Monday, November 26, 2007

Costa Rica video - Early 20th century

Here's a nice video that shows photos of Costa Rica at the turn of the 20th century. This sepia images are very rare and depict what life was like in San Jose and other places of Costa Rica during the early 1900s. The music belongs to the Costa Rican group Editus, track is called "Memories."

Note: a high-speed internet connection is recommended to watch the video.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Costa Rica's Chocolate Tour

Artisanal chocolate place Chocorart. The ownerS bought abandoned cacao plantations many years ago not long after the main road to Manzanillo was completed, but before there was electricity in the area. You can book tours to visit the cacao plants, see the sugar cane, and then make your own chocolate.To experience chocolate in its purest form, visit the ChocoRart organic cacao farm and chocolate factory in Playa Chiquita, just south of Puerto Viejo, Limon.

Cacao once ruled the Talamanca region, but few plantations are left these days.

One friendly Swiss couple continues the tradition and gives you a Chocolate Tour of their working plantation where their cacao is harvested, fermented and cooked in the same traditional manner that the Mayan Indians used for thousands of years.

Sugar is added to the chocolate as are natural ingredients like ginger, coconut, vanilla and nuts.

Follow the the little-known life cycle of this crop from cultivation to processing. There's sampling at the tour's conclusion.

Tours are offered by reservation only. Call to reserve a tour (you need a minimum of four people) and to be picked up from the Playa Chiquita School. Since these folks are Swiss, they can tailor the commentary in German, French, or Italian, in addition to English or Spanish.

(Photo courtesy of acodring)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Costa Rica among the top 10 environmental destinations of the world

• The country was classified among the ten best destinations to live in

San Jose, Costa Rica (ICT) - Costa Rica stood out as one of the 10 most important destinations worldwide in environmental matter, according to the last edition of the Brand Country ranking, carried out annually by Future Brand Company.

The ranking was made public today during the World Travel Market Fair in London, one of the most important fairs in the tourist field. Costa Rica participates in the event with a delegation led by the Minister of Tourism, aimed at promoting national tourist attractions.

“I am very glad that Costa Rica achieved this kind of award as one of the environmental destinations worldwide and also as one of the places where people would like to live. This award is an honor and proud, but it also represents a big challenge," said Carlos Ricardo Benavides, Minister of Tourism. "We have to maintain a stronger sustainability policy, in order to achieve a planned, stable tourist development, without jeopardizing our natural beauties.”

To carry out this country brand survey, Future Brand takes into account those countries that rely, worldwide, on the strongest tourist brands within several categories. The company takes heed of parameters such as territory, country’s State, quality of life, safety, rural and urban area distribution, agricultural area, parks, topography and geographical and political borders.

For example, in the environmental category, where Costa Rica stood out, policies undertaken by the country to Project the environment are taken into consideration. Some of the nations included in the group are: Sweden, New Zealand, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, Germany and Austria.

As for the “Most Like to Live in” category, where Costa Rica was among the best 10 worldwide, aspects such as quality of life, government stability, climate, peace, tranquillity and safety are taken into account. Other countries included in the category are: New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, United Kingdom and Italy.

The Minister of Tourism pointed out that, in both categories, Costa Rica appears as the only country in Latin America included in the ranking, competing with developed nations.

Moreover, the ranking does not measure only tourist behaviour, but it also evaluates investment attraction, business environment, customer perceptions, meeting planners, executive frequent flyers, analysts, tourism associations in the countries and government members. Also, the survey establishes a balance between destination experience and nations’ marketing.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Arenal Volcano video

I found a nice video on Youtube depicting the Arenal Volcano and the Tabacon Hot Springs. The volcano and the spa are both located in the city of La Fortuna de San Carlos in Alajuela. These are two of the most popular touristical places to go to in Costa Rica. I hope you enjoy the video and if you really like what you see try to book a tour to both locations whenever you visit our country.

A high Speed Internet connection is recommended to watch the video.