AA767400 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2271 posts, RR: 25 Posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1116 times:
It seems like the last ten years have turned Costa Rica into a more mainstream destination. Many backpackers, and surfers prefer other places to go where it is cheaper, and more "unspoiled" if one might call it that.
Costa Rica is now full of tourists, and those who come and buy property. Seems like things have gotten rather expensive than other destinations in the region.
Nicaragua is heard to be very cheap, and not as commercial as Costa Rica. Surfers are set on El Salvador's great coast, and Honduras is waiting to be discovered.
I love Costa Rica, but has it really lost it's magic? Is it good for the economy in the long run? What about the local environment?
I think the banana industry is more of a threat than tourism, of which a considerable part is eco-tourism. Costa Rica has a lot of national parks, and they seem to be rather firm about conserving them. The only example I've seen is Tortuguero national park, and that place seemed to be rather good at getting tourists to visit and conserving the wildlife.
My experience is very limited, but San José appeared to be a lot richer than anything I had expected; they even have a pedestrian precinct there - in Latin America! So as far as I can tell, they're making good money off of tourism, and personally I'm glad the locals do as opposed to international resort corporations.
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11433 posts, RR: 81 Reply 4, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1085 times:
The Guanacaste province is very nice but it is being developed so it can't be called pristine anymore. That said I would have to say that Nicaragua, Hondo and Salvador are still more for the tourist ready for the less refined trip.
Costa Rica is no longer the steal it once was for property because of market forces, but it's still very affordable.
Panama has several US retirement colonies and is good for a decent trip, although you should not spend time in the south up in the hills.
Central America is a terrific destination for anyone who wants a great vacation for less than the islands of the Caribbean, but you need to do more research and know what you are getting into.
DL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11433 posts, RR: 81 Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1055 times:
That's exactly the area I meant. It's never been especially safe, with the combination of unfriendly natives and even less sociable outsiders doing whatever it is they are doing in the poorly policed area. The Panamanians don't really mess with anyone that far out in the bush as long as no one in Panama is getting upset.
That said one should probably not get too far from the Canal Zone even to the North. The resorts and communities out that way all have serious security and it's not for show. Costa Rica is much safer.