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In 2021, the charter-management team at Fraser announced that its efforts to help change Costa Rica’s laws had worked, making it easier for the types of yachts commonly available in the Caribbean and Mediterranean to offer bookings in Costa Rica too. Now, two years later, some sizable superyachts are accepting inquiries for charters there, giving clients options they haven’t had in the past.
“I have one client who has done the Bahamas, has done the Caribbean, and when I mentioned Costa Rica, he lit up,” says Vicky Whitehouse, a charter broker in Fraser’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office.
Whitehouse’s own experiences in Costa Rica have left her enthusiastic about the destination. “It has so much to offer,” she says. “They have volcanoes with natural hot springs. They have abundant wildlife—you can get a private tour through a private park so you’re not with the crowds. The fishing is incredible. The diving is incredible.”
And, she says, all the effort that Fraser’s team has put into making local connections is really paying off for charter clients.
“If you need anything at all, they can do it,” she says. “We have made some very strong connections with the marinas there.”
The one thing she tells charter clients thinking about booking a Costa Rica itinerary is that they have to be prepared to experience a region where other people simply don’t go. She says the best time to book a yacht of substance is in January, February and March, when those vessels are in transit from the Caribbean to Alaska, and are most likely to want to pick up charter clients interested in exploring.
“This isn’t about wining and dining,” Whitehouse says. “There are a couple of restaurants, but that’s not what this place is for. This is about adventure. You’re zip-lining with sloths; you’re with wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else.”
Marina Bahia Golfito
• Costa Rica Yacht Charters can start at this marina, which is part of the IGY Marinas network. There’s an on-site hotel, a restaurant, a beach bar and yacht services, all geographically positioned for boats to then head off and explore undeveloped areas.
• Corcovado National Park is nearby, with chances to spot macaws, monkeys and jaguars.
• Piedras Blancas National Park is also close, with trails and waterfalls in a tropical rainforest.
• Playa Pavones is within easy reach for surfers.