Costa Rica continues to be one of the most popular places in the world to have a destination wedding due to its affordability, warm tropical weather, natural scenic beauty, first-class services, and ease of travel.
The Huffington Post reports that approximately 2 million people in the United States get married each year, and about 25% of those opt for a destination wedding in another country. As costs for traditional weddings in North America continue to rise, happy couples are combining their wedding and honeymoon in one romantic destination.
Out of all of the countless locations for a wedding in Costa Rica, most visiting couples choose a beach destination.
It is a process not every business takes the time to tackle. Yet it is the most talked about business concept over the past five years on an “urgent: must do” level.
Hotel Tropico Latino at beautiful Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica recently engaged in the challenge of reinventing and redefining its business. They’ve come out the other side with a stronger sense of self, a clear direction and a concise message of who they are for their guests and their staff.
"It was very enlightening for everyone to be involved in defining who we are. We had meetings with the owners and management, the supervisors and all of the employees. We’re giving our staff a ‘clear North’ of how we want our hotel to be viewed, how to do their jobs, and what our essence is,” explained hotel manager, Roberto de la Ossa.
Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica is known for its gold and light sand, warm, clear aquamarine water, world-class surf conditions and spectacular sunsets. Its neighbor to the south, the sleepy beach hamlet of Malpaís, is celebrated as a surfer's paradise with a very relaxed jungle lifestyle.
Both top Costa Rica beach destinations are found on the western coast of the southern Nicoya Peninsula. Poor or non-existing roads kept this tropical utopia off the beaten path for decades. Backpackers and surfers camping their way along the coast discovered the paradise of small fishing villages in the early 1990s. Today, they are popular – though still slightly isolated – tourism destinations and win awards for being the best beaches in Central America.
As a surfer, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to surf for longer without getting tired, get a quicker pop-up, have more strength and flexibility and better balance, relax your breathing and sharpen your mental focus? You can do this with yoga. Pro surfers are already aware that the practice of yoga keeps their performance constantly improving, and aids in preventing injuries.
U.S. yoga instructors/surfers like Peggy Hall have produced DVDs that tout the benefits of the practice especially for pro surfers. Here are 10 yoga poses for surfers that will make your arms and back stronger, improve your strength and flexibility, give you better balance, and help you avoid the all-too-common nagging lower back pain. Remember to always warm-up before heading out to the water, and stretch for 5-10 minutes after surfing. Your body will thank you.
1. Downward-facing dog: Benefits: Stretches shoulders and calf muscles, strengthens and tones the arms and legs, lengthens and straightens the spine helping to relieve pain in the upper, middle and lower back.
Walk down the beaches of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and you’re likely to see multicolored crushed seashells, sea glass, and interesting rocks and pebbles along the white sand. What you won’t see as readily is trash.
The Pacific beaches of Santa Teresa – Mal Pais, Playa Carmen, Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Hermosa – on Costa Rica’s southern Nicoya Peninsula hold Ecological Blue Flag status. Costa Rica’s Blue Flag award is an honor for a community to earn. It means the beach community has near-perfect ocean water quality, potable water quality, coastal sanitation areas, treated waste and run-off water, garbage containers and very little litter.
Businesses on these four beaches have taken it upon themselves to keep the beaches clean. Since 2011, they have worked together to pay for two workers to clean each beach every week, all year long. They pick up trash brought in on the Pacific tides, or washed out from nearby rivers or that is left behind by beach-goers. The rubbish is collected in extra-large garden-size trash bags, separated between garbage and recycling, and brought to a municipal trash collection spot.
The business owners take turns in rotation to pay for the two workers and the cleanup costs. “We started in 2011 with only five or six sponsors, and now we are up to 50-60 sponsors,” said program coordinator Roberto de la Ossa. “The more business owners there are, the easier it is for everyone to maintain the program.” De la Ossa, who is general manager at sponsor Hotel Tropico Latino, said he works with a small team of business owners and managers to run the program. In turn, they work with the Environmental Committee of Santa Teresa, which coordinates the Blue Flag program.
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