover story will be available at newsstands in the December 2023/January 2024 issue starting Nov. 17 and is currently available online on the Travel + Leisure website.

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