San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica attracts 2.3 million visitors in 2012

The number of people traveling to Costa Rica from abroad in 2012 totaled 2,343,213, according to data released Monday by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) and the Immigration Administration.

That number is 7 percent higher than that registered the previous year. For the third consecutive year Costa Rica has received more visitors than the previous year.

Most visitors – 66 percent – entered the country by air, mainly through Juan Santamaría International Airport, north of San José, which admitted 1,217,569 travelers. Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, saw 331,116 arrivals.

The second most important route of entry is by land, which represented 33 percent of international arrivals.

North Americans registered the largest number of arrivals with 1,062,522, representing an increase of 8.9 percent compared to 2011. There were 864,340 visitors from the United States last year, 136,261 from Canada and 61,921 from Mexico.

According to Tourism Minister Allan Flores, the increase in arrival of Mexican travelers this year (27 percent) was due to the announcements of new flights by airlines from that country.

ICT figures exclude temporary work permits issued by the Immigration Administration as well as those from Tico travelers.

Contact L. Arias at

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