According to a national Costa Rican news weekly, El Financiero, about 10.7% or 166,000 tourists in 2012 came to honeymoon in Costa Rica. In 2011, Brides magazine and the Signature Travel Network ranked Costa Rica in the top 10 of honeymoon destinations. Furthermore, couples who come to honeymoon in Costa Rica stay on average twice as long as those going anywhere else. Why is Costa Rica on the short list of so many couples? One reason is that many choose to get married in Costa Rica and have their honeymoon at the same time. Combining the two, a Costa Rica wedding and honeymoon, has many benefits. The primary benefits being the savings in cost and a much more relaxed atmosphere. Imagine starting your honeymoon the night of your wedding. No need to make special arrangements, pay, pack and wait for a separate trip. Of course, you can do this at any destination wedding, right? So what makes Costa Rica so special and unique?
Unique Location and Size
Costa Rica has a unique position in Central America, located between Nicaragua and Panama. It’s natural wonders, such as the rainforest and active volcanoes, draw travelers from all over the globe. Costa Rica is a favorite destination for eco-tourism, surfing, and wildlife lovers. Many couples who choose to get married here already have visited the country at least on one occasion and fell in love with it, or have been convinced by someone they trust who has visited Costa Rica and fallen in love with it. In any case, someone has fallen in love with and/or in Costa Rica.
Because of the size of the country, you can visit any part of Costa Rica quite easily from the capital, San Jose. This makes transporting yourself and guests quite quick, no need for connecting local flights (although this is an option to some places). Additionally, if you want to have your wedding at one location and honeymoon at another, this can be easily accommodated. Some couples choose to break up their honeymoon even more by spending few days at different locations. You can have your wedding at the beach, spend first few days of your honeymoon there, then opt to go to a volcano for a dip in volcano-warmed hot springs, then visit a rainforest, come back to the beach, and finally head home. In Costa Rica, traveling between all of these spots is possible within a single visit and a short span of time.
Stability, Security and Friendly Locals
Costa Rica has a long history of having a stable democratic government and without a standing army. This has led the way for Costa Rica to avoid internal turmoils and civil battles that have sadly plagued other countries in Central and South America. Over the decades the tourism industry has flourished in Costa Rica as a result and has become its leading source of revenue. Many of its neighbors have taken note and are trying to copy Costa Rica by developing tourism within their own respective countries.
The destination wedding and honeymoon industry has also matured to a great extent and offers all the standard services and perks you can enjoy anywhere. From rustic boutique hotels to luxury all inclusive five star resorts, Costa Rica caters to every whim and preference. The Costa Rican people have a reputation of being happy and very warm to foreigners. Their famous saying, “Pura Vida”, is also an attitude toward life in general. “Pura vida” means “pure life” and is used synonymously with “hi” and “bye”.
When and Where to Go
You can travel to Costa Rica any time of the year. The best time for your Costa Rica honeymoon is during the dry season between December and May. If you are looking for better rates then you can look at November or June which are just before and just after the busy tourist season. Lowest prices are generally found in the off-season or the so-called Green Season. During this time there is more rain but the rain is tropical with heavy downpour but not lasting more than a few hours. This means that you can usually get half day of sunshine each day on average.
For beach and ocean lovers, the best honeymoon destinations in Costa Rica are on the Pacific Ocean side in Guanacaste or Puntarenas. However, if you choose just to stay near the beach then you are missing on some of Costa Rica’s most romantic honeymoon spots. These include places such as Volcano Arenal where you can enjoy a romantic dip in volcano-heated thermal springs, or Talamanca Mountains that drape with cloud forest, waterfalls and other natural wonders. For a truly romantic experience you can stay at one of the many fine boutique hotels in Costa Rica. These hotels are small and most integrate very well into the natural surroundings and offer much more privacy than the larger all inclusive hotels and resorts.