THE TIMING COULDN’T BE BETTER for LGBTQ+ travelers to visit Costa Rica. This verdant hot spot renowned for its eco-friendly policies is gearing up to become the first nation in Central America to legalize same-sex marriage.
This historic milestone — taking place in May — provides the latest example of Costa Rica’s evolution as an LGBTQ+-friendly destination according to Ernest Calderon, general manager, Gaycations Costa Rica, an LGBTQ+ tour and travel company. “My first visit to Costa Rica was back in 2002,” he recalled. “Back then, there were only a few LGBT establishments. Most were in San José and Manuel Antonio, [and] most LGBT travelers opted to visit only these two areas. Now, [more than] 15 years later, we are sending LGBT travelers to many different regions of the country. There are now many LGBT-owned lodges and restaurants in many different regions of the country. Over the years, the country has become much more open-minded, the LGBT pride festivals have exploded with attendance year after year, and this May 26 same-sex marriage will be recognized.”
Hotels are already gearing up to welcome more LGBTQ+ couples. Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, touts its appeal for LGBTQ+ elopements with a variety of eco-friendly wedding options.
Other hotels providing a warm welcome to LGBTQ+ travelers include Gran Hotel Costa Rica, Curio Collection by Hilton, opened in 2018 as a major revamp of the historic Gran Hotel. Travelers can explore the scenic Caribbean coast while checking into Banana Azul, a gay-owned beachfront hotel in Puerto Viejo, a laid-back town that hosted its first pride event in 2018.
Gaycations plans on a surge in LGBTQ+ couples. “We already have a huge amount of LGBT travelers that vacation here for anniversaries or honeymoons,” Calderon said. “We can only expect these numbers to grow significantly. We already know that Costa Rica is a huge destination for heterosexual weddings, so there’s no reason to think that the LGBT community will not take notice, as well. I, for one, will be tying the knot here with my partner of eight years on June 27, 2020.”
Leovard skincare, formulated by Dr. Sheg Aranmolate, MD, uses natural ingredients to nourish skin, calm irritation, decrease wrinkles, hydrate and soothe — all while sanitizing skin of bacteria. Leovard’s 06 sanitizer is among a line a like-minded products, designed to ease the stress of environmental damage on our skin while cleansing.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
It’s been almost three years since Category 5 Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, wreaking havoc on the island and leaving most residents without electricity and clean water. Tourism, which accounts for 6.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product, took a beating, with hotels closed for year-long repairs, airlines cutting service and cruise lines shifting itineraries to other Caribbean destinations. Timing for the hurricane couldn’t have been worse, coming on the heels of the government’s announcement in May 2017 that it was unable to pay more than $70 billion in public debt and thus forced to file for bankruptcy. Large protests and a change of government would follow. Then, in January 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the south side of the island, forcing San Juan restaurants to close while power was restored. And as we write this story, coronavirus runs rampant across the globe with severe economic implications for all destinations, including Puerto Rico.
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Three weeks after welcoming the first international flights since its borders closed, Saint Lucia’s government reinforced its mandatory travel protocol messaging. The island also launched an informative video with on-island footage of the actual travel experience.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with us.