After a 10-hour flight from Gatwick, I transferred straight to El Mangroove, a five-star “eco retreat” in Papagayo Bay on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, around an hour’s drive north-west from Liberia airport and close to the Nicaraguan border. In recent years, the bay has seen a proliferation of mid- and high-end resorts, including a Four Seasons and an Andaz.

El Mangroove’s minimal rooms, crafted from wood and stone, complemented the vista of the beach that bordered them. When night fell, the landscapes between the different buildings were obscured by thick, sooty blackness, and the distance between Central America and the shimmery light pollution of a London evening felt immeasurable.