Costa Rica has topped the charts for Traveler’s Choice 2013 on both TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet sites.
Of the Top 10 Beaches in Central America on TripAdvisor, Costa Rica snagged eight spots, including No. 1, with Manuel Antonio National Park on the central Pacific coast. Samara Beach, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, followed at the No. 2 spot, and Nosara Beach came in at No. 4, also in Guanacaste.
Other contenders on the Top 10 list for TripAdvisor’s site include Playa Santa Teresa on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Avellanas, Playa Conchal and Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste, and Puerto Viejo in Limón, on the southern Caribbean coast.
The two top Central American beaches outside of Costa Rica are Playa Blanca in Livingston, Guatemala, and West Bay Beach in West Bay, Honduras.
Lonely Planet ranked Top Destinations generally but also listed top countries in various categories, and Costa Rica appeared numerous times. The country took the No. 1 spot (out of 10) for the best “Nature” country, thanks to the varied animals, forests, jungles, volcanoes and tropical coastlines.
The country also received high praise for the “Adventure” category, securing the No. 2 spot (out of 10). Costa Rica took No. 10 out of 10 for “meeting other travelers.”
On Lonely Planet’s list of Top 20 Destinations, Costa Rica ranked at No. 9. Bhutan, in South Asia, took No. 1.