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.”
Tucked away between the verdant hills of the Dominican Republic and beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, Samaná is the perfect year-round destination. No matter what time of year you choose to visit this hidden gem, you can check things off your travel bucket list. In the summer, escape the busy tourism hot spots and explore off-the-beaten path areas and activities; in the winter, embark on an eco-excursion like whale watching in Samaná Bay.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
The coastal town of Belek in Antalya serves as the setting for the brand new, 5-star Cullinan Belek, named for the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Set along the sparkling azure waters of the Turkish Riviera, the new property boasts its own private white-sand beach, with 600 plush guestrooms (including 10 luxurious villas), all providing sea views. The hotel also has 13 swimming pools, 10 dining venues and five bars.
Museums beckon wherever we go. They amuse and enlighten travelers and bring to public attention historical, artistic, scientific and natural wonders. Most are thought-provoking and educational, stretching our minds and our knowledge of the world. Some, however, stand out as just plain quirky: personal and sometimes whimsical collections, museums dedicated to a unique skill or long- forgotten industry, arcane collections originally designed for scientific study. Others devote their space to sharing a subject that represents one person’s consuming passion.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
The Seoul Tourism Organization participated in IMEX, the world’s largest MICE exhibition, in Frankfurt, Germany, May 29–June 2. IMEX celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection celebrated an exciting moment recently when Evrima, its inaugural yacht, completed a series of successful sea trials. On June 9, in Santander, Spain, Evrima reached what is considered one of the final shipbuilding milestones prior to launch with the sea trials, a series of tests carried out when the yacht is sailing on open waters. Captain Steven MacBeath led the trials, alongside a team of senior officers, engineers, contractors and shipyard staff.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.