Saturday, June 24, 2006

Poll: Costa Rica growing in popularity

Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park, people walking down beach. Rear view. (Photo by Getty images)NEW YORK (AP) - Costa Rica is giving London, Paris and Cancun a little competition for family travelers, according to a recent poll of American Express Travel agents.

Asked to name popular international destinations for families, the 279 agents surveyed online in May named London as No. 1, followed by Rome; Paris; Cancun in Mexico; Italy in general; San Jose, Costa Rica; Nassau in the Bahamas; Mexico's Riviera Maya; Venice, and Florence.

Costa Rica, blessed with rainforests, cloud forests, beaches and volcanoes, is well-known for ecotourism.

Top domestic destinations listed by the agents were Orlando as No. 1, followed by New York; Miami; Las Vegas; Hawaii in general; Washington D.C.; Anaheim, Calif.(Disneyland); Maui, Haw.; California in general, and Los Angeles.

Top trends for types of family travel reported by the agents include more active, outdoor and adventurous activities, cited by two-thirds of those surveyed, and more international family vacations, cited by 57 percent. About two-thirds of agents also report increases in mother-daughter getaways, with most of those trips consisting of spa visits; more grandparents traveling alone with grandchildren; and more adults traveling with their own parents.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Costa Rica to host surfing competition in June

Rabbit Kekai, already in his eighties, still surfsBy Uri Ridelman
Special To The Tico Times

Costa Rica will host the 13th Rabbit Kekai International Longboard Surfing Classic which will be held at Boca Barranca, from June 21 to June 30.

The event, named after surfing's octogenarian, world famous Hawaiian Beachboy and surfing legend, Rabbit Kekai, will award the winner one of the largest purses in Longboard surfing history ($50,000) and crown him as the world champion.

In addition to the ASP-sanctioned championship, the event also includes the Hobie Surftec One-Design competition, Guy Takayama Nose-riding Challenge, a Women's Open Pro/Am and a Men's Amateur competition.

The entry fees for the contest are $150 for men's and women's professional divisions; $80 for men's amateur divisions $80; and $100 for noseriding division

Applications and all information for all the events can be obtained at www.4surfing.org, or e-mail Jim Reynolds at 4surfing@longboard.net or Henry Ford at henry@kokoisland.net.

The nine day competition, which will feature some of the world's best Longboard surfers, is anticipated to be one of the biggest Longboard surfing competitions that have ever been held in Costa Rica.

"Costa Rica is a favorite destination to surfers around the world and once again this beautiful country has partnered with the Rabbit Kekai Classic and the ASP to make this event the crown jewel of Longboard surfing," explained surfing legend Henry Ford. "The Spirit of Pura Vida is alive and well in Costa Rica."

Rabbit Kekai rode his first wave in 1925 at the age of 5 and is still surfing today, competing, and winning surf contests. This 84 year young Hawaiian Legend has been at the forefront of surfing for over seven decades. He is credited with being the father of modern hotdog surfing, and surfers today still emulate him and his style.

The home of the Rabbit Kekai Classic will be the all-inclusive Fiesta Hotel and Resort which sits at the break of Boca Barranca.