We first heard about Cocos Island, a verdant dot in the ocean 350 miles (560 km) off the coast of Costa Rica, more than a decade ago. Between the pirate treasure still buried on the island to the shark-rich waters around it we’ve been dreaming of the place ever since. It was worth the wait, as we explain in our feature about new marine protections and the thrill of diving with hammerheads off Cocos Island for the Minneapolis Star Tribune travel section.

Cocos Island

We made different kinds of dreams come true during stays at some of Central America’s best boutique hotels including Jicaro Island Ecolodge and Los Patios in Nicaragua, Las Flores Resort & Surf Club in El Salvador and Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge & Gallery and El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica.

We even ventured back to the United States just to check out the newly opened Eilan Hotel Resort & Spa which made us love San Antonio, Texas even more.

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