Costa Rica is an exotic destination offering visitors a wide selection of beautiful landscapes to explore. From hundreds of miles of coastline to endless acres of dense rainforest, this country's biodiversity sets it apart from your typical tropical destination.
Costa Ricans are not only friendly, but also thrilled to share their country's ecologically rich terrain with visitors. In addition to its existing luxury hotel and transportation infrastructure, Costa Rica has two easily accessible major airports, making it a breeze to reach from much of the United States. Though the official language is Spanish, most people are bilingual, allowing for relatively easy communication.
A short boat ride from the Central Pacific Coast is Isla Tortuga, where activities range from relaxing on the beach, coco loco in hand, to more adventurous excursions such as hiking, zip-lining, kayaking, and snorkeling. Then there's the Poás Volcano National Park, home to the Poás Volcano's mile-wide crater, and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where you can walk right up to rushing waterfalls and explore its animal sanctuary with more than 100 species of animals. Other highlights include epic surf spots such as the famed Playa Tamarindo, rafting, and hot springs.
Of course, coffee is key to Costa Rican culture, so a coffee plantation tour is a great activity for groups interested in sustainable growing, harvesting, and roasting practices (or who just love their morning cup of joe).
Recently, Costa Rica has been making intensive efforts to align their all-encompassing allure as a destination with attracting meetings and incentive programs. The big news for this upcoming year? The completion of the National Congress and Convention Center which will have capacity for upward of 4,600 people and a main building with an area of more than 50,000 square feet.
Hotels with ample meeting spaces are particularly keen on taking advantage of Costa Rica's unique offerings, and few exemplify this more than Costa Rica Marriott San Jose and Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort.
Situated 15 minutes from the airport, Costa Rica Marriott San Jose is a striking gold-colored hotel set on a 30-acre coffee plantation. It offers over 42,421 square feet of total event space and 15 breakout rooms, with its largest venue seating up to 1,000 meeting attendees. The historic hacienda features an on-site Coffee Curator who hosts latte design classes to teach groups about local coffee.
"What makes Costa Rica special is that there's so much diversification in the experiences you can have here. You're immersed in nature, yet you still have access to the technologies and comforts you're looking for," says Dennis Whitelaw, country manager and general manager for Costa Rica Marriott. "We partake in creative sessions from the very beginning of the planning stages to work with you on ways to make your meeting go beyond what you thought was possible."
Located nearby in Herradura, is the architecturally stunning Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort. Set on a 1,100-acre rainforest, this brick red, hacienda-style hotel features 37,348 square feet of total event space and 18 event rooms, with its largest space accommodating up to 400 people. It offers teambuilding activities such as horseback riding, cooking classes, rainforest hikes and opportunities to preserve the rainforest. There's also its signature La Iguana Golf Course that can be lit up for groups to enjoy a late-night game on the green.
"We try to integrate what Costa Rica is known for, such as being ecofriendly, in to what we offer our guests," says Brenda Obando, public relations and ecommerce manager for Costa Rica Marriott and Los Sueños Marriott. "For example, we can host coffee breaks at our golf courses so that you can unwind with a round of golf before heading back to meetings. Moreover, people love to give back to the country, companies included. Our efforts to promote nature and community, alongside our guests, are two big aspects of our properties that separate us from others in the country."