Costa Rica

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Security Guard Suspected in US Tourist's Murder

Nicaraguan was staying next to Carla Stefaniak's Airbnb in Costa Rica

(Newser) - Despite her brother's best hopes , a woman's body discovered at the back of an Airbnb property in Costa Rica has been identified as Florida's Carla Stefaniak, whom a security guard is now suspected of killing. Nicaraguan Bismarck Espinosa Martinez, a 32-year-old security guard who'd been staying... More »

Woman's Body Found Near 'Sketchy' Airbnb

Costa Rica officials aren't sure if it is that of missing US woman Carla Stefaniak

(Newser) - A grim find has been made in the search for a Florida woman who was reported missing after she failed to return from a trip to Costa Rica. Officials with Costa Rica's Judicial Investigation Department say a woman's body was found at the back of the Airbnb property... More »

Woman's Last Text: 'It's Pretty Sketchy Here'

Carla Stefaniak, 36, was visiting Costa Rica for her birthday

(Newser) - A Florida woman has gone missing in Costa Rica after visiting for her birthday and getting into an unknown car, WFLA reports. Carla Stefaniak, 36, was scheduled to return Wednesday, the day after her fellow traveler/sister-in-law flew back—but Stefaniak never made the plane. "She totally went missing, ghosted... More »

4 American Tourists Die in Rafting Accident

Rafts overturn, men thrown into Costa Rica river during bachelor party celebration

(Newser) - Just two days earlier, the men from Miami had arrived in Playa Hermosa de Jaco for a bachelor party celebration. On Saturday, that Costa Rican celebration turned deadly for four of the party attendees during a river rafting expedition after several rafts flipped over on the Naranjo River; a local... More »

Plane Did 'Cartwheel' Before Costa Rica Crash

Crash wiped out 2 American families

(Newser) - The single-engine turboprob plane that crashed in Costa Rica Dec. 31 did what looked a "cartwheel" maneuver before going down in a wooded area, a witness says. "It was kind of low and I looked up to see it turn. I turned away and then heard the crash.... More »

10 Americans Among 12 Dead in Costa Rica Plane Crash

Victims include New York family of 5

(Newser) - A plane carrying 10 US citizens and two local crew members crashed in a wooded area Sunday, killing all aboard, Costa Rica's government says. The Public Safety Ministry posted photographs and video of the crash site showing burning wreckage of the plane in Guanacaste, in northwest Costa Rica. Authorities... More »

Scuba Diver Mauled to Death by Shark

The American woman was on vacation in Costa Rica

(Newser) - An American tourist who was mauled to death by a shark off the coast of Costa Rica on Thursday has been identified as a New York City private equity director. Authorities say Rohina Bhandari, a 49-year-old senior director at WL Ross & Col. LL, was with a group of 18... More »

She Has 800 Dogs— and They All Have Names

Lya Battle keeps hundreds of strays on her Costa Rica farm, with its own dark history

(Newser) - Outside Magazine calls Lya Battle the "lady of strays," and for good reason: Visit her farm in the Central Valley of Costa Rica and you'll be surrounded by hundreds of dogs. Bob Shacochis travels to the Central American nation to dive deeper into the story and... More »

Inside an Adventurer's Search for Son Lost in Jungle

'National Geographic' set to air a 6-week series on the dad's search in central America

(Newser) - In early 2014, the son of a biologist and legendary Alaskan adventurer took time off of school for an an epic trip into the depths of Central America. In July, after scuba diving with whale sharks, climbing Guatemala's 14,000-foot Tajumulco, and surfing in Nicaragua, 27-year-old Cody Roman Dial... More »

Giddy Tourists Stop Huge Turtle Army From Nesting

Olive ridley sea turtles are forced to turn back

(Newser) - A huge swarm of sea turtles emerged on the Costa Rican shore earlier this month to lay eggs, like they do every year. Only problem: Thousands of tourists were there too, getting in the way, prancing around for photos, and even placing their kids on the creatures' backs, Gizmodo reports.... More »

The 10 Happiest Countries

Once again, Panama leads the pack

(Newser) - US citizens who want a happier life may want to leave the country. The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index has issued its second annual list of country rankings, looking at 145 countries and how their residents fare in various "well-being elements." Those elements: a sense of purpose, social relationships,... More »

Girl Missing 11 Years Returns to US With Stepdad

Scott Kelley, Mary Nunes in US; he's in custody

(Newser) - A high-profile custody and kidnapping case is finally over after 11 years in the most fundamental ways: The girl at the center of the case—now a legal adult of age 19—has been found, and her stepfather has joined her mother as a captured fugitive. The latest development occurred... More »

Mysterious Stone Spheres to Be Protected

They join more than 1K sites now on UN list of World Heritage sites

(Newser) - The planet now has more than 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage Sites : places "of outstanding value to humanity" that UNESCO helps to safeguard and preserve. The World Heritage Committee wrapped up its 38th session on Wednesday by adding 26 sites to its list and expanding four more; that list... More »

Nicaragua Threatens to Reclaim 20% of Costa Rica

Daniel Ortega wants to go to International Court of Justice

(Newser) - Nicaragua's president warned once again yesterday that his country might seek to reclaim 20% of neighboring Costa Rica, AFP reports. "Costa Rica did not win that territory in an international court, but rather by force, with arms," said Daniel Ortega at a military ceremony. He was referring... More »

Costa Rica May Have Just Legalized Gay Marriage ... Accidentally

Some are interpreting new bill as legalizing same-sex unions

(Newser) - Um ... whoops? Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly passed a bill Monday, and conservative lawmakers didn't realize until Tuesday that the bill could very well have just legalized same-sex civil unions, Tico Times reports, citing La Nación . Seems the lawmakers failed to recognize language that one leftist lawmaker inserted... More »

Costa Rica Escapes Major Damage in Big Quake

AP says one death is confirmed

(Newser) - The earthquake that struck Costa Rica today may have been massive at 7.6-magnitude, but the Central American nation looks to have escaped major damage, reports AP . The quake collapsed at least one bridge, knocked down some houses, and caused plenty of panic, but the physical damage is relatively minor... More »

7.6 Quake Hits Costa Rica

Buildings rattled 90 miles away in San Jose

(Newser) - A powerful 7.6-magnitude quake has hit about five miles northeast of Samara, Costa Rica, reports the US Geological Survey , which initially pegged the magnitude at 7.9. It was the largest quake to hit the country since one of the same magnitude struck in 1991, killing 47, reports Reuters... More »

Interpol Hunts Whale Wars Star

Paul Watson skips bail as Costa Rica seeks to press protest charges

(Newser) - Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Whale Wars reality star Paul Watson after the conservationist skipped bail in Germany. He vanished as Costa Rica was attempting to extradite him on charges of endangering a fishing vessel off Guatemala in 2002, CNN reports. Watson, known for boat maneuvers interfering with... More »

Sea Shepherd Founder Arrested

Paul Watson faces charges in decade-old incident

(Newser) - A leading anti-whaling activist has been arrested in Germany. Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, was busted on Saturday over a 2002 clash with a Costa Rican "illegal shark finning operation" off Guatemala, the group says in a statement. The group says the warrant is tied to an "... More »

Woman Fakes Own Kid's Death for Vacation Time

But Joan Barnett is done in by a shoddy fake death certificate

(Newser) - Today's lesson in stupid schemes: If you're going to scam your boss for vacation time with your kid's fake death certificate, at least make sure the fonts match. It seems one Joan Barnett, a parent coordinator at a Manhattan school who, it's worth noting, was eligible... More »

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