by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | December 31, 2018
Sloths might be Costa Rica's most endearing attraction, but this Central American country also is a wonderland of volcanoes and surfing beaches, cloud forests and rainforests. In the past two years, this environmentally forward nation, whose president recently announced a plan to be the first carbon-neutral nation in the world by 2021, has made significant strides in the MICE market. 

Several incentive-friendly properties debuted in 2018. This month, the 150-room W Costa Rica-Reserva Conchal, the first W hotel in the country, opened within a 2,300-acre nature reserve in Guanacaste. Part of W Escape, the brand's spin on the traditional resort, it features 10,225 square feet of meeting space and six dining outlets.

In the same month, the 126-room AC Marriott Escazú, that brand's first in the nation, opened in San José with 2,142 square feet of event space.

Two properties underwent upgrades. The redesigned 79-room Gran Hotel Costa Rica, which became part of the Curio Collection by Hilton in July, has about 1,000 square feet of event space, indoor gardens and a rooftop piano bar. In December 2017, the 182-room Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo completed a $32 million renovation, giving the lobby a striking open-air gathering space.

Endless opportunities cater to attendees' wilder sides, like zip-lining, rafting and rappelling waterfalls. For culture, the colonial city of San José offers several museums, such as the Costa Rican National Museum inside the Bellavista Fortress.