Costa Rica – the Happiest Island in the World?

No, of course Costa Rica is not an island.  But, it is astonishing how many people think that Costa Rica is exactly that – an island in the Caribbean.  We get a number of requests that read “Which is the best part of the island to visit?” or “How do I get around the island once I arrive?”  It also does not help that the name of Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose, is easily (and regularly) confused with Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan.  And yes, we also get “Costa Rico” more often than we’d like!

To a certain degree, Costa Rica does feels like an island.  It is not at all a challenge to enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the Caribbean coast, followed by a scenic drive through the mountains and forested hills, and still arrive to the Pacific coast long before happy hour to watch the sunset!

The sunsets on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This is Playitas beach in Manuel Antonio right in front of the Arenas del Mar Resort.

For many years, Costa Rica has been an island of democracy, peace and stability in a region that has been shaken up by wars, revolutions and civil unrest.  Next year, Costa Rica will be celebrating 70 years without a standing army, and the country has also been declared the happiest in the world several years in a row by the Happy Planet Index.  

But on the topic of islands… If you want to visit one, we have a couple of options for you.  Not big islands and not Costa Rican ones either, but certainly memorable destinations.  At Cayuga, we operate a National Geographic Unique Island Lodge on Lake Nicaragua.  

Jicaro Island Lodge is located on a private island in Lake Nicaragua, just a short boatride from colonial Granada.

We also operate a house on the private island of Palenque on Panama’s Pacific coast.  And watch this space – in June 2018 we will be opening a sustainable luxury beachfront hotel on the other side of Palenque Island too.

Isla Palenque. Until June 2018, we rent out a six bedroom luxury home. After that, you can also stay at beachfront luxury casitas. An island dream.

Drop us a note if you’ve got private islands – or happy countries – in mind for your next vacation!

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