Cable news network CNN included a Costa Rican Pacific beach on the Nicoya Peninsula – Playa Nosara – as one of the best tourism destinations for 2014, due its “eco-friendliness.”
CNN released 11 places to go worldwide, with three other Latin American destinations joining Costa Rica.
On Nosara, Alvin Rosenbaum, a visiting scholar at George Washington University’s International Institute of Tourism, explained the beach community’s appeal.
“Its pristine beaches are responsible for the introduction of an array of new activities for families with children, ranging from toddlers’ programs to educational and volunteer programs for older children,” Rosenbaum told CNN. “Nosara prides itself on its beaches and wildlife refuges and is now one of the most environmentally aware communities in Latin America.”
Those activities include surfing schools, nature hikes and yoga retreats. Nosara also is in the process of building a recycling center, an uncommon sight in most of Costa Rica, showing its commitment to environmental sustainability, he said.
Nosara also took a nod in 2012 from the New York Times, which listed it as one of the top 45 places in the world to visit.
Further south, CNN included Panama City as one of its top 11 destinations, citing the 100th anniversary of the canal, the recent economic boom and the country’s various natural wonders as major draws. Panama plans to complete Central America’s first subway system in January.
On Brazil, CNN wrote that the World Cup in June and July is a must-see in what has become the world’s soccer capital. CNN said the Amazon, Iguazú Falls and a vibrant party culture could keep soccer aficionados glued to the country.
A final Latin American entrant, Ecuador, earned praise for its plan to invest $600 million in tourism infrastructure over the next four years. CNN referenced an International Living report that said Ecuador has been the No. 1 retirement destination for five years in a row.