Every year little Costa Rica seems to rank big with travel magazines, international news outlets and happiness gurus.
No, not everyone’s a winner in Costa Rica. President Laura Chinchilla remains Latin America’s least popular leader for a second year in a row. But when it comes to the country’s beaches, jungles and even supermodels – Costa Rica rates among the best in the world.
Right on through the end of the year, The Tico Times will be ranking our choices for the year’s biggest stories. But we also wanted to highlight just how highly the rest of the world views our slice of Tiquicia. Here’s some of the love Costa Rica received in 2013:
Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor praise Costa Rica’s beaches and nature: Lonely Planet selected Costa Rica as one of its must-visit destinations for 2013, and called it the No. 1 nature country in the world. Users of the heavyweight travel site TripAdvisor voted eight Costa Rican beaches among the best 10 beaches in Central America (Manuel Antonio National Park on the central Pacific coast topped the list).
Condé Nast Traveler places 9 Costa Rican resorts among Latin America’s 15 best: The luxurious Nayara Hotel near Arenal Volcano took the top spot.
World Traveler Award gives top honor to 5-star resort near Jacó: Zephyr Palace was named the no. 1 hotel in Mexico and Central America.
Costa Rica, a most searched wedding destination: Google listed Costa Rica as the ninth most popular wedding destination search in the United States.
TripAdvisor selects La Fortuna as a 2013 ’emerging destination’: TripAdvisor lauds another Costa Rica destination. The site commended La Fortuna, the town at the foot of Arenal Volcano, for its sightseeing, hot springs and natural beauty.
HelpAge calls Costa Rica the fourth-best country in Latin America to retire, tops in Central America: Costa Rica finished ahead of the United States in elderly health care. In that same category the country placed second in Latin America, one spot behind in Chile.
Costa Rica ranks 12th in World Happiness Report: Smile. Ticos are the happiest people in all of Latin America and behind only Canada in the Americas, according to this United Nations study.
Costa Rica ranks 2nd in the world for ‘environmental sustainability’: With its commitment to preserving the environment and producing alternative energy sources, Costa Rica ranked behind only Switzerland in sustainability, according to the World Energy Council
Costa Rica ranks in top 3 for transparency in Latin America: According to a study by Vanderbilt University, Costa Rica trailed only Uruguay and Chile for least public corruption.
Costa Rica leads innovation ranking in Latin America: The Global Innovation Index ranked Costa Rica 39th out of 142 countries, beating all its neighbors in the region.
Miss Costa Rica finishes in the top 16 at Miss Universe: Fabiana Granados, of Guanacaste, strutted to a spot among the final 16 at the 2013 Miss Universe contest. Granados was one of 86 participants in the competition.
CNN ranks Playa Nosara a world’s best travel destination in 2014: Costa Rica should keep on snagging travel accolades right on through the new year. CNN already named the exquisite Guanacaste beach – famous for its yoga retreats and surfer hangouts – as a choice destination for 2014.
THE TICO TIMES’ YEAR-IN-REVIEW 2013: