During the 2016-2017 season, 250 cruise ships (cruceros in Spanish) arrived at the country’s ports: Limon and Puntarenas, representing an increase of 34% over the previous season, and the number of tourists on board increased by 16%.

Cruise ships at Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Photo commons.wikimedia.org

According to official figures, between the seasons 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, the number of tourists who arrived on board cruises grew by 16%, rising from 242,930 to 280,854.

From a statement issued by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) –  Costa Rican Tourism Board:

In two years, Costa Rica reported the arrival of 100 additional cruise passengers to the country, which represents growth of close to 70%.

Arrival of cruise passengers to Costa Rica (all ports)
Season Total Cruise Ships Cruise Passengers
2014- 2015 150 223,037
2015- 2016 186 242,930
2016- 2017 250 280,854
Source: ICT with information from INCOP, JAPDEVA and regional offices of the DGME (immigration service)

According to Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism, this growth is due to the strategy developed by the ICT to revive the cruise industry. 

“During this administration we set ourselves the goal of recovering this industry which clearly brings benefits to the most depressed coastal areas of the country and thanks to the strategy we developed, today the country has 100 more cruise arrivals than it received two years ago” explained Ventura.


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