Now that it’s served by direct flights from the UK, there’s really no excuse to ignore this Central American wonderland. Try windsurfing, ziplining, biking or hundreds of other adrenalin-rush activities, or tour of some of the world’s best coffee plantations. You could go for the Pacific and Caribbean beaches, and the planet-leading eco-friendliness. You could simply go for the excellent hotels and mountain resorts (some are seriously luxurious). But the best reason is wildlife: from multi-coloured quetzals and myriad monkeys through sloths, see-through frogs and the elusive jaguar, Costa Rica is an animal-lover’s dream.
I’d also recommend driving, rather than flying, around. Some of my favourite Costa Rican moments came this way: watching kids play football amid a palm-tree plantation; eating coconut fudge at a roadside sala (small canteen). The roads are good and – outside of capital San José – traffic is light, and you’re guaranteed to see the real country.