Source: The Hollywood Reporter
In the past couple of years, Reese Witherspoon took a hiking-filled girls trip in the Costa Rican mountains; Adam Scott fell in love with the country’s coffee; Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly went on an ayahuasca journey; Zac Efron filmed a Down to Earth With Zac Efron episode in an Alajuela Province sustainable commune; Emma Roberts eased into “the most beautiful reset,” she posted; Molly Sims, Netflix’s Scott Stuber and their kids zip-lined over the Tempisque River; and Natasha Lyonne, Freeform president Tara Duncan and Ronan Farrow rode horses on the beach. Other stars who have visited the country include Diane Kruger and Norman Reedus, Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, Matt Damon and Shakira.
“Costa Rica is on everyone’s bucket list,” says Alicia Repetto of Costa Rica hospitality group Casa Chameleon Hotels. “The country has so many things to offer with wonderful sceneries that change in a short drive. Its people, colors, gastronomy and culture are a delight to experience.”
The biodiverse North American paradise, though, is far more than a burgeoning celebrity hotspot. “Costa Rica, home to over 500,000 species of wildlife, emphasizes the dominance of nature,” says Harry Shum Jr., who was born there. “The country’s motto, ‘Pura Vida,’ reflects a commitment to a pure and fulfilling life, as evidenced by its high life expectancy.” About a quarter of the country’s land mass is protected. “Costa Rica is the promised land without artificial ingredients,” adds Costa Rican film director Laura Astorga, describing the country as a place where “we can swim in always warm waves, where we can be very long-lived, where it is possible to see any wild animal up close because they are not afraid of us — we have never been their predators.”
Waterbiking in the Palmares Outpost preserve on Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica.
Some 2.5 million tourists visit annually for lush rainforest adventures, volcanic hot springs, magnificent beaches, surfing, yoga and incredible wildlife (such as humpback whales, sloths, jaguars, scarlet macaws and superpods of spinner dolphins). Costa Rica contains nearly 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity, yet it’s a bit smaller than West Virginia. Its Nicoya Peninsula is also one of the globes’s five Blue Zones, where people historically live long, healthy lives (residents live to an average age of 85). AOL co-founder Steve Case likens Costa Rica to “Hawaii 50 years ago.”
According to Jason Moloney, artistic director and co-owner of prototyping and design company JxJ, “There’s a sense of adventure in the untouched wilderness that is impossible to fabricate.”
It doesn’t hurt that there is an ever-increasing number of glamorous, exclusive and ultra-luxurious places to call home base — from sprawling resorts to private villas and residences — many of which have bowed in the northwest part of the country on two peninsulas.
Casa Chameleon Hotels at Las Catalinas
South of Papagayo is the larger Nicoya Peninsula, a longevity hotspot Blue Zone, where 15 years ago Case’s investment firm Revolution Places purchased the Cacique Peninsula. Case tells THR he was personally drawn to Guanacaste for its “rare experience — beautiful pristine land, breathtaking beaches and ocean access, along with a welcoming culture.”
The region also is home to the car-free coastal town Las Catalinas, which will open its first commercial center, La Rambla, late next year, with residences, dining, offices and retail. The uber-walkable master-planned enclave is home to Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas (from $745), which has drawn actors, NBA players, singers and models. The spirited and secluded adults-only hotel sits atop a hill, which provides each of its 21 private villas — complete with personal infinity pools — with jaw-dropping vistas. Four fully serviced residences (starting at $4.29 million) and 15 luxe condos (from $1.27 million) are slated to be completed in late 2024.