Costa Rica well-positioned as spring break destination

The Northeast of the U.S. is gripped by a cold wave, and that means Costa Rica is an even more attractive spring break vacation spot for college students.

The colleges and universities begin the annual spring break next week.The majority of schools have the break on their March calendar.

Despite warnings about the zika virus that might put a damper on some spring break plans, Costa Rica is unique among the Central American states in having few reported cases of the virus and an aggressive campaign to destroy mosquitoes and the places where they breed.

The country has received some benefit from El Niño in that Guanacaste is unusually dry.

That’s where a lot of the spring break destinations are, and little water means few mosquitoes.

Plenty of U.S. educational institutions have scheduled spring break classes in Costa Rica.

Indiana University has a 10-day culture and environment program March 10 to 20 in Nicoya. The University of Georgia plans a

creative writing course March 5 to 13 as well as courses with an environmental theme.

Other institutions with spring break programs here include Bucknell University, the University of California, Irvine, Purdue University and various campuses of the state colleges of New York. In addition to the Pacific coast, Monteverde is a major spring break destination for environmental courses.

Semana Santa begins March 18, and there are some tours for the general public that feature the religious activities during the week leading up to Easter Sunday, March 27.

Most communities have a colorful procession Good Friday, but in San José there are a half dozen processions involving the Catedral Metropolitana alone.

There also seems to have been an increase in bird watchers in the Central Valley in the last few weeks.

Internet searches show that promotion for spring break and Semana Santa are by private firms. And there does not seem to be any effort by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo or its advertising agency in Atlanta to capitalize on the annual spring break.

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