Costa Rican Riviera
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Costa Rica will eliminate the visa requirement for citizens of the Russian Federation as a measure to increase tourism and investments from that country, immigration and tourism officials said on Monday.The measure will allow a maximum stay of up to 30 days that can be extended for up to 90 days for each Russian citizen. The decree already was approved and will be published in coming days in the official newspaper La Gaceta, Tourism Minister Allan Flores said. The number of Russian tourists currently visiting Costa Rica is low: Only 4,146 tourists from that country entered Costa Rica in 2013, Flores said. A study by the Costa Rican Tourism Board last year said Russian tourists who would be interested in visiting the country have incomes of more than $120,000 a year. They usually travel with their families and spend up to $5,000 during an average 11-day visit. Allan Flores also said that at least two Russian airlines are evaluating offering special flights to Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport in Alajuela/San Jose and Liberia’s Daniel Oduber International Airport in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Some of the flights would connect via the Dominican Republic and Havana, Cuba. Even though the airlines were not named Aeroflot Russian Airlines operates from Moscow to Havana and Transaero Airlines operates from Moscow to Punta Cana.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica–The Civil Aviation General Directorate of Costa Rica announced in the nations capital, the Brunca Region International Airport (South Pacific of Costa Rica) will become in several years a reality. The international airport will be located 5 kilometers of the town of Palmar, close to the Sierpe wetlands in the Province of Puntarenas. The AIRB (in spanish Aeropuerto Internacional Region Brunca) will be constructed in the next four years and it is expected the new President of Costa Rica that will take power on May, will focus in the development of this important international airport in the South Pacific region. The construction of the airport will have two phases. Phase 1 will include a runway of 2,200 meters long by 45 meters wide. The terminal building would be able to attend from 150 to 200 passengers per flight. For Phase 2 the runway would be extended to 3,300 meters. “The airport has the objective to serve and facilitate the arrivals of airplanes like the Hercules C-130, equiped to transport emergency materials”, Alvaro Vargas, the director of the Civil Aviation informed. The commercial airplanes that are expected to service the AIRB are Airbus 320 family of jets (A-320,A-319 and A-318), Embraer E-190, the regional ATR-72s, De Havilland DHC-8 and Learjets. In addition to U.S. and Canadian carriers, the DGAC hopes that airlines like Avianca and COPA Airlines would operate flights from their respective hubs in San Salvador and Panama City. Also new start-ups in Costa Rica like Ticos Air and TIA (Ticas International Airlines) will be invited to operate in the Brunca Region International Airport.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica–The Costa Rican Technical Council of Civil Aviation (CTAC in spanish) informed today of its expansion plans for the Quepos/Manuel Antonio Aerodrome at La Managua (code: XQP). The airport will become a regional domestic and international airport, capable of servicing aircraft as the regional jets Canadair CRJs, Fokker 70s and the ATR-72s. Today the aerodrome receives up to 20 flights a day, most of them domestic from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. Two small carriers service Quepos/Manuel Antonio, SANSA Airlines (property of Avianca) and Nature Air. By 2015 the airport will be able to receive not only domestic flights but also internationals, since the new terminal will have Inmigration and Customs areas. Alvaro Vargas the Director of the Civil Aviation Board explained the upgrading consists in a longer and wider runway, bigger ramp, new airport terminal, fire station and hangars for airplane maintenance. The total cost of the upgrade will be of $5 million and its expected to bring more development to the area, well known as one of the “hottest” leisure destinations in Costa Rica. Quepos/Manuel Antonio Regional Airport will be the natural gateway to the Central Pacific, close to national parks, rain forests and spectacular resorts. It is also expected that airlines like Avianca would be interested in opening international services from its Central American hub at Comalapa International Airport in El Salvador, connecting the eleven North American gateways the airline services. Also new international Costa Rican carriers like Ticos Air and Tica Air International (property of Air Panama) are also expected to open flights to Quepos/Manuel Antonio once the airport has the new terminal building.
PAPAGAYO GULF, Guanacaste–On February 1st Enjoy Group Hotels will open the doors of its deluxe resort in Guanacaste, El Mangroove. Located in pristine Playa Panama (Panama Beach) only 45 minutes away from Liberia International Airport, the resort will be the first Preferred Boutique hotel in Guanacaste and the second in Costa Rica (the other is the world-known Gaia Hotel & Reserve in Manuel Antonio). It will feature the longest swiming pool in Costa Rica. Completely surrounded by lush tropical forest, El Mangroove perfectly mixes wood and water elements with contemporary architecture and natural furnishings to pay homage to its unparalleled location. The 85 bohemian-chic suites, property-wide complimentary WiFi, and access to numerous indoor and outdoor activities will ensure guests to enjoy this corner of paradise. This will be the latest deluxe five star resort in Guanacaste (Hyatt Andaz opened in December). The Guanacaste Golden Coast is considered the best “sun, beaches and fun” area in Central America and features top-of-the-line resort chains, also very popular for honeymoons and “Destination Weddings” . In addition the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (also known as Liberia International Airport) is serviced by the main U.S. carriers from the most important cities in North America.
ATLANTA, Georgia–CNN (Cable News Network) has given out the list of the top ten destinations for 2014, being Costa Rica number seven. CNN advises the whole country is a “must” to visit, but specifically praises on Guanacaste Province and the Nosara Beach. “Its pristine beaches are the ones that are introducing new activities for families, that includes programs for babies to education and voluntourism for older children”, reported the expert in tourism Alvin Rosenbaum. Brazil (because of the World Cup) Panama (because of the celebration of 100 years of the Panama Canal) and Myanmar (former Burma) occupied the first three positions. Guanacaste is Costa Rica’s Riviera, often called “The Golden Coast” that features from ultra deluxe five star resorts to cozy B&Bs. Nosara Beach has an airstrip but the best way to reach Guanacaste is flying directly into Liberia International Airport.
PAPAGAYO GULF, Costa Rica–On December 20th the Andaz Papagayo Resort, part of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts opened its doors. It is the only Andaz Resort in Latin America, (the other ten Andaz Hotels are in New York, San Diego, Hollywood, Napa, England, Holland, China and Hawaii. “We are sure that the beauty of the area, our capable staff and the products that we offer are the perfect combination for our guests to come back again to our resort” commented Michael Schmidt, General Manager of the Andaz Papagayo Resort. The hotel has 153 rooms, 21 of those are suites, two swimminmg pools, nine SPA rooms, a complete gym and three theme restaurants. The resort is only 45 minutes away from Liberia International Airport. The Andaz Papagayo Resort is the latest five start hotel property to open in the lush Papagayo Gulf in Guanacaste, part of the Costa Rican Golden Coast.
PAPAGAYO GULF, Costa Rica–SunVesta Swiss Holding Group began construction of a luxury resort in the Papagayo Gulf, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, which plans to begin operations in late 2014. The new project, called Paradisus Papagayo Bay Resort & Luxury Villas, will have 382 deluxe rooms, nine restaurants, eight bars and a beach club. It also will have facilities for business meetings. The project replaces the Paradisus Playa Conchal hotel and is being built in cooperation with Paradisus Resorts, the flagship brand of Meliá Hotels International. Total construction of Paradisus Papagayo Bay will cover 21 hectares and “meets all required specifications to qualify as five-star hotel,” the company stated in a press release.