Ever since Costa Rica enacted legislation in 2021 allowing superyachts to charter, the country’s 800 miles of tropical coastline have attracted cruisers craving something new and different. Costa Rica is different. It’s one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, despite being about the size of West Virginia.

Costa Rica has more than 850 bird species, for example, plus 160 amphibian species, and 205 mammal species—and those only scratch the wildlife surface. As I discovered recently, an ordinary yacht charter in Costa Rica is an extraordinary experience of encountering whales one day, spider monkeys another, and bioluminescent waters under inky night skies the next. The list includes land and sea activities. It’s both a nature-lover’s and adventure-seeker’s paradise, with protected rain forests, coastlines, and exceptional marine life on both its Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Chartering a yacht is the antithesis of sitting on the back deck in the Med and watching people move by. Here, you’re part of the action.

Below are nine reasons why Costa Rica should be at the top of the list for a yacht visit.