Destination: Costa Rica

Video: Surfing One of the Longest Waves in the World

Waterman extraordinaire Robby Naish, perhaps best known as one of the globe’s best windsurfers, surfs one of the longest waves in the world at Pavones, Costa Rica.

(Via Adventure Journal)

World Travel Watch: Monster Crocs in Australia, Bridge Collapses in Costa Rica and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

Read More »

Cheap Tickets to Hawaii, Costa Rica and More

Cheap Tickets to Hawaii, Costa Rica and More Photo by bobster855 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by bobster855 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Every few weeks here, I round up some of the best air travel deals I can find.

Want to visit the Pacific? Alaska Airlines has an insanely good deal to Hawaii. They are advertising $169 one-way fares from Seattle, Washington or Portland, Oregon. You need to buy your tickets before June 3, and you must travel between July 3 and September 30. If you play your cards right, you can fly to Hawaii and back for a total of about $360 after taxes and fees, round trip.

Also, Air Tahiti Nui is advertising round-trip fares, after taxes and fees, of about $731 between Los Angeles and Tahiti, but it’s for a maximum stay of four days only.

Read More »

Can Eco-Travelers Save the World’s Rainforests?

Can Eco-Travelers Save the World’s Rainforests? Photo by leszekwasilewski via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by leszekwasilewski via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I’ve been thinking about this question since I saw a public awareness video released on YouTube by Prince Charles’s Rainforests Project. His Royal Highness rightly points out that climate change is the “greatest threat facing mankind” and that deforestation worsens global warming. (Burning trees releases their stored CO2.) At home, we can buy coffee tables and cabinetry made from sustainable wood. But what can we do when we travel?

‘Greenwashing’ Costa Rica

‘Greenwashing’ Costa Rica Photo by mikesten via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by mikesten via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Eco tourism is a Costa Rican brand. This lush Central American country has long topped green and sustainable travel lists, marketing many of its accommodations as eco-lodges and eco-resorts. It promotes itself as a tropical paradise with stunning biodiversity and “no artificial ingredients.” While that may be true in the country’s forests and national preserves, the scene at the beach town of Tamarindo is not exactly one for the eco-travel brochures.

Read More »

Dave Barry in Costa Rica: ‘A Nation Located in South or Central America, or Possibly Europe’

The Pulitzer Prize-winning funnyman has apparently figured out where it is, because he’s been blogging from Costa Rica about his travels. He’s seen lots of monkeys, and he went zip-lining, “which is a sport where the object is to look like the world’s biggest dork,” he writes. “I was very good at it.” Judge for yourself.

Related on World Hum:
* Onion Video: Andorra is ‘Not in Africa’

Forget ‘Snakes on a Plane.’ How About Scorpions?

No, not these. The real deal. According to USA Today’s Ben Mutzabaugh, a man on a flight from Costa Rica to Madrid was stung on his shoulder and finger by a scorpion. Mutzabaugh cites news reports stating that the man was treated for severe nausea by a doctor on the plane, and that a fellow passenger killed the scorpion. As Mutzabaugh points out, this isn’t a first. A number of travelers have been stung by scorpions mid-flight, including a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight from Chicago to Burlington, Vermont in January.

Related on World Hum:
* Three Travel Tips: Stay Healthy When You Fly
* ‘Snakes on a Plane’ = Movie. Bees on a Plane = Serious, Real-Life Problem.

Related on
* Bizarre Foods World Travel Guide: Vietnam

Photo by via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

New Addition to the Travel Lexicon: ‘Geotourism’

In our ongoing quest to chronicle the comings and goings in the travel lexicon we bring you “geotourism,” a term describing travel that, in the AP’s words, “focuses on a destination’s unique culture and history and aims to have visitors help enrich those qualities.” Coined several years ago by the National Geographic Society’s Jonathan B. Tourtellot, the term hasn’t yet caught on among most travelers. But according to the AP, “it’s on the lips of travel professionals who describe it as a step beyond the better-known environmentally friendly ecotourism. While geotourism encourages treading lightly on nature, it’s also about authenticity and making a place better by visiting and spending money.”

Read More »

Leo Hickman: In Search of the True Cost of Travel

Are travelers destroying cultures, economies and the planet? Are they making the world a better place? Frank Bures chats with the author of "The Final Call" about the ethics and consequences of world travel.

Read More »

The World Hum Travel Zeitgeist: From the Great White North to the Land Down Under

This week travelers trek the length of the globe, from Canada to California to Mexico to Costa Rica to Australia. There’s also the inevitable Paris Hilton vs. Hilton Paris match up. Here’s the Zeitgeist.

Most E-Mailed Travel Story
New York Times (current)
In Napa, Wilderness Above the Wineries
* That’s Napa, pictured above.

Most Viewed Travel Story
Los Angeles Times (current)
Paris Hilton accommodations vs. Hilton Paris
* Christopher Reynolds pits the two head-to-head.

Most Read Weblog Post
World Hum (this week)
Mexico to (Miss) U.S.A.: Boooooo
* Readers have mixed feelings about the now-infamous boos.

Most E-Mailed Travel Story
USA Today (current)
JetBlue Tries to Bounce Back From Storm of Trouble

Most Popular Page Tagged Travel (recent)
Air Traffic Control System Command Center

Most Read Feature
World Hum (this week)
An Island in Costa Rica

Most Popular Travel Podcast
iTunes (current)
National Geographic’s Atmosphere
* Current podcast: Mount Everest Expedition

Read More »

An Island in Costa Rica

An Island in Costa Rica Photo by Misho Ceko.

When she decided to spend her vacation volunteering at an orphanage, Tara Swords thought the kids would just need a little love to blossom. Then she met 5-year-old Catalina.

Read More »

Experts to Americans: Easy On the Tipping!

Sure, in some countries a generous tip for great service is appropriate. But not everywhere. “In Japan, for instance, tipping is viewed as insulting,” writes Rosemary McClure in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times. “In other countries, it’s considered disrespectful to hand a tip to a waiter.” How to avoid being the ugly American shelling out too much money in tips overseas?

Read More »

Vanuatu Tops “Happy Planet Index”

And the nations with the world’s largest economies finished down the 178-nation list. Way down. Germany ranked 81st, Japan 95th and the United States 150th. The New Economics Foundation, which bills itself as a “think-and-do tank,” says its inaugural Happy Planet Index “moves beyond crude ratings of nations according to national income, measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).” The new index, they say, produces “a more accurate picture of the progress of nations based on the amount of the Earth’s resources they use, and the length and happiness of people’s lives.” A BBC News story quotes Richard Layard, director of the Well-Being Programme at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, as saying that the index “was an interesting way to tackle the issue of modern life’s environmental impact.” Layard continues: “Over the last 50 years, living standards in the West have improved enormously but we have become no happier.” So which countries besides the island nation of Vanuatu are happiest? Colombia and Costa Rica round out the top three. Burundi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe finished at the bottom.

Read More »

A Brief History of Adventure Travel

Yahoo! adventure guru Richard Bangs covers the history of adventure travel in just 874 words today in a New York Times piece. I’ll summarize in 86 words: First adventure travelers were merchants on expedition. Many accidental discoveries. Ericson, North America. Columbus, the Caribbean. Modern adventure travel began 35 years ago. Treks in the Nepalese Himalayas. Maoist revolutionaries emerge. Adventurers go to Bhutan. In the ‘70s, Afghanistan, Algeria and New Guinea. In the ‘80s, the Nile, Mount Ararat and Bali. Religious-based terrorism drives out adventurers. In the ‘90s, the Alps. Euro rises. Everyone goes to Thailand. Tsunami hits. Libya, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Panama become popular. For now. When in doubt, there’s always Costa Rica.

Investigating International Sex Tourism, Part Three