Ecotourism in Costa Rica: The Ultimate Guide
Climate change and the destruction of habitats across the world has created a need for revised practices of tourism. Costa Rica is a country that has plenty of ecotourism opportunities with a culture that has a deep respect for the natural world, governmental protection of over twenty five percent of the land area and ambitions of becoming carbon-neutral by 2021. The rich biodiversity of flora and fauna in Costa Rica makes it a tropical haven and a sanctuary for a huge number of species. Tourism in Costa Rica is understandably growing and tourists should be aware of the ecotourism opportunities they can choose that protect communities, habitats and natural wildlife.
Costa Rica comes fully equipped with a range of eco-lodges to house tourists from glampsites to more luxurious options, where tourists can easily find a Costa Rican home that fits their budget. The accommodation is made eco-friendly through a number of different ways. Some have their own farms to grow crops, others produce their own electricity and some concentrate on the reforestation of local areas. Your surroundings will depend on where you are situated within Costa Rica but most lodges can be found nestled next to nature reserves and rainforests with easy accessibility to hikes and trails.
The Costa Rican dining experience is overwhelmingly made up of local family-owned restaurants that serve authentic Costa Rican cuisines of rice, beans and potato. Locally sourcing ingredients is naturally ideal for the environment with the reduction of carbon-based food miles. “Costa Rican food is varied but an exceptional option that can be eaten every day is the Sopa Negra. It’s a delicious, hearty soup made up of black beans, onions, eggs, peppers and tomatoes and spiced beautifully,” says Tomas Lebedev, lifestyle blogger at Brit Student and Next Coursework.
One of the biggest exports and industries in Costa Rica is its coffee. Coffee enthusiasts can join a coffee tour to learn about the growth of high-quality Arabica coffee beans and production of Costa Rica’s finest coffee. Coffee farms are run with solar energy and natural fertilizers to adhere to the Costa Rican eco-friendly mantra. Tourists will be led from the coffee bean plantations to the roasteries and given plenty of the Costa Rican delicacy to sample.
There are unlimited numbers of fascinating hikes to attempt when visiting Costa Rica. Tourists should make sure they are opting for a hike that matches their skill level and ability. Group treks are available in most national parks and often wind through beautiful wildlife as well as up mountains and through lush forests.
- Whale watching
The Costa Rican beaches offer great opportunities for sun bathing, surfing and most importantly, whale watching. Join a whale watching expedition and experience the phenomena of whale breaching first hand. “Taking part in a whale watching tour is an ultimate holiday highlight of Costa Rica. From December through April, tourists have the opportunity to see the famous humpback whale up close and personal” says Gina Ramirez, blogger at Writemyx and Australia2write.
An amazing way to see more of the country is to sign up to a volcano tour. Costa Rica has over 60 volcanoes of which 6 are active. They make for amazing hikes and access to incredible scenery and nature.
- Canopy walks
Tourists can feel at one with Costa Rican nature as they stroll along suspended bridges between mountains in Costa Rica’s cloud forest. The high hills and low clouds make for an atmospheric wonderland surrounded by the green of thousands of species of flora.
- National Parks
Tourists have access to some of Costa Rica’s most abundant wildlife through the many national parks. Manuel Antonia is the home of over 500,000 species and tourists are encouraged to take trails and try and spot one or two of the Costa Rican sloths.
Travellers are understandably excited about seeing the world and all the beauty and wildlife it contains. It’s important to recognize however, that the act of travelling to see new places and heavy tourism burdens can result in their destruction. We are already paying the price for irresponsible tourism as popular beaches are being closed, famous markets halting trade and natural wonders being eroded. To prevent further destruction of some of the world’s most important environments, it’s imperative that we all work to participate in a worldwide tourism revolution that imitates the methods used in Costa Rica to protect the natural landscape.
Katrina Hatchett, is a lifestyle blogger at Academic Brits and writer for Origin Writings and PhD Kingdom. Her blog discusses business projects and she enjoys identifying project problems solutions. Katrina’s ultimate goal is to improve the effectiveness of our communication.